I got a good suggestion from Poetry on the Run. Ron suggested typing my question into Google. I did and discovered I was in plenty of puzzled company. However many of the suggestions involved using solutions like html or simple text programs available on PC. These suggestions because it seems Word has buried code in its document program which WordPress and many other webs sites don’t like.
I am a Mac user. So Pages to the rescue. It is more web friendly it appears. Now I type my poems in pages. Copy them. Paste them into the new post window using the T or paste as plain text icon. It brings up a small window. There you see your poem and have the opportunity to check the preserve line breaks box. Once your poetic child is into the WordPress window then you can choose WordPress’ indent icon to position any irregular text where you want it to be.
And so life becomes easier. Creativity once more gains the upper hand and pesky computer details trail off into the mist filled sky of a rare California rainy day.