Poetry and Recipes

For my daughter in hopes she will
learn to love
poetry, because it brings

All children have poetry
lurking inside.
I read blog posts all day
When they relate their young child’s
they recite poetry
funny, beautiful, soul touching.

Those children go to school
like you
learn the rules:
raise your hand.
wait your turn.
rules of haiku
of sonnets
of limericks
rhyme scheme and meter.

You follow rules.
While that should make
you the easy daughter;
it vexes me and cages

Look at your cobbler–

I told you to find a recipe
I can make a cobbler without

I know you want a recipe;
a set of rules for you
to follow.
You followed some random rules from the Internet

You allowed my advice on substitution of
more berries in absence of the proscribed
portion of peaches.
I forgot you don’t know the food
and that you wouldn’t know
to add less sugar because
the berries were sweet.
You followed the rules.
The cobbler was fine.

But recipes like poetry
call for breaking rules,
learn the rules
but then feel the words;
taste the food;
walk the edge and find it.

When you learn which
rules can be broken;
with truth and beauty
you find the truth of the scene,
the words, the food.

It can be messy, but life often is
Poems fail
Substitutions fail
But, with failure comes learning
and I want you to learn.

With poetry, once you stop
adhering to form
you free
beauty, pain, love, joy, sadness
anger and sorrow.

Know there are only two real rules:

One is always know your mother loves you,
as you
are and grow to be
and always.

Note the word always.

I use it only with love for my children.
I once used always and forever lightly. Now,
just for my children.
Always, forever.
I love you.



  1. I love you too. Always and forever. And next time, I’ll get a better recipe. Or make cake. I’m quite good at cake, I like to think.


    And your recipe was probably fine – you just needed to break the rules, as your mother said.

    Flexibility. Trust your instincts.


    A poetry war. Fun.

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