What is a Poem?

It is a mystic who hides behind words.
The right question is far better,
than the right answer.
Apples are compared to rocks
as their differences clarify the soul.
Writing a poem is turning a feeling,
into the mystery of creation.

Poetry is an act of translation.
Use tree words to describe a flowing river.
Explain an orange sunset to the night.
Tell the desert of the sea.

Such is poetry.

My mother would have used the word, ‘discombobulated.’

That’s what writing feels like today, discombobulated – confused. I wrote the above poem and it makes some sense to me. Part of my problem today is that my main computer is dead, and I am writing on my work laptop in the living room while waiting for the oven to heat up so I can put the pizza in.

On my other computer, I had notes on an amusing post I was putting together about our recent purchase of FitBits to track our exercise and fitness levels. I think I mentioned a few months ago that I wasn’t feeling well. After exhaustive medical testing, the doctor discovered not much so I took upon myself to start exercising more. Heather had mentioned that she wanted a FitBit for Christmas so she could track how many steps she does in a day. I figured you could get two as easily as one so I clicked on some web pages, entered my credit card number a few times and presto – two FitBits arrived at our doorstep three days later.

Personally, I have started to refer to mine as the, “band of obedience” as its little alarm goes off every hour reminding me to walk. I’ve been learning to ignore this function (there is a way to turn it off, but that would require effort – I don’t do effort).

On the plus side, I’ll admit that the accountability part of this has been working and I’ve really stepped up my exercise level. That’s funnier if you read the little hourly messages of encouragement the little device displays.

One thing I do wonder about is the accuracy of the FitBit. A few weeks ago Heather and I went on a hike. Note that we walked together the whole time. Her FitBit recorded what we went 3.5 miles while mine said we went 3.2.

Then there was last Friday. We went up to San Francisco for the day and walked from the train station up to Union Square and back to the station. Now, we compared and Heather walked 6.6 miles while I walked 6.1. According to the FitBit, at about 12:51, I took a twenty six-minute bike ride. Now I haven’t been on a bike since last June when the grandkids tried to kill me on one near Lake Tahoe.

This morning Heather and I went on our New Years day hike and I thought I’d be clever and turn on the GPS exercise tracking function on the cellphone FitBit app. See, I figured that with GPS, I’d get a more accurate reading on how far I went and whether or not I was riding a bike. When we got back to the car, Heather suggested we take a picture of us at the trail sign.

That was when I found the cell phone battery dead. After recharging I found that it had only recorded about half the hike. Guess I need to haul a big battery pack around to collect all the digital proof that I did a three-mile hike.

I take the computer in Tuesday to get it fixed. Maybe by next week I’ll be able to access my notes and write something.

Till next week,

About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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10 Responses to Discombobulated

  1. megdavisarts says:

    About Poetry :
    I joined the Goodreads poetry group just to see what people were writing. The poems are so long, they go on and on in a very open structure and rarely resolve the main theme. I find they are like a moody drunk trying to walk down a hill full of telephone poles.

    I’ve always believed that the best poetry is what can be said with the least amount of words. Think about your favorite Beatles lyrics, is there any word that could be replaced with a better one ? No. Every word is just right, as are the writings of older poets like John Donne, Rudyard Kipling or Langston Hughes, e. e. cummings.

    Here is a poem I wrote for the MS poem group on the question of how we are affected by chronic illness :

    I will not wallow
    in nostalgia
    for a life once lived.
    I am what I do
    with this breath,
    with this heart,
    in this moment,
    in this now.



    • When I write a poem, I first focus on an image or emotion and just free write until all the words come out. Then I go back and cut, cut and cut trying to sharpen the image and removing anything that moves the poem away from the image or feeling I am creating. It’s great that people are writing poetry, but it would be nicer if they also did a bit more editing.

      and I like your poem. Keep writing.


      • megdavisarts says:

        My poems and songs always come out almost fully formed. A word may be improved here or there but, like you, the emotion comes first.
        It’s true what they say.. Very little good music gets written by a musician who is happy. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s a good day when I have a poem or prose hit my screen fully formed. Normally I have either a great opening line or a great closing line and then edit. I am more of a woodworking writer – I take a block of words and remove bits until I get down to the shape I want.


  2. Good post. My daughter bought me a Fitbit. You’re supposed to do 10,000 steps a day. I was lucky to hit 1,000. I stopped wearing it. It was depressing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found how to adjust the daily goals. There is no real science behind 10,000 steps – at least I can’t find a decent study that supports that number, so I just found out how many steps I do in a day and added a 1,000. I rarely get to the 10k.


  3. PiedType says:

    You’re trying to guilt me into exercising, aren’t you? 🙂 But Happy New Year anyway.


  4. davidprosser says:

    Health, Wealth and Happiness for the New Year Andrew.


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