I heard Kay Ryan refer to her own poems as "snack poems." That's how I felt about really short poems, i.e., a snack but not a meal.
Then I found that from time to time I came across a short poem that knocked my socks off. I started collecting them like shells. Some of them called to me late at night.
I found myself trying my hand at a few shorties. I distrusted them and put them away. Too short to get a major role in a journal.
Then several months ago I was asked to submit some work to a nice online journal. I noticed that the poems in that journal tended to be short, so I dug out some of my little ones and sent them off. Two grabbed right up! I submitted a few of my formal ones to another journal. Two more snatched up. Had I been unfair to my own poems?
Then Kay Ryan was appointed Poet Laureate. Snacks can be very satisfying. Snacks can stimulate the appetite. Snacks can stave off hunger.
Before I ruin my appetite with any more of these metaphors, I want to offer you two short poems by Lola Haskins, both of them perfect gems, I think, and both from her book Desire Lines: New and Selected Poems.
She tries it on, like a dress.
She decides it doesn't fit
and starts to take it off.
Her skin comes, too.
Here's another short one by Haskins:
Think small, the way ants
build their hills, a grain
at a time. If I could be
one cell in you, how ardently
I'd multiply. Until I was a hundred,
a million cells. Until I filled
so much of your X-rayed self
that if they cut me out,
you could not survive.