There is, I know, some benefit in this,
this cycle of emerging, breeding, dying-
so brief a time for knowing any bliss,
or making friends, or new endeavors trying –

only to bring forth offspring which will know
a dark, damp, subterranean home for years,
preserving life that one day it might show
itself to curious humans, ring our ears

and give us pause to contemplate how odd
sometimes, the workings of our all-wise God.




“Enough!” and out she goes, sun hat pulled low,
short sleeves to dare whatever lingering chill
might try to thwart her springtime-conjuring will.
Yard tools in hand, she heads to where the snow
lay two feet deep two weeks ago. You know
this girl means business. Everything is still
some shade of brown. But nothing here can kill
her firm resolve that winter needs to go,
and go today. And that it should be so,
she tends her gardens, each one looking ill,
though living, cutting back and raking till
cruel winter’s blast is gone, so things can grow.
The song birds gather in the trees and sing,
while Susie makes the beds and wakens spring.



Want of Verse

A poet without a subject will not whine,
complain, or grumble. He will simply wait.
He will not panic, he will not resign

to fussing nervously, or try to bait
his muse by turning to some book of prompts.
His want of subject matter does not grate

on him or leave him in poetic dumps.
He waits, and waiting, contemplates his want
of subject matter, ‘till some notion jumps

out at him, or does not. He will confront
the vacuum of his verse with patience, yes,
and dignity. He may essay some stunt

of versifying, as if to obsess
thus on his doldrums might induce the winds
of inspiration once again to bless

his pen. But mostly, much to his chagrin,
he simply waits – and waits – and waits again.




T.M. Moore’s poetry has appeared in numerous journals, and he has published five volumes of verse through his ministry’s imprint, Waxed Tablet Publications. He is Principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, he and his wife, Susie, reside in Essex Junction, VT.

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14 Responses

  1. Amy Foreman

    Beautiful, metrically precise poetry, T.M. Moore! You effortlessly (it appears) have chosen exactly the right word for each line, and the right line for each stanza! Your scrupulous attention to economy of language–a pleasing distillation of thought in verse–inspires me, and should inspire other classical poets.

    Thank you for sharing these!

      • Peter Hartley

        All three of these little poems are thoughtful, thought-provoking, easy to understand and, as Amy writes above, inspiring. Very very good indeed, and truly poetic.

  2. Peter Hartley

    I don’t think I talked these poems up enough a few minutes ago. They remind me of the work of Elizabeth Jennings, only better. They are EXCELLENT!!!

      • Peter Hartley

        TMM – I hope to be even more so now, without wanting to sound cloying or fulsome. These three poems, the second in particular, are for me among the very best and most thought-provoking I have seen on this site. I have read them perhaps twenty times now and each time I find more reason to read them again. In your second poem we have the simple joy that so often resides in our observation of seemingly trivial incidents. The vision and descriptive powers totally transcend what might otherwise seem like a couple of dodgy end-rhymes – They simply don’t matter. I have so often tried to wrest poetry from the pathos in apparently trivial events (and I’ve found you can do worse than start with a Labrador retriever as the subject of those events!) with limited success, but these three really work for me, with some extremely felicitous phrases (“thwart her springtime-conjuring will”). Quite outstanding!

    • Amy Foreman

      Peter is right, T.M. These poems are some of the best I have had the pleasure to read. And repeat reads only solidify that opinion.

  3. C.B. Anderson

    I can scarcely add to the comments above already tendered, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. Your poems pay attention to the small stuff that rings large in the ear of the mind. The soft (slant, half, or whatever) rhymes never strike a false note, and this, I think, is of utmost importance.

    A note of correction, however: In “Want of Verse” stanza 3, line 3, “’till” is wrong in a couple of ways. “Till,” by itself, is a perfectly good word that simply means “until.” Some writers over-correct by writing “’til,” as a contraction of “until.” What you have done here is a hyper-over-correction.
    Now you know. Don’t do it again, lest you be spanked.

      • C.B. Anderson

        The funny thing is that you used “till” exactly as it should be used in “Enough!” at the end of line eleven.

  4. David Watt

    ‘Enough!’ seems to get better each time I read it! All three poems are succinctly expressive, and a pleasure to read more than once.


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