Water is dripping Drip, drip, drip Snow is melting Wakka, wakka, wakka.
Hey, that doesn’t even rhyme!
Here’s a real poem that I wrote, but it doesn’t rhyme, either.
The Power of the Whisperers
Shadows flicker across my path
like flashing figures on a silent movie screen
Bleak spirits whisper softly in my ear –
We follow you, they say.
Branches lazily whip the heavy air
like tired cowboys at the end of a hard drive.
Move along now! they shout, warning me
to watch for phantoms in the trees.
I catch a glimpse of one such creature
Yearning mouth and brooding eyes
mere hints of life – fleeting, ephemeral
like storm clouds racing across an abandoned sky.
I am empty now, deserted like an old house.
Wild dreams beg to fulfill me
Instead I freeze like a rabbit
in the shadow of a hawk.
Copper pennies weigh down my eyes
and my legs tire as I stand alone
amongst the whisperers
I wait to fall from unreachable heights.
They will not catch me.
I wrote that poem when I was in college. My inspiration? Walking down a sidewalk at night, alone and feeling lonely, but still able to admire the beauty of the streetlight shining through the tree branches as they danced about in the wind.
Okay, maybe you had to be there…
Some years later (today), I decided to share my poem with you – yes, you, cruel world – to open myself up to your ridicule because I, like many poets, am a masochist. Bearing this in mind (your cruelty, that is), I ended up rewriting and editing the poor thing, possibly to death. I wanted my heartfelt words to at least be decent ones, to not be entirely trite and dull. My poetry (like a lot of poetry) may not make a lot of sense at first, but hopefully, as you read it, it begins to resonate within you, to strike a cord. Or at least, not make you roll your eyes or turn off the computer in disgust.
Writing poetry is a great way to practice for other kinds of writing, like short stories, novels, even papers or unique and interesting blogs. In a few lines, you have to capture a mood, a world, a story. It’s really quite challenging. But there’s a positive outcome. The more poetry you write, the better you’ll become at maintaining a rhythm in your writing. Your descriptions will also improve as you search for strong, emotive words to use to capture so much in so little. If you are looking to become a writer, I recommend trying your hand at poetry. The practice can only make you better (or maybe, drive you insane – if that happens, don’t blame me, blame your cat).
Only a few will go on to be great poets, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t get something out of the process. I’m not a great poet – I’m too cliched. But I have fun with the process; writing poetry allows me to display my deep, dark and dramatic side. I’m not all about the laughs, you know. So anyway, let the poet within leap out and remember…