The Question of Poetry

Question Poetry
Question Poetry

It first appeared as a white patch

on the ivy covered wall

near an open window

of the arts building


It caught my eye immediately

Like paint spilled

on a canvas

of green


Not high up and easily seen

Standard clean paper

With words

resting on their sides


Three corners fixed in the vines

The fourth flapping

in the gentle breeze

of the spring morning


Curious now I tilt my head

to match the plane of text

and see the tell tail stanzas

of a poem


Suddenly it flutters

Loosened from its moorings

It sails down

for me to pick up


I notice first the A+

Written in red

Near the top left margin

Above the title


Seated on a nearby bench

I begin to read

Words I know well

but cannot understand


Breathing for themselves alone

This cacophony of words

Screaming out “How Clever”

the writer


Imagery and symbol hidden

Beyond the finding

In a tangle of the obscure

Bereft of what deepens, illuminates


I finish the reading

Maybe I know more now

of what academia puts out

Of what gets the A+


I enter the door behind the ivy

to return the paper and text

and head home

to read Bukowski



Peter Schessler is a semi-retired psychotherapist. He was a past winner of the VSA New Jersey Wordsmith Competition in the essay category and has poems and creative non-fiction work published in Trajectory and Colere. Schessler was a weekly columnist for the Independent Press of Bloomfield, New Jersey and has appeared as a guest columnist in the Atlantic City Press. He lives with his wife, Joan, a pastel painter, in Clifton, New Jersey.