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The Jigsaw We Call Life ~ Poetry About Puzzles

John is a poet and short fiction writer who enjoys collaborating on stories with other writers, and partaking in challenges.

Photo by Lara Jameson from Pexels

Photo by Lara Jameson from Pexels

Word Prompts Help Creativity: Week 50 ~ "Puzzle"

In Brenda Arledge's weekly word prompt this week she presented us with the word "puzzle" to test out creativity.

Brenda wrote as follows:

"This week I was putting together a jigsaw puzzle, a new hobby Ron and I picked up, and it dawned on me how life is one big mystery, but yet we keep trying to find the right pieces to make it work.

So, I decided to use the word "Puzzle" as our word prompt. I hope you like it."

Unfortunately, during Brenda's writing of the above-mentioned article, Ron lost his long battle with cancer. I hereby dedicate this article to Brenda and Ron.

In these poems, I try to discuss the mystery of life and how it is, in fact, just one big puzzle. The first two are written in quite a serious vein, but in the last two, I lighten the mood a bit.

The final piece of the puzzle

The final piece of the puzzle

The Puzzle's Missing Piece

Sometimes I feel I don’t belong,

I don’t seem to fit the mould.

I’m like a misplaced puzzle piece,

And left out in the cold.


In this vast jigsaw of life,

Why am I the odd one out?

While others just seem to fit in -

No need to scream and shout.


With some sense of frustration

Scroll to Continue

I’ve tried to find my place,

For somewhere in this puzzle

There is one vacant space.


I could trim off my edges,

Make myself a different shape,

Fit any vacancy that I find,

But then I’d be a fake.


Each of my edges is unique,

There’s a perfect space for me.

Patience and commitment

From stress will set me free.

The missing piece of the puzzle: Image by amazed from Pixabay

The missing piece of the puzzle: Image by amazed from Pixabay

The Maze of No Return

I walk the streets, alone and cold,

No fixed address for my abode.

All that I own is on my back,

But I bear a heavy load.


Am I searching for life’s meaning?

Who knows where that is found?

Maybe up on the mountain peaks,

Or six feet underground?


In a dumpster by the park,

Or an alley near the mall?

The world is one big puzzle,

And as a part of it, I’m small.


Perhaps I haven’t found my place,

Then again, I may not care.

The jigsaw’s growing every day,

There’s little space to spare.

Jigsaw: Image by CavanOR from Pixabay

Jigsaw: Image by CavanOR from Pixabay

The problem is that we always look for the missing piece of the puzzle instead of finding a place for the one in our hand.

— Alina Radoi

I once thought my life was perfect,

A loving wife and kids,

A nice house in the suburbs -

But then I hit the skids.


Things don’t go the way you plan,

At least they don’t for me.

Expect the unexpected!

To that motto, I agree.


Give me a mug of coffee,

Or a discarded piece of cake,

A jacket to abate the chills.

Just an ounce of give and take.


One day I may slot into place,

But I will not hold my breath.

In this vast puzzle, we endure

That place could be my death!


Don’t let me make you all morose,

You have your own concerns.

I’m just the puzzle’s missing piece

In the maze of no return.

Maze: Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Maze: Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

A puzzle is not a dead-end.

— Lewis N. Roe, 'From A To Theta'.

The Crossword Puzzle

The crossword puzzle was complete,

I put my pen aside.

It challenged my intelligence,

But I sat back in pride.


As far as puzzles are concerned

I’m partial to crosswords.

“What are animals that fly?”

Of course, that must be “birds.”


“The highest mountain peak in France?”

“Mont Blanc” was simple too,

Not so, “In what country do you find

The city, Timbuktu?”


I make the words fit into place,

Drop a letter if I must.

Across and down will correspond,

I take that just on trust.


And if sometimes I’m really stumped,

I just flick to the back

To find an answer, two, or three,

To get me back on track.

Crossword Puzzle: Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Crossword Puzzle: Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

The experience of life that you and I have is pretty much a jigsaw puzzle in the box: day-to-day experiences of disconnected pieces that don't seem to justify the efforts we make each day.

— Robert Adams

Puzzle ~ an Acrostic Poem

Puzzles can be a lot of fun for most of us

Unless you are a fasting and meditating

Zen-Buddhist monk in a remote mountain in Tibet.

Zebras in the zoo play tic-tac-toe to pass the time,

Leopards always enjoy a game of Sudoku,

Elephants, though, prefer word-search.

Zebra: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Zebra: Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

© 2022 John Hansen

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