It's not a poem unless it's seen

Todd Swift


It's not a poem unless it's seen

Todd Swift


It's not a poem unless it's seen

It’s not a poem unless it’s seen

It’s not a machine unless home-grown.
It’s not a phone unless it types by horse.
It’s not a hearse unless you get out born.
It’s not a greenhorn unless it blows.

It’s not a rose if it smells like glass.
It’s not a pass if you fail to kiss.
It’s not a miss if you knock it out.
It’s not a parka if it’s sprayed on.

It’s not a tan if you wash it off.
It’s not a cough if you want it to be.
It’s not a bee if it floats like a bag.
It’s not a nag if there’s no dream.

It’s not a scream if you smile.
It’s not a mile if seven leagues.
It’s not cigs if you’re running rings.
It’s not a song if you speak.

It’s not weak if it is song.
It’s not wrong if you write it down.
It’s not a clown if it won’t mime.
It’s not rhyme if you can’t recall.

It’s not small if it fits in your head.
It’s not dead if it stands up to pee.
It’s not me if you dream it instead.
It’s not lead if gold in them hills.

It’s not pills if you don’t feel better.
It’s not a sweater if a garter snake.
It’s not cake if no ice cream.
It’s not a beam if no deep mote.

It’s not a quote without fingers.
It’s not singers if they faked.
It’s not a lake if no lady.
It’s not shady if you start to blister.

It’s not sister if no kid.
It’s not id if you forget the ego.
It’s not meagre if lots of plenty.
It’s not mentis without compos.

It’s not piss without the taking.
It’s not making unless there’s breaking.
It’s not talking unless you listen.
It’s not glisten unless light.

It’s not sight unless a Milton.


from England Is Mine (DC Books, 2011), © Todd Swift 2011, used by permission of the author

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