He Who Hurries

I just looked up my Chinese fortune cookie prediction for the day:

He who hurries can not walk with dignity.

Apt for Sunday. Also apt for the NaPo poem-a-day challenge. If it becomes a thing on your To-Do list, you're sunk. So of course, I wrote a poem about my To-Do list, thus exorcising that particular writer's demon. As I don't plan to publish it, I'll post it here:

Books on my shelves sprout bookmarks like wagged fingers.
On every desk surface, cross-stacked folders stick out their third-cut tongues.
My passing mind fills with the unfinished

thoughts, lists
of Monday plans -- to pick, to pack, to write and resolve --
such as to quit being obsessed with lists.

Plant shadows revolve on the wall all day
while I make notes in the margins,
such as this sententious half-sentence:

Make what never has been

Like a fortune cookie penned by the pen-tied,
it sits there without a stop until tomorrow,
when it is no longer understandable.

A lilac shawl hung on the chair's back.
The dog's leash hooked on the doorknob.
Evidence of the too-finished and uninteresting thoughts

that can provide me no escape hatch from the dull,
unlike the novel I've been sixty pages into
writing for three years, promise

unfurling as predictably every spring
as soft leaves from the pear tree's nubbed twigs --
Come to think of it, add that metaphor to the list
of poems to write about things I haven't yet thought.

By the way, if you need an online To-Do list manager, check out Remember The Milk.