Twas the Night before... Deadline

  • (Or, Joy to the Word)
    “Twas the night before deadline, not one word was writtenDavid Hoffman
    I tried on ideas, but nothing was fittin’
    My laptop’s small keyboard stood ready to peck
    Yet, not one clever idea was waiting on deck 
    My dependable muse was off hibernating
    The blank screen stood upright, patiently waiting
    With cats on my lap, butterflies in my gut
    I accepted the fact; I was in a deep rut 
    Due dates and bleak fates were inching much nearer
    Visions of failure were becoming much clearer
    With ink in the cartridge and paper in printer
    This writer was facing a dry and cold winter
    When deep in my brain, there arose such a knock
    It caused a small crack in my thick writer’s block
    I squeezed through the crack and emerged quite inspired
    My creative cables had all been hotwired
    With ideas cascadin’ like Niagara’s strong waters
    I was feeling the power of ten Harry Potters
    On bright screen I listed and outlined and webbed
    To my sheer amazement, my thoughts never ebbed
    I wrote what I knew, and I wrote from the heart
    And I painted my words like a fine work of art
    And I ate up the process as if off a plate
    While I called out the names of each strong writing trait
    Now Ideas! Now Format!
    Now Organization!
    On Commas!  On Periods!
    On Capitalization!
    On Sentence Fluency!
    On uniqueness of Voice
    And last, but not least
    Get moving Word Choice!
    And then ‘fore I knew it, I was headed for home
    It was time to revise, and then edit this poem
    I read it aloud—was it golden or rubbish?
    Was it wastebasket bound or now ready to publish?
    And as I sat typing the final narration
    I pondered the source of my late inspiration
    What saved me from having to pull an all nighter?
    What powerful potion had healed this lost writer? 
    Suddenly, as if hearing a cue
    A familiar figure appeared in plain view
    The cats woke up scared, their fur stood on end
    Then they purred and deferred to this Writer’s Best Friend
    He was lean, to the point—without baggage or weight
    His syntax and style were plain yet ornate
    He spoke from experience, with the greatest of ease
    His message was clear  (with no parentheses)
    His eyes—they were dotted, his tease was not cross
    Clean gaps between thoughts showed he used mental floss
    His colorful phrases were ripe as a peach
    His love of the idiom made him a figure of speech
    His strong suits were adjectives, adverbs and puns
    With quick and sharp wit, he gently poked fun
    This Writer’s Best Friend was both childish and old
    His tales were quite simply the best ever told
    He carried a dictionary; a Roget’s thesaurus
    To find lively words for his heavenly chorus
    To thank him for helping me make diamonds from coal
    I offered him up a sweet synonym roll
    He gulped down the bun, chortled, “Ho, Ho, I’ll see ya.”
    Talk about your onomatopoeia
    And he said one more thing, ‘fore he vanished from sight
    “Happy Holidays to all, and to all a good WRITE!” 

    D. Hoffman


    Here’s wishing you and your family a holiday season filled with laughter, love and learning.