I Don’t Do Crosswords Any More

I used to love a crossword. Particularly a (simple) cryptic one. I found immense satisfaction in filling in each expectant little square within that pleasingly symmetrical grid.

In the last few months, since my poetry binge started, I have often thought how, in many ways, writing poetry is very much like doing a crossword. The satisfaction of fitting the words, the rhythm, the theme and the form together – it’s like perfectly populating a pesky little puzzle.

But poems… they are so much more than a flawless fit. They are three-dimensional, coloured, living, opinionated little creations. Yes. They are better than crosswords.

So I don’t crosswords any more. Well. Maybe the odd one.

I don’t do crosswords any more

I don’t do crosswords any more,
I used to, endlessly –
They’ve lost their lustre, lack allure –
Compared to poetry.

Goodbye, small squares – I’m now just bound
by rhythms, born of passion,
No “down” to fit “across” around –
Just searing rhymes to fashion.

There is no grid; the form I choose
will guide each new creation,
My words are no more shaped by clues –
Just wild imagination.

And even when a puzzle’s filled –
It’s lifeless; black and white,
With poems, I make magic, build
great vistas, paint them bright.

The similes, the metaphors,
The adjectives that zing,
A stunning sound, a pregnant pause —
The words wake up – and sing!

So now, my lines can laugh, or smile,
Or cry, or trill with pleasure –
A puzzle’s joy lasts just a while…
A poem’s lasts forever.


© Nina Parmenter 2018

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