Monday, 18 April 2016

visiting a life: A poetry post

This week over on the Mum Turned Mom blog The Prompt is 'visitor'.

It brought to mind two things which have been kicking about on the backburner in my writing life. One is a short story which is going to get incorporated into a novel at some point, so I'm not sharing it here, and the other is a poem I've been writing about a friend.

I've been writing it for a very long time. Writing and rewriting. There's something good about it, and lots of things that aren't, and I'm having trouble disentangling my feelings about said friend with the poem.

But today the kids have gone back to school and I had tasked myself with getting some of my poems into shape, so I've dragged this one back out into the light, and tried writing and rewriting it again, to see what works. The sonnet form is the best I've come up with yet, but it's still not right.

The poem is about someone I briefly went to school with. He was different and interesting, and got to shape his own school timetable, which I found amazing - who knew that that was even possible!? I was fascinated with him, and one night, whilst really quite drunk, I met him on a beach, and we talked about life, the universe and everything, and decided that because we shared a birthday and a bedroom (not simultaneously - his family moved into my old house), we were metaphysically connected.

We never hung out with each other at school, or in public, after that night on the beach. But we did meet up from time to time, especially when he'd been out the night before and taken too many drugs and done things which he wasn't sure he meant. I thought he was mad and stupid, and scared and lonely. I wanted to fix him and wasn't sure he was broken.

He didn't change.

And the last time I saw him was at a friend's party. He was drunk and shouting, looking for drugs, and I told him he needed to get his act together or he would die.

He told me to go away.

I did. And he did. 

Something happened in his brain and it just stopped working. He just died. Apparently these things happen sometimes, and it could have happened to anyone. It didn't though. It happened to him.

Your life and living it

I saw on screen you were alive today.
I had to Google you to check you're gone.
Your gormless face has surely gone away?
I found out that they got our birthday wrong.
Those mornings gone that you knocked on my door
with tears of fear and loss about the night
and we would walk and talk upon the moor
and, hid in bracken, kiss to put things right.
You caught me by surprise with your swift end.
To you, your life meant less than living it.
I'd thought 'twould be the drugs or your fool hand.
Perhaps the devil saw and could not wait.
And if my fury with you is still strong
well now my love you'll never prove me wrong.

© Cara L McKee 18/4/16