Puzzled You learn how many useless things you know among the numbered blanks you try to fill. When clues add up, words effortlessly flow from somewhere in your head, and off you go by navigating ups and downs until you land on facts you didn’t know you know. The starlet in some 50s tv show? The food of certain whales? Aha! It’s krill. The place where Tigris and Euphrates flow? Along a random path of words, although you cannot tell what purpose they fulfill, you find out what you do and do not know. Blocked intersections often make for slow going, detours ended by the thrill when definitions add up in the flow beside, between, around, above, below black barriers. Relieved, you find you still remember random bits of what you know, retrieved amid the mind’s Augean flow.
Barbara Loots has three poetry collections from Kelsay Books: Road Trip (2014), Windshift (2018), and The Beekeeper and other love poems (2020), two of which have placed in the top three in the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Merit. She is a first place winner in the Better Than Starbucks Sonnet competition, and widely published in the literary magazine world for fifty years.