Managed to churn out two new poems since my last epic here on Abstract Mystic.
The first one, 5 Minutes, is a pretty classic listing of funny little things he does all tied together with his current favourite bedtime phrase.
I'm in a phase where I'm desperately trying to actually get away from rhyming every poem, believe it or not, just not managing very well as yet. There's something about me and poetry and rhymes - I find it difficult to make the transition back to none rhyming stuff, much as I try.
Then again, I'm quite pleased with the simplicity which is coming through in these two pieces.
5 Minutes It's getting late, the hour's come To sleep, perchance to snore But when I say it's time for bed... "Just 5 minutes more!" In the wardrobe, magic lift Rolling on the floor And when I say it's time for bed... "Just 5 minutes more!" Jumping on the sofa Hide behind the door But when I say it's time for bed... "Just 5 minutes more!" It's story time, we're in the jungle Lions leap and roar And when I say it's time for bed... "Just 5 minutes more!"
When the poem's about an innocent subject such as a child I think the language should reflect that - nothing too complicated or fancy - the language of a child in fact.
I recently tried a couple of single rhyme poems and I've just realised 5 Minutes is another one, with only snore, floor, door, roar and more doing the deed. The last two lines of each verse are also the same, increasing the simplicity of the thing as well has hammering home the refrain, as it were.
Sometimes I worry about the 'babyishness' of some of my pieces, but then I look in a random poetry collection from my shelf, and discover that "When all else fails, [new line] Try Wales" (To a Friend in Search of Rural Seclusion, by Christopher Logue) merits an entire page, along with several other four-line pieces by the likes of Wendy Cope, Ogden Nash and Roger McGough, and confidence returns.
Maybe brevity is the mark of a real master, in a similar way to minimalism being a distillation of years of learning and unlearning for some painters.
This second piece, My Room, similarly took about half an hour and was sparked off by simply lying on my bed in relative peace and quiet as all hell broke out downstairs with partner, child, dog, father- and aunt-out-law slogging it out over various banal issues and it just struck me that I was floating on a little oasis-like cloud above it all and looked for words to synthesise the sensation.
My Room Here in my room There are no walls For me the wide horizon calls Here in my room There is no ceiling Leaves imagination reeling Here in my room There is no floor I'm going deep where there's no law And down the stairs And far away I hear kids' cries And traffic's hum And distant sighs And someone's mum Feel fading day Sense shady lairs But here in my room Windows are wide The door's open Nowhere to hide For up in my room There are no walls There is no ceiling There is no floor Yawning wide the windows Always open is the door
It's idealised, of course, and I sometimes cringe when I read poems (especially my own) which seem to be smuggly setting me up as some sort of spiritual mastermind. But that's poetry I guess. Inventing other, often idealised personas, or just trying out a few new ones for a few lines.
For me, repetition is a vital part of a lot of my poems, allowing a theme to be reiterated towards the end of the piece to strengthen it. This is very similar to repeated elements in a photo. Although it's a random example, the picture above happens to contain several birds (Jérôme Mesnager's, not mine) and two doors (mine and the architect's doing), which strengthens the composition considerably.
In 5 Minutes the repetition is in the five rhyming words and the constantly repeating pair of lines at the end of each verse. In My Room I've brought all the elements of my imaginary dream room together in the final verse, all of which had already been mentioned, to tie up the lose ends and remind the reader of what the poem was about and what my magical room was like.
Not all poems (or pictures) have to have these repeating elements but they can be a powerful tool.