The Meaning of Distance

A Poem By Tamerah // 8/15/2012

There’s something so shrinking about this,
hiding beneath the shadow of a sleeping moon
like I could find safetly in it, as in the moment before gravity catches hold.
Human minds get shaken by the wind so easily,
after all they’re filled with branches and flower petals.
I don’t feel very brave at night, even with the scattered stars,
and I feel even less brave in the morning, without them.
I’ve been told courage comes with light but mine clings in the shadows,
and I’ve found no amount of coaxing can bring it out.
I’ve started to wonder if all your travels have provided you with some grain of insight,
about coming and going, about the filling and emptying of space.
If they have I want to tell you that you’re having better luck than me,
for all my solitary standing in one place I’ve reached no conclusions.
You used to think of distance as a calm and ancient silence;
I always thought it was a word made up by the first person to gaze upon the ocean.
I still don’t know which one of us was right, or if anyone is,
but there’s a great deal of distance between us now, and it’s never silent.
It wasn’t until much later that I realized we were
only trying to find solace in putting meaning to the word.
Since then there are a lot of things I’ve stopped denying,
like how in the end none of this concerns either of us, how maybe it never did.
It was only a passing thought that took root in me and never let go.
Still, it proved harder to admit to myself that I didn’t mind.
There’s always been something in me
that tried to hold on even when I didn’t want to anymore,
and for a long time they contradicted without either gaining ground.
But one night I dreamt I stood beneath a rose-coloured sky
where yellow balloons were drifting up into the ether,
getting higher and higher but never seeming to get farther away.
There was another yellow balloon the size of the sun and low on the horizon;
a hand stretched out across the sky with a needle and popped it.
And when I awoke I felt the lifting weight of letting go.

Comments

I like this.

Really nice flow. I like the bit at the end; it's kind of a sorta-waking-up-to-reality type thing, if you know what I mean!

And the way you put no paragraph spaces at all added to the, um, distance meaning. I know that didn't make much sense, sorry! :D <3

EDIT: Btw, did you draw your picture?? I like it very much :)

Maddi | Thu, 08/16/2012

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Beautiful!

Definitely felt like I could have read this in a book of poetry. :) I love the imagery in it ("after all they’re filled with branches and flower petals" and "But one night I dreamt I stood beneath a rose-coloured sky / where yellow balloons were drifting up into the ether" especially) and the deep meaning in it. I wondered if it was addressed to a lover or a friend or someone... And the last line made me tangibly feel like I let something go, too. :) I felt involved in it especially since I just came back from traveling and I wondered if I could answer the question posed by the poem - but I can't; it's only intensified the question, haha. And I like how you said your courage clings to shadows. -Sarah

Sarah Bethany | Thu, 08/16/2012

This is really, really good.

This is really, really good. I love how you just write sentences and transform it into something beautiful--poetry. You are certaintly, without a doubt, a gifted poet.

Lucy Anne | Thu, 08/16/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is really, really good.

This is really, really good. I love how you just write sentences and transform it into something beautiful--poetry. You are certaintly, without a doubt, a gifted poet.

Lucy Anne | Thu, 08/16/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Oops. I am just soo sorry for

Oops. I am just soo sorry for triple commenting!

Lucy Anne | Thu, 08/16/2012

"It is not the length of life, but the depth of life." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks everyone!

@Maddi: No I didn't draw the picture myself (I am a terrible artist, I can't draw at all). It's one of those things I found in the great cosmic space of the internet. I have the original source saved but I'd have to dig around to find it.

@Sarah Bethany: Thanks so much! I'm glad the meaning didn't get lost, I always feel like maybe I'm being too vague and confusing, like I'm the only one who can hope to decipher it. Since I'm so close to it I can't tell. Writing this poem for me was... cathartic. That's the best word I have to describe it.

@Luce Anne: No worries! I'm relieved it didn't just seem like a bunch of jumbled up sentences -- I tend to worry about that. I haven't been writing this style of poetry for very long :)

Tamerah | Thu, 08/16/2012

Meh. You're so good. I don't

Meh. You're so good. I don't have words anymore. This was my favorite part:

But one night I dreamt I stood beneath a rose-coloured sky
where yellow balloons were drifting up into the ether,
getting higher and higher but never seeming to get farther away.
There was another yellow balloon the size of the sun and low on the horizon;
a hand stretched out across the sky with a needle and popped it.
And when I awoke I felt the lifting weight of letting go.

It felt very dreamy right there. Everything was really beautiful, great job.

E | Fri, 08/17/2012

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

You are an amazing person

You are an amazing person (and writer), Tamerah.

Anna | Thu, 08/23/2012

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

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