Guest Poem: Sentences Make Sense

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Poetry: Celebrating National Poetry Month.

Sentences Make Sense

Sentence–one unit of thought after another
lining up across the page in the book I’m reading at 3:00 a.m.
The doctor sees a black dot,
macular degeneration,
beginning in the middle of my left retina,
a black hole growing larger until the meaning of the sentence is sucked into its vortex,
gone as if it never existed.
Then… what will sustain me
in the darkest hours when my mind swims to the surface gasping for air
and I lie awake listening to a cacophony of thoughts,
free of syntax,
banging into each other, denting their fenders like cars on the Interstate in an ice storm.
Their crashing is quelled, chaos reordered
when I pick up my book and read the sensible sentences
lining up, orderly, across the page.
Thoughts in my head, on the other hand, misbehave.
The dangling modifiers can’t begin to find their nouns.
The run-ons careen hopelessly into one another tangling like unspooled thread,
nothing I can do with them now.
Pronouns search for their antecedents but end up lost,
unable to remember what they were referring to.
Copulative verbs try to link with all the wrong nouns,
and subordinate clauses battle with their independent clauses for ascendancy.
Without the comfort of the book with sentences that make sense,
how do I find my way through the jungle of unparsed thoughts?
Tonight, I can sleep and read, sleep and read,
hoping the black hole grows so, so slowly.


For links to poetry prompts, or if you missed out on what I’m doing for National Poetry Month, check out the first post here.

You can also find all the poems that have been posted so far here.

To end each post, there will be this call to share your own work. Whether it’s something that you write as soon as you finish reading this post, or it’s a poem you’ve posted or had published, place the whole poem in the comments or put a link to it. A brief description before the link will help me process comments faster, so I know they’re not spam.

Also, feel free to share links to poems or spoken word performances by other poets. I hope this month will bring a wide variety of poetry to everyone’s attention. Also, there will be posts on my author Facebook page, a link to which can be found on the right-hand side, that will include spoken word performances and links to work of other poets, which will not appear here.

1 Comment


  1. // Reply

    Yep. I can relate. A very delightful read and Mandie, I have to thank you for featuring all of these unique writers this month.

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