Poem with an explanation: the lights are dim this year

From fear,
of height and task,
the lights are dim this year,
and there within the empty walls,
sand flows.


This poem is about Christmas lights.  The first two lines give a reason for something, the third line says what the something is, and the last two lines describe the consequence.

In the poem, a person does not put Christmas lights on their home.  This is stated in the third line as “the lights are dim this year”.  The reason the person does not put up the lights is that they are afraid of something (From fear).  The person is afraid of climbing up on their roof (of height) and of the work that putting up lights will involve (and task).

Because the person does not put up Christmas lights, there is a consequence.  On the inside, the person wants to put up the lights (or, rather, wants the lights to be up).  The person though does not do what they want, because of the fear they have.  This causes a sense of discomfort in the person.  This discomfort comes from the fact that there is only a short time each year that the person can have Christmas lights on their house, and if they don’t put them up, they will miss their opportunity.  These ideas are described in the last two lines.

In the fourth line of the poem, and there within the empty walls, there is a literal and figurative meaning.  On the literal side, because the person has been affected by not putting up lights outside of their home, it has caused them stress, which has led to them not decorating the inside of their house as much as they would have.  That is why the walls of their house are described as empty.  In a figurative sense, the person is empty inside because they have not done something they wanted to do.  This emptiness is manifested in the fifth line.

In the fifth line, sand flows, the somewhat cliché idea of sand flowing to signify time flowing is used.  The cliché is used because the person has only taken one step in the feeling.  They have not gone to a deeper place.  All they feel, is the time flowing by and their opportunity to put lights up going away.  The person hasn’t thought more about it.

In addition to this being a poem about Christmas lights, it also has a broader meaning.  It is more generally, a poem about missed opportunity.  The poem describes a situation where an opportunity was willfully being missed, and yet there was still time to take the opportunity.  It describes the feeling of waiting while the time disappears.  It focuses on the consciousness of missing an opportunity.

This poem is a cinquain.  It has five lines, is written in iambic meter and follows the syllable and stress pattern of one type of the form.  Because the form was short, it gave a sense of trying to think of more poignant ideas and phrases to get the message across.


Do you like poems with explanations?  Do you like to support writers whose work you enjoy?

M. Sakran has a self-published book of poems with explanations. It is called Understanding: poems with explanations and is available for purchase as an eBook for an available price of $0.99. If you like poems with explanations and like to support writers whose work you enjoy, then consider purchasing a copy today.

Poem: Un-done things

Un-done things

The un-ironed clothes,
are pressed inside a small drawer,
that hardly can close.

The plants on the porch,
  the ones in the colored pots,
need to be watered,
or they are going to dry out,
and they will not live there long.

The dog,
is shedding hair.
  It needs to be comb through,
  or he will itch and be so hot,
  all month.


There are so many things that are un-done,
the three above are just a few –

another is the fan in the bedroom doesn’t run,

there are so many things that are un-done.

The pantry that had fifteen boxes now has none,
  and the chair in the kitchen needs some glue,

there are so many things that are un-done,
the three above are just a few.

Poem with an explanation: Fading

with time
the color fades
as the bright hues float off
within the hands of sun and rain
like mist

This poem was inspired by the fading wood of a fence.  The color of the wood in some way lessens, but at the same time, any individual moment of that lessening is not perceptible nor is where the color is taken.  It is as if the color slowly disappears.  The poem is meant to express that idea.

A Poem: 6 Poems = 1 Poem: Breakfast

frying two large eggs,
in a small pan with butter,
while bacon crisps


the smell moves around,
of butter and smoked bacon,
filling all the house,
with a new scent of hunger,
which flows in wisps through all rooms


in back
the kettle heats,
on the warm metal stove,
it’s for the tea that’s in the pot,
that waits


the oven warms within its walls,
the bread that slowly heats,
it has a scent that fills the halls,
as each room the scent meets


the table is set with plates of white,
that are so clean and seem so bright,
and in a vase are yellow blooms,
that brighten all and dispel glooms,
and seem to fill the room with light

the plates have knives set to the right,
and on the left are forks in sight,
that napkins look like cloth made on looms,
the table is set

the table is set at the best height,
so all the chairs do not fit tight,
and in the house of all the rooms,
this one was most cleaned well with brooms,
so that the room would have no plight,
the table is set


the food is served upon the plates of white,
and has a scent that of itself tastes good,
it seems to be a very pleasant sight,
as it all seems just as it seems it should

the food is there with wisps that seem to rise,
up from the bacon, eggs, and bread and tea,
the breakfast there it seems as such a prize,
the best that there upon the plates could be

and the warm breakfast that is there that day,
it was prepared that morning after dawn,
with such great care and in a certain way,
before the cool of the new day was gone,

the breakfast was made early with such care,
and all the food it was a perfect fare.