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Category: metaphor

It’s True

spring or winter ?Creative Commons License Sera Photography via Compfight

After the recent election I’ve been grasping for straws and my fingers touched a metaphor, instead.

Here’s a 25-word poem.

It’s True

the moss on the tree
against the rotten snow,
under this gray sky
than a blue one, greener
after the snow
than before.

–Steve Peterson

Like a Tree

Heavy Work Maureen Barlin via Compfight

This prose poem is one I wrote several months ago based on an event I witnessed as a young man. I revised it recently and wanted to collect it on this site. I still like it.

Like a Tree

Once upon a time I was young and on the lookout for metaphors. They’d appear like boxelder bugs; I found them everywhere. About that same time, I hiked up the Rose Lake Cliff that overlooks Canada. On top, 400 feet above almost everything, the wind blew hard and fast all the way from Lake Winnipeg. It pummeled an old spruce tree that grew like Yoda from the rocks, battering it this way, yanking it that way. I imagined how many winters this tree had endured, exposed to the icy blast of Arctic snow, how it tapped a meager living from the cleaved rock. Its will to live was great. Its fortitude vast. It personified sisu, a Finnish word my aunt Nedra said means perseverance beyond reason. While I observed and pondered, the tree uprooted in the gale, and disappeared over the edge of the cliff. Several years later, I scrubbed greasy fry pans deep beneath a Minneapolis restaurant. Turns out, one of the guys I worked with was just like that tree. I think I understood him better having met him earlier as a metaphor.

Ukulele Life

in architecture, people are always movingCreative Commons License craig Cloutier via Compfight


Ukulele Life

Her practiced bow
placed on the string
sings clear and bright.
Yet, you? No long-song
rings into the night.

In your ukulele life,
each plucked note
hovers thin and short.
Your music endures
in the blur of a hand.

– Steve Peterson

I wrote this poem in the comments section over at Mary Lee Hahn’s Poetrepository. I got to thinking about how some lives sing like violins and some plunk like a ukulele; both have their beauty, yet each requires such different technique.


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