David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   

January 22, 2022

A rough week had me turning to poetry early and often.  In the end, with a little help by Petrarch, Shakespeare, and Frost (infused by Dante), I ended up with this rather fun trio of sonnets.  Unfortunately, I know there are people who want to read so much into every line. I guess I should be happy I live rent-free in some empty heads.  Odds are that anyone trying to read more into lines are not the impetus here.


From the outset, I was all about form,

Classical, ideal, as was taught to me,

Blinded to be seen as part of the norm,

The way my mentors all seemed to be.

That way I could always measure my term,

Structure leading me to think I was free

To seek out other pursuits to perform

In my endless desire to be happy.

My strategy satisfied for awhile

Until the restraints cut through my tough skin.

As I faced routine I now reviled,

My patience for my subjects had worn thin,

When I saw in the mirror my tired smile

I worried about the what-might-have-beens.


I came to enjoy the variations

That new responsibilities afford,

Forays into worlds of operations,

Applications, even healthy discord.

After all, it meant I could break away

From mountains of assigned papers to grade,

That never-ending parade of clichés,

And the trails of tears red-penned comments laid,

Fix foundations, instead of the landscape

That was all outsiders would ever view,

Underestimating all the red tape,

The tedium of planning what to do.

In time that what I saw in the mirror

Reflected all my shadowy terrors.

Old Age

When I awoke from nine days of slumber,

Everything looked and seemed the same,

Slimmer but not noticeably dumber.

Desperate to get back into the game,

The challenges were all to be embraced,

Whether now in ashes or fiery flames.

Was my ambition to return misplaced,

Flush in the delusions as a savior,

Mis-reader of the vaporous traces?

With my second chance via God’s favor,

I don my armor, return to the fray

Duty, devotion to never waver.

These days I look into that pane of glass,

Pull a nose hair, muttering, “what an ass.”