Leave Some Space Between Your Words

What I have learned as a poet and a gardener

Deborah Barchi
The POM

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Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

Nothing can grow in compacted soil.
Seeds cannot germinate.
Roots cannot spread.

The same is true for words on the page.
Strive for a loose, more granular soil.
Leave some trickle space between your words.

Our words are both the soil and the seed.
We water both with our free-flowing tears,
whether of joy or discovery or sorrow.

Every poem needs space to wander
over ground uncluttered with too many weeds.
Choose instead sturdy plants and seeds

that need no anxious pampering.
Only a little space to stretch and breathe.
Only the rain to quench their roots.

Leave some space between your words.
A place for seeds. A path for rain.
Watch your garden grow.

I don’t mean to sound presumptuous by offering advice to other poets. But I wanted to share in this brief poem some of the lessons I have learned that have guided me throughout the 20 years or so that I have…

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Deborah Barchi
The POM

Deborah Barchi has recently retired from her career as a librarian and now has time to read, explore nature, and write poetry and essays.