The Swamp

Two weeks ago, I wrote about my messy workspace. I promised to separate the wheat from the chaff, to dig for gold amidst the clutter. In the process of progress, I took time out to create a “found poem” that I want to share. First I took my original blog and cut it in half, then in half again. The idea was to save significant words and phrases, rearranging them until I had the essence of what I was trying to say. In other words, I “found” a poem in the midst of all those words. Here it is:

The Swamp

Clutter beyond panic,

desk piled high:

a calendar, manuscripts,

colored folders, paper clips,

last week’s mail.

I work in a swamp

where paper prospers

like tropical plants.

I wonder — could I enter some day

and never be seen again?

Besides writing a poem, I did get around to attacking the mess. First I picked up all the papers in my office and put them on my bed. This became, and still is, the general sorting area. Chaff went in the trash. Wheat went in colored, labeled folders. Label is the key word. When you find a category for something, other somethings soon follow. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was dropping papers into file folders and getting them off my desk, off the floor, and out of my hair.

I’m not digging for gold yet, though a few nuggets have rolled my way. I found some half-written stories, a few passable poems, and a query that I thought I had mailed. This week I’m trying to find a place in my office to put all the colored file folders. Oh no! What’s that in the corner? It’s a laundry basket, full of loose papers waiting to be sorted!

Sigh. I wonder if I can start sleeping in my bed by Christmas!

Contributed by Marilyn Donahue


2 responses to “The Swamp

  1. Marilyn, so happy to read this post. Now, I know I am not the only one with such an office. Unlike you, I haven’t gotten motivated to do anything about it. Maybe before the summer is over. Maybe not!

  2. Shirley Shibley

    Yay, Marilyn! Two how-to’s–chopping and making a poem out of an aritcle, and improving the swamp. With Gloria, I have good intentions–maybe by the end of summer?


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