Mary Oliver, renowned poet has died at the age of 83. She was well known for her straight-talking poetry, believing that poetry ‘mustn’t be fancy”.
This made me think of all the poetry I’ve read over the years…and yes, there have been poems I’ve skipped over – simply because I couldn’t understand a single word. I used to worry about readers feeling the same way about mine. That’s why I now try to include a preamble to my writes.
That said, I’ve taken the idea of poetry not being ‘fancy’ and extrapolated it to naked words trying to escape my tongue, but ‘dressed’ only in truth.


Words crawl up 
from the floor of my mouth
to the tip of my tongue
They knock on teeth
My lips quiver
-not knowing whether to remain sealed
or to part
to let out these unadorned words
clad only in the truth

©Vivian Zems

Real Toads: “Poetry mustn’t be fancy”

Poets United #436