I just found a couple of poems I wrote in my very early twenties. I haven’t written poetry in years, but I’ve always loved it. I read it, and I try to put a little poetry into the way I write my prose whenever I can.
Much of my poetry was about unrequited love, or horrible relationships, all of which I sort of grew out of with age, due to the sort of self love, respect, and confidence that happens with age, and so my poetry stopped.
I just re-discovered these though, and I quite liked them, so I thought I’d publish them here so they have a little bit of life outside me.
So, here it is, my early twenties poetry¯\_(ツ)_/¯ –
On the Riverbank
Will I hear your soft words in these rising bubbles?
Too dry, I’m left as you search for Neptune’s daughters.
Except for the drowned girl (that poor drowned girl)
Nobody knows the depth of those waters.
Not trusting your lungs to hold so long, I call out to the fish.
Fish, I say, fish, tell my love I wait for him to rise,
Tell him I know how it feels to drown, I do it everyday. There is too much depth to his eyes.
They gape at me, as fish do, and they reply,
You are fair, but you are parched, and you are not as lovely as the daughters of our king.
Nay, I say, but I love him more than any cold blood could, and in those green depths, I ask you this, how could love sing?
Now they come to stare, those amphibious creatures that crawl on the bank,
And I wait for you forever more.
For no lungs could hold so long, I know this as I breathe hot breaths,
And I wait as your empty ribcage barnacles on the river floor.
If I were a flower
If I were a flower I’d be a Venus flytrap,
All bell-shaped and bitey,
And I’d shut my mouth around your fingertip.
Thinking I could catch you like a fly.
If I were a flower I’d be a wet-the-bed daffodil.
Dancing on your grave.
Befriending the worms that ate you up.
If I were a flower I’d be a nine-day-old lily,
Tossing pollen like it’s our wedding confetti,
Staining your things and killing your cat.
If I were a flower like you.
(Fun fact! Lily pollen is poisonous to cats. Also I was a tad obsessed with Greek mythology, so that’s the Narcissus reference. For those that aren’t across it, Narcissus was the tale of a man who fell so in love with his own reflection in a pond that he refused to leave, not even to eat or drink. He eventually withered away and died of thirst by the waters edge, transfixed by his own image, and he turned into the Narcissus flower. I’m still completely in love with ancient mythology to be honest.)
Quite often I cannibalise imagery from old poetry for my stories, or take lines from old stories that don’t work, and put them into new ones. Does anyone else do that? Or do you respect the independence of the original work?