Describing Naught


With only the best of intention I set out

to write a descriptive poem. I may as well

have set out to write a symphony or endeavor

to ride a unicycle while balancing a seal on my nose.


Objects—human, inhuman, tangible, intangible,

refuse to be summarized when I approach.

They morph and squirm and writhe, insisting

that what is, is not, that blue and black is white and gold.


Simple becomes complicated, and complicated

becomes otherworldly, and I am too grounded

to approach the phenomenal, too oriented

toward dull edges which beg to be sharpened.


Dammit. I'm at the couplet already and I've 

said naught, which describes what but naught?



Poetry by jim The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 199 times
Written on 2015-03-25 at 09:44

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Coo & Co The PoetBay support member heart!
Woo-hoo! A poem for BirdBrains! We are honoured to be considered 'a distant friend' :>) :-)
And we enjoyed this journey through your thoughts, of course – the unicycle ride, the dance of objects, that peculiar dress. It's very jim, which is good. It's natural, it flows.
Ep. presents to you his 'seal of approval', who 'clappeth'.
What greater acclaim?

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I think that you're selling yourself short, Jim. Your poems always have been plenty descriptive. Through them, I've endured sweaty days on horseback, and gone on car rides, tractor rides and trips to the cattle auction barn.

josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
The dreaded block! Dam , I hate the block!
You've fought it valiantly here and slain the dragon with its own weapon!

Well done, Jim


Rob Graber
Naught from naught leaves naught, I suppose... I enjoyed this; I know what you mean, I think, and I seem to share the disorder--if it be that. Someone once wrote that my Plutonic Sonnets don't really use imagery. One hundred and sixty-five poems without so much as one lousy image?! Well, maybe not quite.


By way of explanation, somewhat, the first time I heard the song, I thought it was Sea lion woman...and Your reference reminded me of that...actually, I think personification of a sassy woman into a sleek sea lion is good. But I'm quirky. I too now know the real origins of the song. But, this is about your words, not my youtube playlist. So. Now, that really is all.

Imagine me reading this, then imagine Nina singing"See line woman! (sea lion woman)... that is all. ( strongly recommend a youtube search)

I'm still smiling, thank you. You write a poem about/describing naught and still pull it off dammit! I too am a fan of the ranch poems.

Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
It's amazing what good words put together can accomplish. You managed to write a good poem about naught, and we all enjoyed it. I like most everything you write because you have that knack for putting words together, and I do enjoy your poems (prose?) about ranch life. Those are so vivid! Enjoyed this for the way you used the words.

Ten points for the apt reference to the dress.

We all have our own unique sensibility . . . yours is telling the stories of your life in a way that, despite or perhaps because of all the good and the bad, the gains and losses, you do it with such humanity that we want to be you, if only for awhile.

BUT your writing of your land, the places of your life, are some of the most beautiful and evocative that I have read, because they are not just description but the revelation and gratitude of a man who is not just on his land but of it. You can't fake that, and you never have.

Many a time I've started a well-intentioned poem only to go on for lines and lines, finally realizing that I was going nowhere. I've never noticed that with your poems; they always seem complete--even this one. I often wonder if I'd be better off writing prose and be done with it. :)

Åsa Andersson
This made me laugh. Thank you for trying - you have my sympathy.