Yesterday I already had an idea for a poem, so I didn’t follow the daily prompt, which was to write “a golden shovel”, i.e. a poem whose every last line must be a word from another poem. I thought that was an interesting idea, though, so I decided to do that today. The result is a bit clumsy, but it was a fun experiment. Let me know what you think.
I used Leonard Cohen’s poem “Owning Everything” as a starting point:
You worry that I will leave you.
I will not leave you.
Only strangers travel.
Owning everything, I have nowhere to go.
And this is what I managed to come up with:
I have shared my voice with you,
with its undertones of guilt and worry,
although there may come a day that
I come to regret it, for I,
I have never known the borders of my will,
or whether it was flat or round. I may leave
one day, and kill the voice I have shared with you.
So far I have been as a seabed, but I
may become as a sea whose waves will
drown the sailing ships, whose body will not
surrender. One day, I may leave
and un-learn the songs I sang with you.
So far, I have been a seagull only,
but what if I become a mermaid who harvests strangers,
or what if my heart begs me to travel,
but my mind forgets the way home, forgets that owning
the same voice as you was better than everything?
The two of us have never been quiet, but I,
I wonder at times if sometimes I should have.
Because sometimes it is better to be heading nowhere
than to know where you are headed to.
I have shared my voice with you, but I may let it go.