I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

24 December 2017

Prodigal Friend

I had not looked for him these many years.
It seemed I must resign myself to fate.
Despite a sense of loss, there were no tears,
and certainly no reason to await
a reappearance. No-one reappears –
do they? – after such a lengthy absence,
such an unrelieved and total silence.

Yet here he is, with thanks upon his tongue
for all the truth we shared a decade past –
and suddenly I’m roused, as after long
and peaceful slumber, opening eyes at last ...
awakening to dawn and daylight, song
of early birds crescendoing, and vast
blue skies unfolding to the spreading sun.

Written for the Ottava Rima challenge at Poetic Asides

(12 Aug 2018) I've just removed first and last lines, which were banal and unnecessary, so it's no longer a proper Ottava Rima; maybe I could label it a truncated one.

(Oct. 2018) Also linked to Poets United's Poetry Pantry #423


  1. I love this poem, Rosemary. Only suggestion I could make to improve it would be to delete the first line and start with "I had not looked for him ..." This is because the title of the poem sets the scene and renders the first line superfluous, plus the second line is absolutely beautiful. <3

    1. Many thanks, Barbara. A most excellent suggestion and I take your points – only that would stop it from being an ottava rima, and to keep to the strict form I'd have to rewrite. I'd need to insert a third-last line with an 'ate' rhyme ending, which would mean rewriting the next line ... all of which is not impossible, and would be an interesting challenge! I might very well give it a go.

    2. Re-reading this months later, I think the answer would be to chop off both that first line and the last line! Which I shall if I ever publish it. Thank you again.

    3. And in fact, on reflection, have done that here too.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, still feel this way. That release into living fully again is often just a few words from the departed friend.

  3. Ah, I like the idea that someone who had disappeared could reappear in one's life again. This poem is hopeful, and perhaps there are more truths yet to be shared!!

  4. This is very beautiful in form, content, and rhyme...in every way. I love the rhythm and lilt of it and think it a perfect poem!

  5. Have reconnected with friends after ages..both good and bad separations.. sometimes it is just as you described..and sometimes you wonder why you were waiting!!! Lovely write, Rosemary.

  6. I really like the kind of wakefulness and uplifting felt with this reappearance. Such friendships, which can awaken the spirit even after years of being dormant, are the ones to aspire for.
    It's a lovely verse, Rosemary! :-)

  7. I too have reconnected with old friend from many years ago. You have re-written this beautifully Rosemary. The second verse of particular delight.

  8. Oh gosh this is absolutely stunning!💞

  9. Is this a dream, or is it the real thing? Never mind. A resurrected friendship is a precious gift, no matter how it comes.

  10. Beautiful description of past joys recurring. :) It makes me wonder how friendships that have separation differ from those drawn out over social media.

  11. As, I was reading I felt it was a dream, as a dreamer I believe a visitation of any kind is still very real. In our waking life people do reappear for various reasons, perhaps to shed some light.

    Have a wonderful day

  12. He'll be making an appearance given the decade of relationship. A great close Rosemary!


  13. this shows how a little editing can make a poem that better. :)
    after i retired, i met up with an old schoolmate that i had lost contact with for over 40 years, and when i asked him where in the internet did he found me and he said (wait for it)...Poets United!

  14. How we meet a friend again often shrink the years away to nothing... that is what friendship is... as if they roots are always there and the new meeting is just a new sapling

  15. Sometimes some one reappears, and informs you of so many things you did not know, for we can only see from one side of the sea, we can only imagine what is seen from the other side. I enjoyed your poem!!

  16. I'm always happy to welcome a prodigal friend, Rosemary. You never know where they've been or what they've done and it's such fun catching up!

  17. Fate, destiny, coincidence, or perhaps karma? Any way we can choose to try to understand, perhaps the best gift is simply - the mysteries.

    I really like how this form has worked for you, even with your editing and revision - so even if not "true" - it does create a perfect conversation. And perhaps more importantly, is the essence, the meanings - you've captured that sense of longing and frustrations, of both wonder in the bemused, amused unfinished aspects - and then, so beautifully rendered the unexpected - the re-acquaintance - a re-kindling and sparking and how it then not only becomes about the past, but is filled with the newness of the now, bringing with it a sense of new pleasures and insights.

    This a beautifully rich poem Rosemary. :)

  18. Such a beautiful poem Rosemary. I love the reconnecting, the reappearance of an old friend and how you are stirred and awake again. It is almost like a rebirth.

  19. Nothing more rejuvenating than revisiting an old friendship .. like finding lost treasure. Beautiful write.

  20. This is yummy in every-which-way. For me, I think, the mood that you have imbued the piece with, really lifts it right of the page. It is exquisite … it is a 'precious moment'.

  21. The way the the joy flows in the awakening at dawn, im left thinking this was a dream, which could be very unsettling, knowing that it was only a dream on awakening.
    Interesting in the way it was presented

    Happy you dropped by my sumie Sunday today

    Much love...

  22. Ha Ha! Of course I thought it was a lover/husband. The question of re-appearance and "unrelieved and total silence" is perfect.

  23. A lovely positive outcome. Nice to read this.


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