Beneath my silken waters flow
orange fish with silver below.
The water and places that they go
are secrets only they will know.
As the moonbeams fall down on the pond
fish swim through it and upon.
Silver fins on some, waving as a silver wand,
other ones, crowns silver donned.
From the sky bright moonbeams stream,
and up them swim the kings and queens
fins waving, the scales! how they gleam!
Then to vanish, gone, ‘tall a dream.
A dream only, and one quite queer,
for koi-fish never disappear.
But…for truth? it does appear
remains in the pond a single silver tear.
From a koi-fish swimming from his home,
was cast this tear, and it alone.
The last he called swimming into the sky
was “Goodbye, mine pond, goodbye!”
Now these orange fish of ours
swim themselves among the stars.
Look up one night, away from this Earth of ours,
and see a fish-shape, swimming way afar.
High up in the skies do show
orange fish that silver glow.
The stars and places that they go
are secrets that only they will know.
This poem was pretty interesting to write. My new poetry book has a swimming koi on every single page, which is pretty neat. This inspired me to write about koi, which is the first stanza.Then the poem kind of went from there, rambling on wherever it pleased, which is the case with most of my poems. That whole “fish swimming up a moon beam to swim around among the stars” thing was totally out of the swirling chaos of before poems exist.
Before a poem actually gets written down, your mind, rather, your creative writing part, is like an empty pond. Little ideas trickle in over time and stay there, all swirling and random and gaseous and colorful. Ideas and emotions are jumbled together, but they can’t work because they don’t have a vessel. Think power building up, energy, but it doesn’t have anything to flow into, a piece of wire to complete it. Sometimes all this building of emotion comes within a minute, other times you get a neat little idea and it doesn’t flow for years. A single glance, a thought, a few words…anything can complete the circuit and make you realize, “Oh, look at all these ideas!” and they pour out as if your completing thought was a faucet. Some writers, after they’ve been writing for a long time, a one or two ideas combined with one perspective, word, or prompt can unleash either a tidal wave or just a trickle of water that they can magnify a thousand times.
A poet, when that one completing thought is found, just before the actual neat click into place happens, these jumbled up emotions flow into the front of their brain. All is the past, present and future, all knowledge without order. A poet’s job is to bring these ideas into manifestation, give them bodies and form, squeeze them into words to give them image and concept, and bring an order that makes sense. Whole words can get caught in that thought jumble and flow out in big clumps. They fit together, and they flow neatly into the form of a poem as if magnified there. A beginning writer can get overwhelmed by this flow, and not be ready for it, and find it gushing through them before they can get a pen for it to gush through like ink instead of them…before like ink, it’s all gone.
And as often as not, the little poems are connected, sort of magnetically or by a little string, so when you write one, that acts as the completing thought and the other poem comes tumbling out like hat boxes in a closet or shoeboxes on a shelf in the store, only you don’t have to clean up. You pull on one, intending for it to come out alone, but all these others have their shoelaces tied to that and you’re buried.
So write. Keep a notebook with you so when a little trickle falls out you can catch it on paper like a snowflake, otherwise the snowflake will melt forever. You might hear that time and time again, but it really helps. If you have a neat sentence or combination of words in your head, write that down too. Those alone can be cool!
See you next week! 🙂