Poetry Friday: “American Discontent”

Happy Independence Day!

celebrations,fireworks,pyrotechnics,special occasions,festivals

My fellow citizens here in the U.S. are celebrating our country’s birthday today. Some might be going on trips to visit relatives, others might be having cookouts at their homes. Still others may be headed to the beach.

poetryfridaybutton-fulllMe? I’m heading out with the family to go pick some strawberries before it gets too late in the morning and they’re all gone! (By the way, if you missed my repost this past Tue. about what you can learn from berries, please check it out!)

Today I’m sharing the type of poem I rarely, if ever, share:  an unpolished one, and a hastily-written one, at that – I only spent about 30 minutes on it, at best.

The reason I’m sharing it is because, even though it can be tightened up, I thought it would be appropriate for today, the Fourth of July. It was originally written from a prompt by poet and blogger David L/ Harrison, who asked visitors to write couplets about the sun – or lack thereof. What’s funny about writing poetry is, you never quite know how a poem is going to turn out until it’s done – even if you know the ending, the punch line, the hook, the twist, or anything else. It’s always a bit of a surprise.

So I hope you like it! There’s more to Poetry Friday, of course, so head on over to Heidi Mordhorst’s Juicy Little Universe for all the links and fun!

American Discontent

In winter, we complain it’s cold –
then summer’s heat starts getting old.

As soon as there’s a drop of rain,
we wish to see the sun again.

When life’s too fast, we want a lull.
When life slows down, we say it’s dull.

I wonder if we’ll ever be
content with simply being…free?

© 2014, Matt Forrest Esenwine


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22 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “American Discontent”

  1. Hi, Matt. Sometimes a poem arrives and it’s perfect as is. With all that is going on in the world of U.S. politics, your poem made me wonder whether we will ever find a happy middle.


    1. I think the quality of never being satisfied is a double-edged sword, to use a cliché. On one hand, it keeps us as a society ever moving, constantly inventing, creatively and actively engaged in improving our lives. On the other hand, of course, we need to learn to be happy with what we have – which I think is lost on most folks these days. No one is ever happy – with their government, with their income, with their ‘status’…and it’s finding that ‘happy middle,’ as you said, that we need to work on!


  2. dmayr

    “you never quite know how a poem is going to turn out until it’s done” Ain’t that the truth! Did you get any of that hail last night?


    1. Hi Diane! We didn’t get any hail, but we did have some massively powerful; winds. Not only were there branches down everywhere, our rabbit hutch got knocked over – and it was BOLTED to our dog kennel!


    1. Thanks, Tara! We still have pouring rain outside, so alas, no berries today…but it’ll give us plenty of time to get the house picked up…and with a 4-yr-old, 10-month-old, and 2 dogs…it NEEDS picking up!


  3. Matt, thanks for sharing “the type of poem I rarely, if ever, share: an unpolished one, and a hastily-written one, at that – I only spent about 30 minutes on it, at best.” The spontaneity of this poem, despite your feeling that it is unpolished, make me realize that poetry is a burst of thought that takes direction as it moves to a conclusion. Thank you for sharing this and enjoy the 4th of July.


  4. margaretsmn

    Nothing much rough about this poem. Sometimes you just get it right on the first go round. So true, too. I am missing winter’s chill today!


    1. Thanks, Margaret – although I’m not missing winter yet. I love the sun, the heat, even the humidity! I like some aspects of winter, but none of them beat summer. (Which makes me wonder how I wrote my winter-themed collection first, before the other seasons!)


  5. I think it’s “just right”, Matt, & an apt response to our consistent grumbles here. Perhaps that’s good that we can grumble, but sometimes, I wish it were calmer. Sorry about the rain… Enjoy the time inside too.


  6. Heidi

    I agree that this came out just right first time around…but like King Derwin of Didd (from “Bartholomew and the Oobleck”) we free Americans who enjoy the most and best of everything have a little trouble getting over the idea that we don’t control the weather. Except that now that we DO control climate change, we don’t want to accept that responsibility. Hmmmmmmmm.


    1. I guess everyone figures the weather, the climate, everything will eventually change on its own. Like we say here in New England, “If you don’t like the weather we’re having, wait a minute!”

      I’m going to have to go find that book again…I’d forgotten about it!


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