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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

"only the things I didn't do"

Yesterday, Mary posted a cool challenge in dVerse Poets Pub. We are to choose one line from the poem “Burning the Old Year” by Naomi Shihab Nye and to use the line in a poem of our own. I chose the line "only the things I didn't do" and composed the following untitled poem - a sort of bucket list.

Most all regrets I eschew
Moments performed poorly
When I was off or boorish
Or just plain wrong
I don’t hold on to

Those memories I swallow hard
Choke on down
To acidic dissolution

So (occasional reflux aside)
Only the things I didn’t do
Stay stubbornly stuck
In my craw
Like cud

I didn’t see
The southern hemisphere
Became husband nor father
Doctor nor professor

Never drove a big rig

Didn’t jog, let alone run
A marathon

Haven’t body-built or surfed
Flown a plane or skydived

I did not learn karate or how to box
Or to kick ass in any way at all
How to draw, paint
Read music or really play
An instrument

I hold no patents
Owned never a boat
Nor land


I didn’t help other people enough
Didn’t say enough, “I’m sorry”
“I love you”

You may say, it’s not too late!
You can still buy a boat
Pick up the guitar, find a wife,
Spend some time at the YMCA, then
Jog around Australia until you find a small, feeble man
And kick his ass

I’m not dying after all
Except in the slow, everyday way

Barely over the hill, really

But I smart at the sting of opportunity forgone
I hear the shudder of closing windows
The creak of closing doors upon which

Knocks will come no more


  1. My favorite line is "I’m not dying after all
    Except in the slow, everyday way"

  2. Not sure how old you are, but I do think there is always time to do interesting things in your life. Regrets are in the past. You can make a new future.

  3. I agree with Angie... those two lines really stood out.

  4. It's never too late! Besides, with this many things you've never done you'd be great at playing "I have never."

  5. I agree, never too late ~ There is still time to try the things you really like to do ~ Cheers ~

  6. You've spoken my mind - a brilliant balance of yearning and feistiness, humour and sadness in this poem. I like this a lot! (And not just because you picked the same line as me).

  7. SMiLes... i never
    lived until
    i went
    the hill
    all the way
    back uP..
    but i for
    one know
    and feel now
    magic is real..
    iN magic
    was the
    only fall of before..
    and i can now safely say
    that as even professionals
    at the time noted i was
    iN thE
    of all..
    and sure
    other folks
    name it HELL..
    but the false
    paRt is there
    is no
    uP.. ouT
    iN Heaven
    never imagined
    before.. as REAL noW..:)


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