The Paper Trail – a Poem

The Paper Trail

paper trail

Read these papers, sign your name,

Initial every page.

We have to keep a paper trail

For proof of every stage.

Make sure you read the fine print,

And in between the lines.

The devil’s in the details,

You don’t want any fines.

Fill out the statutory dec.

In front of a J.P.

Jump through all the legal hoops,

We love red tape you see.

Only use a black pen, please,

Cross out any mistakes.

Initial each of these as well.

The stress just makes me shake.

To me, it’s mumbo-jumbo,

A litany of words.

I feel like Lil’ Miss Muffet

Separating whey from curds.

A lawyer’s words are set in stone,

A salesman’s have a catch.

Add a clause that makes no sense,

And warranties to match.

A writer’s words are fluid,

They weave and ebb and flow,

Forming poems and stories

That let imagination grow.

I’m glad I am a poet

Who loves each line I write,

Not stressing on some misplaced word

That keeps me up at night.

by John Hansen © 2017

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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBooks of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" and "On the Wings of Eagles" at Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years is now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

10 thoughts on “The Paper Trail – a Poem

    • February 5, 2017 at 3:32 AM

      Thank you, Phyllis. I am glad you enjoyed this poem. Cheers.

  • February 5, 2017 at 3:27 AM

    I’m with you John, could never be a lawyer or accountant or such, my imagination would be stifled, and my expression in a rut. Nicely penned my poetic friend. Cheers!

  • February 5, 2017 at 3:35 AM

    I think it takes a special type of person to work in those fields, Tony. I have just got through signing a ton of papers and contracts and I am over it. Thanks for reading.

  • February 5, 2017 at 6:23 AM

    This was way awesome John…loved it..

  • February 5, 2017 at 7:04 AM

    Yeah im with you John. Legal as you call mumbo jumbo is ridiculous. The fine print is where they get you. Its usually some drawn wsste of paper and then at the end in the smallest pront possible are the terms of the agreement.
    With poetry, no one usually knocks you for a misspelling. Glad i never became a legal writer, so boring. Good piece John.~Paul

  • February 5, 2017 at 8:32 AM

    Yes Paul, you are right of course. It takes a scpecial kind of person to do legal work. Thanks for reading.

  • February 5, 2017 at 4:02 PM

    Applause on your poem. Wonderfully expressed. The poetic word always lets one express their emotions well. Poets are lucky that way they don’t have to follow any protocol.

  • February 5, 2017 at 5:04 PM

    Yes, Rasma. I’d rather write poetry than anything else. Thanks for reading.


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