gotta start somewhere

this is hard

Started as a 30 line poem about how writing poetry is difficult, but my favorite thing about poetry is in how much it can communicate in such a small, efficient set of words. Not only that, but what it communicates is so much more than just meaning: it's a mood or a vibe, like the discontent and frustration that I (try) to express here. If I wanted to talk about how writing poetry is difficult, I would just write prose, like I'm doing now. But with this initial poem, my goal is twofold: say more with less, and bypass any quality filter that I have that prevents me from expressing my poems to other people. Perhaps due to my utilitarian nature, it seemed like the best way to do it was to take the fewest thoughts that I could to express those goals in a way that would accomplish them, and refine them to the best of my ability, and just be done with it when I gave up. And, again, due to my nature, any perceived shortcomings of the poem itself (that is, any way that it could fail at these stated goals) could simply be patched up by writing some prose about the poem itself, as I have done here.

oat of sight, oat of mind

What could the humble oat teach us if we were not alienated from them?

Would they suggest growing and thriving to secure my future, as their ancestors did?
Would they take root without hesitation, as if it was the only option?
Would they bend with the wind, as the combine harvester reaps with unstoppable efficiency?

Tragically, I can't find the answers in my oat milk.

Seems a bit of a shame that all the wholesome stuff that happens to the things I eat (growing up surrounded by community, feeling the breeze and the sun and the dirt), all happens outside my perception, and only the un-wholesome stuff (using an unnaturally high-speed metal blade to macerate ice with an oat slurry and matcha powder and sugar to make my favorite matcha beverage) is all that's left for me. Is this on purpose? Why? How would I find out if it was? How would I fix it if it was? Could I be a more complete person if things were different? Thinking about the plants that I can't see leaves me with more questions than I know what to do with, and while answers are overrated, having more questions doesn't exactly feel great. But that also brings along the more hopeful question that opens the poem: what could I learn if this were not the case? I feel like I have so many problems in my life that I'm powerless to solve. If they could think and feel as I do, would the oats that compose my oat milk feel the same way? Or would they be harvested and make their way into the carton anyway?