don’t even get me started on sudoku

my relation to puzzles is ambivalent,
i prefer them unsolved,
scattered ‘round the place,
playing hide&seek in ever-changing maze(s),
not rowed up and glued tight to a plywood plate
that smells faintly of forest,

once they let me preach, about esther.
they’re not much into women teaching (usually),
&thought esther would be safe– it wasn’t,
yet, i was fascinated about how
all the puzzle pieces fit together, finally,

a conversation at the city gate,
the king, tired of his wife,
a jewish girl, new queen
(they don’t know)
she risks all for a dinner invitation,
& in the yard a gallows–

s NaP

slides shift– all the random,
scattered fragments (clacKClaCk–) fit,
He’s masterful with this,

& it doesn’t matter how far they’re apart,
continents, in between,
complete autonomy & their outer shape
stretches toward the other, unseen,
only in onyx, when even the moon
refuses to stay up, you feel the light pull
‘til it is their time–

after 25 years, hubs still scratches his head,
looking at the weird pieces, that is me,
shifts ‘em back and forth, trying to make sense,
& i don’t want to,
take a fake, cubism phase Picasso,
cut it all apart,
put the fragments in the right place,
arms, legs, nose where they belong?
it is ridiculous,

“but yesterday it fit–?”
“today’s today” i say,
pull my legs back from the quad 7×7 pad,
cause there’s no such thing as math & me,
on one line

& i’m fine

with unresolved equations


smiles…i love the book of esther in the old testament…how everything just turns out completely different than you thought it would.. ha..over at dVerse, we’re writing puzzles, jigsaw, crossword …solved or not…i love a good riddle…smiles…see you at 3pm EST when brian opens the pub doors..


51 responses to “don’t even get me started on sudoku

  1. I am not much into puzzles either, but my granddaughter and I about once a month do a large puzzle of the United States. Smiles. She is getting better at fitting the pieces…..and ha, the pieces always fit. I don’t know much about Esther, but your poem makes me want to learn. Sudoku I can’t stand. Ha ha.

  2. Never been good at solving equations. I enjoy sudoku, but I like Kakuro better, have you tried those?

    “but yesterday it fit–?”
    “today’s today” i say,

    These lines stand out for me, right down to the punctuation. They ring true in a recent going-on in my life.

  3. I’m a self proclaimed Sudoku addict … when I’m not working or online … I do Sudoku … I reward myself with a round of Sudoku in order to to do housework, gardening or other chores around the house … I think I’ll have to join / and or found Sudoku Anonymous …soon … (by the way, it doesn’t have much to do with math at all … logic is the key … and a few simple rules 🙂 Come over here, C … I’ll teach you 🙂 Love, cat.

  4. I like the image of cutting apart a Picasso and putting the fragments in the right places. I’m also comfortable with unresolved equations.

  5. OFF-TOPIC: Claudia I like your mouse-over in sidebar.

    ON TOPIC, sort of…I have written that my mother played games–a LOT! An example is her Scrabble scores dated back from many years–she archived (DAILY) names of opponents, and the scores. AND SHE ALWAYS SET THE TIMER! Holy Crap! NOTHING could get me to the Scrabble table, even today.

    A lot of the bible is puzzling to me…from the very beginning, that “firmament” stuff? Can’t imaging Claudia, Preacher-Girl, but we have never met–DAMMMIT!

    Got me a new scooter yesterday (July 4th)…hey THAT was also O/T…but I wish it was morning, when I’ll get out there again.

    YOUR husband scratches his head? I’ve heard of mates who scratch anyplace but–or butt? Maybe that came after the fake job…..see, I got it! (maybe!)

    “Today’s today…” just another day…and that’s good enough!
    Good night! (Well…MORNING, to you!)

  6. Never exposed to playing games as a child (long story) puzzles and sudoku leave me cold. Yet psychological puzzles intrigue me.
    Please don’t cut up any Picasso’s unless they are reproductions! No doubt you have a few genuine articles lying around for craft? 🙂

  7. there is no use in figuring it all out…there has to be a bit of mystery…even after 25 years….smiles..happy early anniversary that….like how you incorporate the scripture too…its often a bit of a puzzle in how it all works out….we have similar over here…ah this might make more sense in the morning…ha…just got home from the movie…g’night

  8. Not much into games and puzzles either. I’m more into prophesying and dreaming dreams. I have a clean white sheet to begin on.

  9. Women, husbands and marriages in general are a great puzzle and no mistake! I do enjoy puzzles – or maybe I enjoy the thought of puzzles (or wish I had the time to complete a puzzle) rather than the act itself.

