• andrew jeter

The Pattern Reveals Itself

(from the NaPoWriMo prompt: today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow!)<In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a free verse kind of guy. These form poem prompts give me some serious heebie-jeebies! So, please don't expect anything but free verse from me regardless of the prompt moving forward. (If I was a young man, I would say this is copping out, but I'm not and I know myself pretty well. Trust me, it will be better if I don't try to jam myself into a form.) So, here I'm really shooting for the second challenge and have chosen as my muse a film that has given me a lot over the 15-some-odd years I've been teaching it. In all that time, "12 Monkeys" has gotten better for me, always revealing something new and beautiful with each new class. The lines I have lifted (and am using quotes to identify because I am an English teacher) are from the poetry reading toward the beginning of the film where Gilliam is laying the groundwork. I'd also like to thank Bill Blake for helping out as well.>


I wake every morning at

seventeen. Then inventory

starts. I feel my fat middle and

the aged ache in my left foot


and the pattern of years

reveals itself

a sheet of memories

waterfall over


my mind’s reminiscence

from deep, dark sleep

“but if we but listen,

we hear the solitary voice of…”


you are alive and whole

and that is good

for today and even though

there is hurt there is


“that poet telling us…”

get up now, rise and

drive your heart and your bones

into the pattern of the day


“yesterday this day’s madness

did prepare” for the remanence

to be rekindled when I retire

to sleep into the past.

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