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Plea for an Imaginary Amphibian

A line from a poem or story can often inspire a poem. In this case, it was a line from the poet W.S. Merwin, which got me thinking on what is real and what is not. As is often the case, this led me to another line from the poem “Poetry” by Marianne Moore: “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” Wait a second. How can an imaginary garden have real toads? Wouldn’t the toad also be imaginary? But what Moore was trying to say, I think, is that good poetry uses imagination to create a world that can seem just as real to us as physical reality. And good fiction does the same. I know that Middle Earth is not real, but it will always be a place I carry within me. Anyway, here is my new poem for the New Year. May your coming year by filled with imagination and wonder.

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Plea for an Imaginary Amphibian

“but nothing is real/until it can be sold”
W.S. Merwin, “”Journey”

What is the price of the Milky Way?
Think of a number.
Any day now black holes
will be sold like donuts
and dark matter
the ultimate investment opportunity.

Just imagine an alternate universe
that could be yours.
Everything is on the table,
even the things we thought were
non-negotiable.

But can we not keep some creatures
from this marketplace?
Let us keep at least our
imaginary friends and toads.

First published in NewMyths https://sites.google.com/newmyths.com/newmyths56-2021/issue-5657-stories/plea-for-an-imaginary-amphibian

4 Comments

  1. Kate Robinson Kate Robinson

    Love how much of your poetry is rooted in a mundane reality but takes flight in imaginative and philosophical angles. Love the toad photo too!

    • Thanks, Kate! Always appreciate your feedback.Take care and Happy New year!

  2. susan goodstine susan goodstine

    With our “real world” such as it is today,escaping to an imaginary one is not such a bad idea!! Thanks,Gene!!

    • Thanks, Sue. Yes, I sometimes find myself talking again to my imaginary friend, who can’t imagine the “real world” today. Happy New Year!

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