For Visual Verse Anthology on Instagram

I’ve Been Thinking About

Lost friends that I used to ring,
to wish them a happy birthday,
or maybe complain about work,

or the sort of friends that you
wouldn’t ring because you weren’t
that close, or maybe you would

ring them once every few years,
and then you’d feel all warm
and kindhearted for doing it.

But mostly I’m thinking about
friends you ring up, and say
Hi. How’s the weather.
Is it raining over there?
Yeah, here, too. And they’d
say, But it’s not flooding yet.

   

Written for Visual Verse Anthology on Instagram.  Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash © Misky 2021


17 responses to “For Visual Verse Anthology on Instagram”

  1. I love the last stanza. I didn’t read much melancholy into it although looking back, I see the “lost” in the first line and realize I should’ve carried that word through. I subscribe to Nick Cave’s website “The Red Hand Files” and recently I got an email in which he described levels of friendship. He expresses himself very well. And I was thinking about that and thinking about the different ways people talk about friendship. But now, looking back, I see the relief in the last line of your poem. And it is so poignant.

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    • It didn’t feel particularly melancholic as I wrote it. It felt more like “those are the facts of it”. In my experience, we grow and evolve, and some friendships grow with us. Some don’t. But we always carry the memories of them with us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes. I listened to an interview with Helen MacDonald yesterday. It was from 2015 when her book H is for Hawk came out. Have you heard of it/her? I hadn’t. But she wrote this book about the extreme grief she suffered after the sudden death of her father. I must get hold of the book. Her way of grieving was to train a goshawk. The book sounds amazing. Here’s the interview.

        https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/helen-macdonald:-grief-and-a-hawk/7788480

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          • Glad you listened to it. I wasn’t sure from what you wrote yesterday whether you felt it might trigger something in you. I thoroughly enjoyed the interview and I think I’ll keep an eye out for a copy of the book. Even just in speaking, I felt she had a lovely way with words.

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            • My dad passed away 15 years ago. I’ve settled in with that now. I feel joy, not loss, when I think about him now. I love him just as much today as when he was alive. But I think Helen is wrong about stages of grief.

              Liked by 1 person

            • You felt them? I think she said she didn’t relate to them didn’t she? I guess everybody experiences grief differently. I haven’t experienced the loss of a parent yet. My most personal grief, I think, so far has been my mastectomy. It’s a weird thing to associate with grief, in a way.

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            • In hindsight I recognise them, yes. But I don’t think a person should focus on them while in the midst of grief. It can’t be rushed; it’s not logical. It’s a pit you have to climb out of … alone.

              Liked by 1 person

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