We write mysteries—mysteries filled with romance, terror, intrigue and fantasy. But April is National Poetry Month and I wonder how many of us will take a break and write lyric poetry, narrative poetry, blank verse—Will Shakespeare did it. Perhaps free verse, an elegy on a sad occasion or an epigram? Is there someone amongst us who has written a ballad—a repeated refrain that tells a tale? How about an ode, a sonnet to someone you love? Perhaps you’ve tinkered with a limerick that would make friends laugh or a simple rime?
I wrote my first rime while doing a “bread and butter,” job at a conference where speakers were trying to get investors for health insurance plans. On the last day of the conference, one speaker had no attendees and the staff—including me—were handed pads and pens and told to sit in the room and pay rapt attention.
The speaker was nervous and could have used a few lessons in how to prepare his presentation and in spite of an overly air-conditioned room, I could feel my eyes closing. Something had to be done. I picked up the pen and began to write. No on would be the wiser—if anyone noticed, they would think I was taking notes. This tribute to mysteries is what emerged.
My sheets are damp, in disarray
A devil incarnate joined the fray
Should he poison, slash or shoot?
That single print must match his boot
The P.I. who will solve this case;
How many puzzles does the lady face?
Has she a partner? A dog? A cat?
Is the cat the one to smell a rat?
The cop is loaded with testosterone
Of course—it accounts for his deep baritone
Will their dialogue move the plot?
Does Chapter Two stall? Or not?
Need a couple of clues for the reader to glean
Perhaps a red herring in-between?
I’ve wrestled my pillow to the floor
While adding a touch of blood and gore
At last! It’s here! The morning light
It’s time to rise, time to write.