Reflections in a fun house mirror

This poem is written in the form of an epistle. It is an ancient poetic form that dates back to the Romans and the Bible. An epistle poem is written as a letter. There is no rhyme or meter to this form. Its name is from the Latin word epistola, which means letter. Generally the content of an epistle is to express love, philosophy, religion and morality.
Last night I lay awake
watching the diode glow
of the alarm clock.
Time would not stop.
All I could do was view
its slow progression
toward dawn.

There is a rancid flavor
to the coagulated and
molded lime jelly in the frig.
It has been that way since
you began your rant
about red meat, cheese, butter
and everything not vegetarian.

Yesterday as I traveled
homeward I had salacious
thoughts. The day was a
bustle of meetings but
the images in my mind
spoon fed the yearning to see you,
be with you, hold you.

Just below my consciousness
is sweet elocution like a worn-out
8-Track, the tape spliced, changed
by the coarse rubbing spindles
of our lives. Our song the froth
of pounding ocean surf.
Salty tears have slowed the tune.

Now you want to fling away
the entirety of years staggering
through life with a crippled hitch
in our step. A parting cleaved
with denial reflected in a fun house
mirror. The joke is on us. I ask you:
Where is the fun in that?

Copyright: 2009, Donald Harbour

17 thoughts on “Reflections in a fun house mirror

  1. Very nice work again Donald.’Staggering through life with a crippled hitch in our step’What a great line!I’ll remember that.Very sad and tender.You set a high standard for the rest of us.


  2. I like how the first stanza sets up the tone that something is not quite right, even though the salacious longing is still there.
    Very nice.


  3. Great work, I get more out of it every time I read it. Sign me up for the coarse rubbing spindles fan club too 🙂


  4. what a great form–is it typically done in stanzas? I love that!

    interesting the way each section could stand on its own but really build on each other when read together. I do love the image of the rancid jelly and all that implies. I really enjoyed this one.

    (but I will not sing for you, Donald…although I do appreciate you singing to me!) 😉


  5. Great use of creatively applied form and words to create surprise! I was chuckling and sighing in sympathy with the narrator all the way through. Thanks for that.


  6. I like the pacing of this, plus your use of the words. It is sad, indeed, when a partnership ends — no answer can ever assuage the hurt. Good descriptive language, too. Enjoyed the read.



  7. I am intrigued by the fascinating implications of the title and the form. If the poem’s sections are reflections in a fun house mirror, is the speaker of the poem writing epistles to himself, to his own image in the mirror? I also like the fact that the epistles are so short — almost like email epistles! Very interesting poem, with much to ponder.


  8. Mr Donald Harbour…you have done it again with another wonderful poem. You are IMO a super good writer. I really dont like favorites…except for my hockey team and my baseball team…..but….you sneakin up up there….and you mite be at the top already….on the other hand I aint got no favorties….were all good


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