Friday, February 27, 2009


I've been digging through some things I wrote way back when I was talking mostly to myself here. I've had this blog for almost exactly a year now, and I'm amazed at how much I have actually written over that time. Of course quantity does not imply quality.

Some of these poems I barely remember writing, now. It's a bit like that strange feeling I used to get reading my old diaries, before I destroyed them all. It's like reading something that belongs to somebody else, and it's private and kind of scary to look at.

I like this poem, so I'm bringing it forward to share. There are a few others that I might dig up and share, too, while I'm feeling brave enough.


Under the mud-sea of my despair I found you
a sharp surprise, a brilliant spark
lifting me with startling speed to the surface,
where we gasped the clear night air with the sting of salt
breath stolen by the deep array of night stars
intruding upon the blackness.

Hard as we try
we can’t hold each other’s heads above the water for long.
A meteor traces across Orion, a quick flame
and is gone.
When my sea-slick arms slip and I fall back under
I try to record this moment and file it safely,
because what are the odds that I will encounter you again
in these infinite murky waters?

Rachel Westfall
March 8, 2008


christopher said...

I think you might like the poem "A Small Fish" I left, just written right now over at Stones of Forgiveness, Faith's poetry blog, written in response to her latest poem there. It is oddly just like this in its way. Of course I didn't know what you had posted here :) And Faith's is earlier than mine...

This is a very good poem, my dear.

Faith said...

I love this poem, Rachel. You say more clearly and more powerfully all these feelings I seem to have inside.

"a sharp surprise, a brilliant spark"

"what are the odds that I will encounter you again
in these infinite murky waters?"


Did you really destroy your old diaries? I used to keep a diary all the time. I have my college ones -- and yes, a different person -- but I lost my high school ones and have always wondered what I would think of them now.

Please dig up more of your old poems! I have to say that I have poked around in your old posts some :) (and amazed both by the quantity and the quality). I would love to see you repost some of the poems you really felt good about.

Karen said...

Rachel - I'd love to hear more about how the writers in this community came to be here. I'm surprised, for some reason, to find that you've been doing this for one year; for some reason, I assumed that you had been doing this for a long time. Did you always write?

Okay, now for the poem. I'm glad you pulled this one up. It's beautiful! The image of rushing to the surface and gasping as you reach the air then flaming out like a meteor is alive with the tension of the poem. There are so many lines and phrases I like that I can't quote them all, else I'd have to reprint the whole. Beautiful.

Kyddryn said...

A whole year?? Where has the time gone? Sniff...all grown up...

Shade and Sweetwater,

Wandering Alice said...

I like your use of 'sea-slick arms'. Lovely words.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you brought that back..the poem i sad but with hope.

Catvibe said...

Rachel, Somehow I missed putting you on my blogroll and that's why I haven't been here nearly enough. I have now fixed that! This poem is gorgeous, I"m really glad you republished it. I think I know that feeling, and you just want to hang on to it. Just a tiny moment of clarity.

RachelW said...

Christopher, thank you for the tip. I'll head right over to see; I love your spontaneous poems. It's what drew my attention to your blog in the first place (I think it was a poem you left on Julie's site, and it took my breath away).

Faith, thanks! :) There are a couple of others that I'll bring forward this weekend, in somewhat different styles. Yeah, I really did destroy my diaries... I cut down on a lot of baggage when I moved north, and for some reason I felt like they were dangerous baggage. Too bad, as I had some poems and creative writing in them, too.

Kyddryn, Alice, Confused, thanks all of you... I appreciate your comments. Kyddryn, yeah we are all grown up, eh?

Catvibe, thank you! I'm glad you stopped by, and that you like the poem, too. Part of me is tempted to edit the words, but it's not really the words that I like so much as the feeling they evoke in me. So I'd better not tinker with it. ;)

RachelW said...

Karen, I just realised I didn't answer your question about writing. I've always written, but not this regularly. I started blogging just to put my writing out there, and to encourage myself to get into a routine of writing daily. It has become so much more than that. I had no idea how much inspiration and support would come out of the writing community, nor how attached I'd get to you all. :)

jozien said...

Beautiful Rachel.:)

RachelW said...

Jozien :)

Poetikat said...

Isn't it amazing how we evolve in this strange poetic world? Your poems needed to be shared with a wide audience - a world in fact. I'm so glad that you are being appreciated for the perceptive and sensitive poet you are.

This poem requires contemplation. I will need to read it a few times. I'm torn between seeing it as drowning versus rescue.