I just got so exasperated with this poem. I could see it in my mind’s eye. I could even hear it but I just couldn’t write it. We were planning a trip to Scotland at the time and I thought maybe that was where my poem had gone, in the train before ours. So this was the poem that got away. The one that was perfect, of course, with all the lovely cadences that a good poem has.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
The last time I saw that poem
It was getting on a train
For the far north.
It likes it up there,
Crunching about in the ice and snow,
Climbing up small mountains,
Picking up the odd abandoned word or phrase
Lying amongst the grey stones and heather.
By nightfall, it’ll be in its room, changing,
Emptying its pockets onto the bed,
Choosing a word to sparkle here,
A phrase to quietly glow there.
Ready, now, for a night of changing partners.
Until all scrubbed up, brushed down
And wildly excited,
It’s finally ready to dance.
Any time now, I expect that poem to come home.
© 2019 Gwen Grant
4 thoughts on “THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY”
Adds new meaning to the concept of live poetry!
The poem as a live and living entity. In the process of growing, being, eluding us, dancing around, and then finally coming home. Yes.
Sadly, I have books of poems that won’t be told. Every now and then, I go back to them to see if they feel any more co-operative but so often they don’t. Thanks again for your comment, Josie.
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Damn nuisances, claiming to have lives of their own. Don’t they know they only have rights to breathe and live and sing and dance when conferred by you, conjured by you from murky depths into the light? Or do they think they have a separate and parallel existence in world just beyond our knowing? What is their problem? Why will they not comply and just get told? Oppositional defiant poems. Take out an ASBO and be done with them. This wishy-washy permissive poem-whispering just isn’t working.
This made me laugh! Yet it teased me, too. What do poems do when they’ve been given life?
We know they don’t die. So I think maybe they do have a ‘separate and parallel existence in a world just beyond our knowing,’ as you suggest. There’s such a mystery about poems. They turn up, unexpected and demanding, yet giving so much in return. The word that is just right – the
verse that says all you wanted to say. On the downside, of course, is the just right word that never comes and the verse that’s a mess and stays that way.
Glad you like the poem, Josie, anyway.