On not finishing things

On not finishing things

It happens to all of us at times, even though in a society consumed with the status of success we are often reluctant to admit it, sometimes we leave things unfinished. If we are lucky we may have the chance to go back and finish them, like that story long ago left in the bottom drawer, but in other instances we need to accept whatever that end point may be is, for today, simply out of reach. As a writer this is something that I sometimes have to face with my ideas. An idea for a story, a poem, an article, even a novel can completely peter out, no matter how an inspired start it may have had, not all ideas come to fruition. It can be particularly hard to know also when you’ve just hit a brick wall and need to find a way around it, so to speak, or when you actually need to call it quits and shelve the project for the next one.

If you’ve been following me for a little while you may have noticed that when I participated in NaPoWriMo I only posted the first half of my poems. Although I was doing this as part of the much larger 365 Poetry project, my aim was to follow the prompt on the above website for the whole month and post each poem consecutively as I finished it. This didn’t quite work out how I planned. Between life circumstances, other work, and illness I started to feel that my poems were becoming too rushed and losing too much quality and that I was better off waiting until I had more time to polish my drafts rather than sharing them as is. I also wasn’t very good at finishing my poems in order which made things slightly more complicated for me. Another reason was the varied nature of the prompts, which left me with some rather ordinary poems, some that were deeply personal and others that have the potential to become much better poems when I get the chance to focus enough time on them.  Those poems may one day find their way to these pages, but that day is not today.

For now though, since I finished my year of poetry and have been going back over all my finished (and mostly finished drafts) I thought I’d share a few more of April’s poems.

Day 17/291: Raindrops

The smell of rain, fresh, swollen,
potent—
drops shatter, softly, softly,
rolling to icy wet snail trails on skin
pattering a steady tempo on the pavement
now turned grey and shiny
to match my face;

and though the taste of tears lingers
in the raindrop hanging from my lip,
at least the skies have opened to mourn with me.

Day 18/292: On the bus at night (a rubaiyat)

Travelling on the bus at night,
phone GPS my only light
to places never seen before
or so they seem in this long flight;

passengers look away on sight
filled with ominous stranger fright
while I sit in quiet and more,
pensive as I stare into night

with hands white and gripped too tight
on the phone on which I try to write
words with which my muse I implore
until to brightness I alight.

Day 19/293: Incised moon

There’s an incised moon in the sky tonight
shining on a glittering sea,
shining on a man atop the waves,
shining on a man before me—
a striped enigma in a Peruvian hat
holding in his hands
a jewel box from Lazarus himself
waiting for me to take it, waiting,
while a sea cat swims across my shadow’s
shoulder blade and hisses
‘take it, take it.’

from:

Lazarus jewel box
incised moon
striped enigma
Peruvian hat
shoulderblade sea cat

Day 27/301: Footprints in snow (Ekphrasis)

The world is blanketed in snow,
path and trees almost hidden
in thick layers of white,
frost lingers in each breath,
shivers out of me
as I walk alone
through a path filled with footprints,
and I know I’m not alone
ghosts of past moments walk alongside me
for I can see their footprints in the snow.

 

 

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