Monday, 5 September 2016

But that's not a poem

You are what you are, I am what I am,
I am what you are, you are what I am
east meets west somewhere, but that’s not a poem
north cuts south just here, the intersection’s home.

Parallel lines converge if I look hard enough
the vanishing point’s real, the rest’s just a bluff
and you are what you are, I am what I am
and we meet someplace, though no-one gives a damn.

The mountain’s just a pile of atom crumbs
the city’s gone ballistic, traffic’s a bit glum
and we’re what we are, we are what we were
when freedom was love, when freedom was war.

All the roads are dust, and all flesh is grass
the world is a clan and everything must pass
and I am what you were, you are what I’ll be
and it takes a sec for you to morph to me.

I am what I am, you are what you are
north meets south someplace, in café and bazaar
and east too meets west always and everywhere
but that’s not a poem as far as I’m aware.

You are what you are, I am what I am
the diff’rence’s slim, hardly a nanogram
and I am he and she, you are we and us
but that’s not a poem, that’s not a verse.


  1. Oh yes it is.
    If poetry is the language of the heart (a definition I really like) then your words are indeed poetry. And dancing. And music.

    1. :) I am a terrible dancer, two left feet. Thanks for being here.

  2. Hi Nila - now I keep reading about people's interpretation of poetry ... strange how one thing leads to another - from Denise's blog ... and your poem winning the Gardening Contest ...

    It's letting the words flow in ... we are the same, yet we are different ... we absorb those words differently ... but they will mean something to each of us ...

    Poetry it is ... and always will be - we interpret things differently, but are the same ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary! I am slightly obsessed with the similarities I come across in other ancient Indian text has a line which translated means 'the world is one family.'

  3. I offer you this advise: My best teachers were positive...
    You are right and this is poetry

    1. That's very valuable advice, Martin. Thank you.

  4. You know what a poem is better than anyone I've ever met, and no one should dare to tell you that you don't.

    1. Most days almost everything in the world feels like a poem to me :) And a few in a year when nothing does. Thanks for stopping by, Susan.

  5. Hi Nila. I definitely believe...'the world is one family.' Wise thought. No matter where I travel, people are really the same inside. We all feel, we all have needs, we just all need to love.
    The rhythm of your words drew me along a happy road as i read your poem. You always inspire me. I think if i were a poet, my poems would be pretty glum.
    I love your little refrain: 'I am what I am...' etc.

    Denise :-)

    1. Hi Denise, and I agree totally, I too find there are greater commonalities across the cultures I live in and travel to than differences.
      The glum part is that a couple of bad apples exploit those minor differences to sow discord for their own short term benefits...
      On a happy note though, glum sells better, at least as far as fiction/poetry is Frank McCourt said in his book somewhere :-)

  6. Well, you may not call it a poem, but I liked it anyway!


Comment moderation is on. Anonymous comments will be deleted forthwith. Nonymous comments always welcome :) Thank you for your patience!