They say that to be a poet, or even to read poetry, one must be slightly insane.
Which is not to say that the poet, or the reader of poetry, is to blame
For his or her own circumstance, predicament, or condition
Because it is really a matter of fruition.

Many a man or woman have I fervently but distantly esteemed
For the cut of his or her jib or the mire of his/her mud or the bite of her/his spleen
But whose poetic facility ranks right up there with The Best of Dick and Jane
Or Who’s Who in the World of Business, or a matchless tract on how to explain

The inner workings of ovaries or some other obscure but highly important organ,
And to listen to their patter for longer than 0.5 minutes I consider to be very borgan.
But, ah! The others, those rare bards peeking shyly out from behind their little tin shields
Who are equally at home yelling, “Grab a hunk of curb, asshole!” or yodeling odes about Elysian Fields.

There is no doubt that you are one of those not-so-closet poets that color the midst of us mortals,
And you are blest or cursed with a rare perception of what is right and good perhaps more than you ortal.
The fact that you choose to spill it all over everybody’s personal landscape, and make a few pea pickers of our acquaintance a tad disconcerted,
Doesn’t make your lyrical notions wrong or unwelcome in the minds of those of us with whom you have poetically flirted.

For it is plain as the nose above that cookie duster you call a mustache,
That poets, like everyone else, like to make a splache.
Fruition, you see. The favored friends you have carefully chosen to share the wit and wisdom of your sonnet
Are no less burdened to the task than is your ode-spreading head with the powerful urge to create laid onnet.

In other words, Screw it!
You’re constitutionally compelled to do it.
And those of us, who that one little fact doth realize and comprehend,
Consume your canticles with gusto, even if them we don’t always fully understand.

Disparaging trolls may piffle at what they consider the mawkish cutes you and I artlessly dispense,
But we sagacious souls turn our gaze to the stars and away from fools sitting on a mud fence.
If simple minded gherkins call us banal,
The are welcome to osculate the bitter end of my alimentary canal.

I like your stuff as much as you like mine, and if there is one thing I will always treasure
It is watching a man who unquestionably and wholeheartedly thrives on the pleasure
Of expressing his entire ethic in verse so that planet earth may as a place be a little bit better.
Even if he thinks it is ok to say farewell by means of a form letter.

(This poem was written in 1998 and presented to John the day after I received his form letter announcing his retirement)

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