(The Shopping List Waltz)
It isn't that much of an effort
To put what you say into verse.
Just use a few weary old ideas.
Your poem's no better or worse
Than hundreds of other new poems
With meter and rhyme, but aren't deep.
And once you get into the rhythm,
You'll do it when you are asleep.
So scrap all those sleep-making poems
That say all the very same thing.
The work is to find a new image
And phrasing that lets your words sing.
Take out all the words that aren't needed
So all of your lines are quite lean.
Use words that express the emotion
You want to convey in that scene.
Avoid repetitious word usage
And make sure you use perfect rhyme.
Then write it just like you would say it,
And you'll get it right ev'ry time.
Your shopping list now is an art form:
Potatoes, canned soup, cantaloupe,
Tomatoes, green chili, leaf lettuce,
Dry dog food, shampoo, laundry soap.