Warm-Up Exercises #1

I will often jot down ideas or a few lines which seem worthwhile but don’t rise to the level of a full-blown, honest-to-goodness poem; i.e., a piece I would choose to work on for weeks or months. I call these Warm-Up Exercises because these moments occur most often at the beginning of a writing session, when I’m just getting warmed up. They are often fun but occasionally serious. Enjoy!

Today is December 7th.
Mine is the last generation of Americans
who will know what that means.
June 6th, too.


Losing weight – once beyond our youth –
is like stopping a lake freighter:
it takes forever to stop moving forward,
let alone reversing the propellers
to begin moving – ever so slowly –
back up the channel towards open water.


In twenty years I’ll be dead,
leaving to younger poets
the sacred obligation
of shaking their heads
at the futility of it all.


I once cared too much
about the opinion of a man
now dead and missed by few


“There is a special place in Hell
for those who walk their dog
at the local elementary school
and leave the mess behind,”
said the noon-hour supervisor. *

* I was a noon-hour supervisor at a nearby elementary school this year.

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Joseph Neely, all rights reserved