  10. puzzle talk…this is about how many choices we have…in life we can choose one or another…in puzzle craft – only one…and we were taught to solve, to complete, to win…as this is what suppose to make us happy…I do love to feel like every day changing puzzle, what was true yesterday-wrong today…thanks for interesting topic and nice poem

  11. Wonderful poem!! Ambivalence folds over into joy here–joy in a good story, in a marriage, in being ambivalent about easy puzzles, and NOT being troubled by the more complex ones in life. “No one likes a filled in crossword puzzle” is/was part of my teaching philosophy. (I am addicted to scrabble and have several games going on Facebook–even though I don’t carry them on a mobile device.)

  12. Since there is always some margin of error…the puzzle will never fit quite right anyway…so why try. 🙂 Guess I’m with you on this philosophical point.

  13. This is terrific Claudia. I don’t like puzzles, though for a while I did sudoko. I heard it deters Alzheimer’s. Don’t know. The whole world’s a puzzle and if I knew how to make all the pieces fit, well then I probably wouldn’t be here. So, you’re absolutely right, it’s best to enjoy the unfitting pieces, the unsolved equarions.
    Great writing here as usual Claudia. Have a happy weekend.

  14. this is staggeringly good, love how its baffling on first read but then strikes chords on my buckled fretboard…thoroughly modern and worth re-visiting. 🙂

  15. Puzzles I used to do, still do a crossword or two. But other than that, just rhyme away at my mat. In which I can sure leave people puzzled lol

  16. This brings home the many, many puzzles in our life…if the world depended on my solving an equation, we would be annihilated. Kinda getting the urge to do a jigsaw puzzle. But the time evades me.

  17. One of your best (I think) Claudia – excellently composed.

    Life is full of damn puzzles and I like that, love working them out. Love Sudoku and cryptic crosswords too.

    Anna :o]

  18. Unless I’m reading this wrong, the puzzle is you? We may have more in common. Or I’m seeing things in your words that aren’ t there. My focus is off today. I love to read your writing.

  19. …everyday, i get to face the biggest & toughest puzzle that is me… & no matter how hard i tried to solve the whole figure there is always something missing… then i will come back to sleep & wake up again another morn to gather another piece of me with a hope of solving the mystery behind my short existence… how ironic to think i can solve easily someone else’s puzzle in one sitting & but when it comes to mine? it takes a lifetime of filling up… smiles… i loved this Claudia… most especially the latter part & the reference to cubism… smiles… glad i checked back as i thought i left a comment here last night… smiles…

  20. Claudia, profound connections! I love this:
    “after 25 years, hubs still scratches his head,
    looking at the weird pieces, that is me,
    shifts ‘em back and forth, trying to make sense,”

    It resonates for me…

  21. Ha..I won’t get you started….just think it’s delightful what you conjured up here..quite a mixture of subtexts…and I’m sure hubby likes you just the way you are put together 😉

  22. Picture puzzles for kids are ok. (and the pic at the side-bar is chic!) Word puzzles and mind games get me all dazed. Agreed! They be best left aside! Nicely Claudia!


  23. This is fantastic Claudia =) I am not familiar with the story of Esther. I am terrible at puzzles, especially puzzles of a spacial nature haha I agree that life needs mystery we’re not meant to know it all and I wouldn’t even want to. I love the magic of discovery and the awe of what seems impossible and inexpressible. I have a prompt at my blog if you would ever like to participate you are most welcome!

  24. As I was brought up an only child in a secluded location, puzzles were good for me. I’ll need to freshen up on Esther though. I don’t think I’d ever really want to have everything figured out or in its place – wonderful read.

  25. I too love the story of Esther. I do some jigsaw puzzles with the kiddos…my youngest especially enjoys them. Sudoku?…numbers…ugh! …loved your close, ha…

  26. why do we always try to put the piecec in the right place, i do wonder.
    i am with you on your equation, am puzzled by your poem.
    great writing

  27. Your approach to puzzles – esp in the context of poetry – is much like mine. (I once listened to a sermon on ALL the WOMEN of tThe BIBLE. Imagine!

  28. “after 25 years, hubs still scratches his head,
    looking at the weird pieces, that is me,”

    I loved that line. It’s so beautiful and intimate. Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  29. Hey Claudia = you take this to very unexpected places. It is very interesting. I think many proponents of biblical lore (at least in the U.S.) may not actually be completely familiar with the Old Testament! You have your wonderful ebb and flow going here. k.

  30. Excellent, Claudia. I find myself hungering to read parts of the Old Testament again just to see the puzzle and experience the pieces coming together. I love where Brian’s prompt led you.

  31. I love the cubist idea in the poem, how are pieces become rearranged, and also, the ending, the way you resolve the tension of the poem in a great last line

  32. My wife has all the math skill in the family. Fortunately for their future careers our sons take after her. Good read! I like how you worked Esther into this.

  33. You mingle the Bible with all sorts of puzzles… brings to mind ‘Citizen Kane’ when his young wife uses a hammer to force the pieces to fit!

    I, too, loathe soduku… drives me mad, and I’m good at math. Sodoku feels like someone is trying to put worms in my brain, like on Star Trek… to drive me mad. This is BRILL, Claudia! Amy