How to Make Friends & Write a Poem

Students at the bench. Free image via Unsplash.

Hi, everyone. We're on the last poem of our four-part poetry series. And this will also be the last episode before I take another break. I'll be back mid-August. On the 17th to be exact.

Quite a long break but that's needed because we need to take a step back every now and then. I'm not really a grind kind of person. I don't know how to say it, I was about to say "grinder" but it sounds bad. The only grinding I do is in video games.

My last poem is all about going back to the beginning. It's an ars poetica that I wrote in April last year. We were just starting life in lockdowns and quarantines at that time.

We started all sorts of new hobbies and rekindled old ones. In my case, I started writing more poems than I did in the past couple of years.

My first pandemic poem is nostalgic in nature. I've always thought about how easy it was for me to make friends in grade school. I was a quiet girl, but no one made me feel like I was odd for not being sociable.

My class mates, my seat mates would talk to me and I would talk to them and the next thing you know, we're best friends.

It was so easy.

So was poetry.

Whatever was inside me, or, actually I didn't have big feelings back then. Ninety percent of my poems were either silly play of words, silly rhymes or love poems based on vicarious experiences.

At some point things change. Your priorities change and you forget to do things.

But I still love talking to strangers and making friends out of them. And, as what this series shows, I still and will always love poetry. Moving forward, I want to be better at doing both.

Here's Murmur.

Murmur
Razel Estrella

I forgot what it was like to talk
Like we used to in school-day recess
The words intersecting endlessly
No beginnings in sight.

I forgot how to write a poem
Though surely this sounds like one.
In its heart is fear of telling
You what it thinks it knows and wants.

I want to remember what we talked about
On the bench in between the ringing bells
The space filled with murmurs and giggles,
Our stomachs with juice, our heads, love.

How did we do it without knowing
The rules or making them?
What to say, when to pause,
Who must speak with whom?

How did I learn to write a poem
Without knowing what it meant?

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