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“What if I said you’re all of these” – Michael Sharkey

Two Sonnets

Ten Talk: or, Ten to the Dozen

What if I said you’re all of these

“Yeah whatever can I run round the block?”

A singular wonder, a soft breeze,

You leave us all timeless, even the clock.

So embarrassing to hear that stuff.

You change the subject with questions

“What’s new?” and “How do you spell ‘enough’?”

Homework, piano, plus other suggestions.

All’s not as it seems, while we’re on it,

As you rebuff praise and cut to the chase.

A week later you ask how’s the sonnet

While you put a bookmark in place.

“You know,” you say, “it starts (if you please)

‘What if I said you’re all of these?’”

Questionnaire: Please Limit Answers to One Hundred Words

What if I said you’re all of these?

When did it start? When will it end?

What is asked for on our knees?

Where’s the safest address to send?

Why are there things that words can’t say?

How long does it take to miss you?

Why is the whole of time today?

And how come the old looks new?

Shall I compare thee to Shakespeare?

Art thou not so bloody intense?

Rather, just yourself? Awake, clear

To live with whatever makes sense?

And asleep, what is sleep? A key?

Isn’t it time for a cup of tea?

At last week’s Writers’ Retreat at Santa Casa in Queenscliff, Mark Tredinnick invited participants to write something using the line from a sonnet by Michael Sharkey, “What if I said you’re all of these.” These two sonnets are my response to this exercise.


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