I cannot seem to get the words
on the paper to make sounds;
in the past they would
                       ping like middle C or
                       sing full throated like a mezzo soprano
as I arranged them in their lines;
           under the urging of the muse
           the words comprised sounds
           not just curves and slants and swirls-
           but sounds-
           the way billowing bright colors
have odors or flavors under old hallucinogens.
I suspect from the silence the muse
           has moved on,
           has another now
           to tease, and with her
took the tunes and the tones of the words;
when they would not make
a symphony anymore I surmised such,
and sadly tried to reach the muse but
there was no answer;
                                    in the dark she
giggled and whispered to her new
object that I soon will give up,
           me, who is long on negative impetuosity
and short
of attention span will quit thinking
the battery dead in her phone;
                               while standing back
looking at my number glow on the
caller identification
                      my muse dismisses
and says quietly to her consort-
                               I made him
make that number on the screen
just for the pure joy of watching it
light up our dark,
                      to see your face over the glow,
                      to wonder one last time,
                      as it make its own worn
like reluctant last words puling across paper,
and always true to her inscrutable nature
the muse remained mute to me.

About the Author Ned Randle: My poems also have appeared in a number of literary publications such as The Spoon River Quarterly, Circus Maximus, Seven Stars Poetry, Poydras Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Barnwood International Poetry Magazine, The New Poet, Hamilton Stone Review (Sept. 2012) and Four Ties Literary Review (Fall 2012). My chapbook, Prairie Shoutings and Other Poems, was published by The Spoon River Poetry Press, Bradley University.