Michael Matalon 1973 (New York)

There are rules we know
and rules that hide
All we know is
we must abide

It starts off simple
tender with care
Don’t touch that!
and don’t go there!

We get to school
we yearn to learn
Soon we realize
it’s not our turn

There are others too
under the same rules
Being taught by rote
Being taught by fools

We’re conditioned for work
That’s a basic rule
If we want better work
pay for better school

The rules that hide
preached often by mothers
Things not to say or do
out of empathy for others

There are holy rules
There are money rules
There are driving rules
There are ruling rules

All being controlled
By power pools
All being powered
By greedy tools

What you chose to do
is not up to you
You must follow or fail
to pay what is due

So follow along
as best you can
Follow the rules
designed for man

Pay your tax
Pay what’s due
Pay the interest
Pay what’s new

Stay within the lines
and stay on the course
Keep your focus forward
like blinders on a horse

So what needs to be done
is not only up to you
Make sure to bite off
less than you can chew

About this poem

Rules make up social structures

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Written on August 08, 2008

Submitted by Michaelmatalon on October 21, 2021

Modified on March 09, 2023

1:03 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic dimeter
Characters 1,011
Words 210
Stanzas 13
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Michael Matalon

I love to discuss topics relating to physics, spirituality & business. I run a private equity investment company, but in my spare time I enjoy writing. more…

All Michael Matalon poems | Michael Matalon Books

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Discuss the poem Rules with the community...

  • teril
    Your talent with words allows you to go beyond the rules and create a framework of your own. Your poem does this so well.
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Dougla$Irishman
    That poem is quite the adventure in rules ! But rules are made for our protection, without them our lives would be a mess !Rules were made to be broken is our theme song but life is not that way. Still a very worthy poem for us to consider ! 
    LikeReply 12 years ago
    • Michaelmatalon
      whether it's helpful or not, rules are embedded into the human experience, most of the time it's routine & not obvious that some one/some thing is in control
      LikeReply 12 years ago
  • Adventurer2022#
    Well handled!
    Melita Warren
    LikeReply 22 years ago
  • Adventure22##
    Another one of your pieces which I so enjoy.
    LikeReply 22 years ago


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"Rules" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <>.

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Are you a poetry master?

What is the term for the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
A Dithyramb
B Enjambment
C A turn
D Line break