A POEM CAN BE ABOUT many small things in our lives that, when gathered together, reveal something far more enlightening about our state of being.
Each word adds a new meaning, each sentence creates another dimension, and each stanza is a whole different experience.
And it is while reading such poetry that we may see our own reflection, even as we peer through this window into each other’s souls.
Take a ‘love poem’ or romantic verse for example. This may be the easiest type of poem to write because love is such a powerful emotion and demands an expression from us as writers, which we all respond to very deeply.
Usually the love poem is about passion that one feels for another person. But what about the mundane things in life that two lovers may share, that don’t necessarily have that ‘romantic quality’?
A poem may express an emotion, but a poem should be more than emotional expression. A poem should not only move the reader, it also should “stand still”. As Archibald MacLeish wrote about modern poetry, “A poem should not mean / But be”.
This poem was inspired by the woman I like and James St Nativeson’s poem, Things I like.
The poem consists of seven five-line verses with ten syllables in each line and as an added challenge it was written to exactly 300 words in length in order to fit within the required word limit of the Crocodile Prize competition.
Things I like which you make so
For my fiancé Isidora Ramita, whose birthday and engagement anniversary I missed in September due to work commitments
I like the scent of citrus, freshly cut,
when I am reading in the lounge, and you
are in the kitchen preparing our lunch;
which is just tinned fish, tomatoes and bread,
with extra butter, the way you make it.
I like the sound of ice, in a glass cup,
when you bring me fruit juice and Panadol,
to ease the high fever I am running;
which is malarial of course, and bad,
but you make it alright to be unwell.
I like the touch of satin, and your hand
on my cheek, when I play at being asleep,
but I’m spying beneath drowsy eyelids;
which is silly, when you know it’s an act,
but you make it a moment we both like.
I like when you enter, while I’m hiding
behind the bedroom door to surprise you,
and you don’t see me until it’s too late;
which sometimes makes you very cross with me,
and then my peace is when you make it so.
I like all the glass stuff, which we both own,
like the glass table where we eat and work,
and the glass vase that we put flowers in;
which are not cheap, like we say we can be,
but our life is dear the way we make it.
I like private thoughts, popping in my head,
with a look in your eyes or a slow dance,
while our favourite music is playing;
which is not always, but often enough
to make it something to look forward to.
I like falling asleep, on the sofa,
with you, while the movie plays itself out,
so we have to watch it over again;
which is what happens when we’re good kittens
and time is as good as we could make it.