This poem thing, is kind of interesting. I now have a bit of an writing itch as regards poetry. I have previously and briefly discussed how finding the ideas of what to write a poem about is a bit of a trial, more so actually, than writing the poem itself. The actual writing I can try things and re-edit, but if I know the subject, I have a baseline to work from.
Anyway it has become clear to me on the first two poems and some other ideas I have, that I’m currently in a cycle loosely themed around “what a life might amount to”. Mostly this comes from looking at my 15 month old son and wondering who he might be. He really could be anyone. At this age we know little about what he will be interested in, what skills he might have, whether he is a good learner or a slow one. It is up to my wife and I to try and teach him some knowledge of the world, give him the right encouragement, and hopefully opportunities to do something good, worthwhile, self fulfilling, or whatever positive thing you might have hopes for. But (as Mark Everett pointed out in his book “Things the grandchildren should know), “he could be Hitler”. Which is of course true, as I suspect Hitler’s parents were not thinking that their bundle of joy was in fact a bit evil, and that they would just kind of keep him away from other children until he was old enough to make his way into the world (also this is a half decent title for a poem). Thankfully it is also a bit unlikely, he could just as easily be a scientist, athlete, or regular pleb. We’ll do are best to try make sure he turns into a good person, but I’m sure you see my point.
So that is where I’m at with poetry right now. I’m thinking I will pursue this some more and try write some from a different palette in the future, but for the time being I’m going to keep with the current theme and see where it leads. I have a bunch of titles / prompts to start from. Some of these might be turn out to be a bit similar but I figure the trying and seeing approach is also where I’m at, and I shall go from there. Hopefully some of you who have read the earlier ones will stick with me, and it won’t be much of a painful process for you to do so. And without further fanfare:
Take a look
Little boy, look at your life
tell me what you see
did you walk, did you play
did you eat all day, did you climb from bended knee?
Old man, look at your life
and tell me what you see
did you work, did you pray
did you eat today, did you sink to bended knee?
Little boy gotta learn those skills
bring yourself to the fore
your knees are red, don’t bang that head
get around, stand, walk, explore
Old man can’t pay his bills
worked, sweated that factory floor
his fingers bled, for others bread
he still can’t close that door
Little boy ahead is your life
pick and choose your choices well
it might not all be easy son
but you can earn those tales to tell
Old man where went your life
what of those tales to tell
was it worth the toil, the missing spoil
a choice on which you dwell
Little boy it’s there for you
Old man it’s nearly gone
the choices make you who you are
when it’s all said and done
Ok. This one feels more like a song to me than a poem, not that I know exactly where the line between them is. It also feels a bit first draft, I had an idea and I don’t think this executed it in quite the way I was thinking. Or maybe I’m being a bit harsh. I may revisit this one in a week or so to make some changes.
Lexicon word of the day: tohubohu.