Yet, another poem from my “Nothing Book”.
As I am reading through this book again more than 40 years later, I am struck how much it helped me make sense of the teen world. I could write things down and say things to myself, that would terrify or embarrass me to say out loud. The “Nothing Book” was a gift from my mother one birthday or Christmas – I can’t remember which. It was likely one of the best gifts I could have received in my late teens. I have kept it through dozens of moves back and forth across the country. I truly wish that I had kept writing in that journal through my adult life.
When I was in my late teens (1979-ish), I had a close group of friends. One my friend’s mother, Sheila Martindale, ran the “South Western Ontario Poetry” (SWOP) association. Sheila’s support and encouragement had a big influence on the creative me, and on my friends, as well. Her house was a safe place, in so many ways, for all of us.
I have a few poems, from those days, that my friends and I wrote together as a group. I can’t remember, now, who first suggested it. It was an experiment to see what we would come up with. Sometimes the results were silly and sometimes it was something sweet. One person writes a line, and the next person continues with the next line. We kept passing it around until whatever we were writing achieved closure. It was fun way to spend times with those friends.
This poem was written between my friend Pauline Bentzen and myself one afternoon in 1979 in the basement of Sheila Martindale’s townhouse. Enjoy…
The Word of the Wise
Hearthbreak can be so final,
But so, must the truth.
A lie can be so casual,
Until the day to part.
Though the day may never rise,
A future remains realized.
And others, they may touch a part,
They know not of the whole.
My main reason for documenting these poems is so that I never forget that things that influenced who I later became. For me, this is less about the poem, and more about the friendship that led to the poem being written. As I get older, I realize how precious those memories are to me.