Life In a Box

Puzzle box

This is day 8 of Days of Unreason:

“I’m not sure what it is, life’s puzzle.” — Jim Harrison


As a boy I was given a puzzle box.

No package, no directions;
made of wood, beautiful to admire.

It sat on my dresser and collected dust.

Life puzzles present themselves
to us to explore, to ponder.

The man with dubious motivations.
The woman, the path of whose heart
may be oblique, forked, or just not best
approached by foot.

The child loved who fails
to learn love.

There are rules for solving puzzles.
Some people follow different rules.
Some flout rules.

Playing dead doesn’t always work with bears.

When a friend taught me
to open my puzzle box,
I placed it in a drawer.

I liked it better as a mystery.


A little over a year ago, I joined Jillys2016 in a challenge called “28 Days of Unreason.”  She culled quotes from the poems of Jim Harrison in a book called Songs of Unreason.  We used the quotes as prompts; diving boards suspended over the abyss of poetry.  Jill is revisiting unreason, and I am skipping gleefully along.  Come and join the fun!


10 thoughts on “Life In a Box

  1. “Playing dead doesn’t always work with bears.” – Exactly. We are given these tropes, and supposedly universal formulae. But mysteries are sometimes just mysterious. Hey don’t yield up to simple answers. And many times better appreciated as the mysteries they are.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Captivating take on the quote, Charley! Mysteries and puzzles hold the imagination until we solve them – that is universal and you have nailed it. Nice bit of writing here. Glad you are keeping pace every day with the Unreason, I enjoy your company 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It goes both ways whether one would like to the the meaning of life in the box, which holds many answers to life’s questions. Or simply not opening the box, and rather leave it as a mystery for us humans to solve.

    I think it’s best that way to open up the puzzles and let us figure them out with life having to go at us. Brilliant poem my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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