Difficulties arrive in waves,
lending weight to the theory of threes,

the plunging fund, a failed engagement, the self’s
doubt, all combined to inflict the particular

misery of the ongoing, the continued, inelegant fate
that declares us human. Look,

she says, the hummingbird flits from leaf to
flower, its wings beating 58 times a second,

a fact not to be trifled with, for what may we duplicate,
contemplate, even, at that pace?

Say the hedge gets clipped, the ring whirs off the finger
and back to the jeweler, and all you know for certain

is that you don’t know. There is no why, no how. No
way. Or life’s reel unwinds and plays only in

reverse. Where do you stop and splice it, forming new,
uncharted worries? And what about that damned

bird, buzzing around your head in territorial fury? Yes,
yes, I know. These things are not my concern. Not really.

But they arrive in unending repetition, one after
the other, in clumps of three – lovely, lonely,

triple-threaded lines of vicissitude lapping at our ankles,
saying nothing, saying everything, saying it used to be so easy.

* * *

Originally published in Eclectica in July 2014, and first appeared on this blog in July 2015.


34 thoughts on “Threes

  1. I think many of us can identify with this.
    Concerning… “…saying it used to be so easy.”
    Dismissing the complexities of another time is possible with hindsight, but that “particular / misery of the ongoing, the continued, inelegant fate / that declares us human” demands our focus, outweighing past concerns.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I was hoping it would end with “-lovely, lonely.” It’s very beautiful the way the narrator acknowledges that these “things are not my concern” yet they arrive in repetition, in threes again, despite his resistance. So he accepts it without comment, except that it’s “lovely, lonely,” whereas the final stanza tries to define what it is.
        Also, the sound of the second-to-last stanza seems to capture something about the movement of waves, and it ties the metaphor up nicely. The final stanza, “triple-threaded lines of vicissitude” has a different sound than the rest of the poem. Maybe more intellectualized? I’m not entirely sure, but it does sound different.
        But I like it regardless. It’s wonderful.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, the final stanza is almost a summing-up of the poem, which I generally try to avoid. If I were to revise it I’d likely delete “triple-threaded lines of vicissitude,” which adds nothing to the imagery, and keep the rest (or at least consider keeping it). Thanks very much for your comment and response. Much appreciated!


  2. Pingback: Re-blogged because I believe it too – Shellscapades

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.