Digging around the junk in my trunk, I discovered my first poem ever—well, the first one I ever put on paper with the intent to show anyone. Oddly enough, or perhaps understandable, it was written in free verse.

One’s early poems tend to be on a simple scale. An idea comes to mind and is jotted down while the thought is fresh and hopefully comes to fruition. Metaphorically, one might compare poetry growth to learning how to dive into a swimming pool. In the early stages, it is enough to dive in from the edge of the pool. Somewhere along the way, there is an epiphany: more complex poetry is more interesting. The low board then becomes a place to hone one’s skills. Once a degree of comfort is attained on the low board, the eyes are drawn to the high board. Caution is thrown to the wind when one makes a personal challenge to strive toward increasing degrees of difficulty.

I believe I am now standing on the high board, looking down with trepidation. With the real poets doing two and a half somersaults with a full twist, I dream of cleaving the water cleanly after a simple half gainer. While past the love/dove and you/blue rhymes, I will continue making spectacular belly flops while attempting to improve my technique.

So today, I expose poem number one, knowing that each poem reveals a formerly hidden piece of me. In the end, poets desiring readers must open windows into their souls.


by Mike Patrick

Flickr image by Much Too Fun

A locket of gold
Given in love.
Two small photos
Of those who love her,
Held together by a tiny clasp.
Placed around her neck
With a promise of eternal love.
A small thing,
But as strong as truth.

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