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‘I MISS YOU’…three words that appear in our heads from time to time, often prompted by a memory, a sight, or even distance. For me, and most recently over the past few weeks whilst pondering on a topic for this prompt, these words seem to have become more relevant than ever.

So good afternoon & evening to you all! My name is Stuart McPherson, and once again I’m delighted to be your host for today’s POETICS!

Now, let me try and explain why I’ve chosen this particular subject, and it’s really very simple. I got homesick. I got homesick and I couldn’t escape it, it really is as simple as that.

As part of my work, I am lucky enough to be able to travel, and recently have been away for a good two week stretch. Now, any folks would see travelling as part of your work as being ‘glamorous’, but the reality is you see a lot of airport lounges, a lot of soulless hotel rooms, a lot of vacant ceilings staring back at you. You ALSO get to see some amazing places (and I’m certainly not complaining), BUT…and this is the rub…they aren’t the same unless you have someone to share them with. It just so happened that on this occasion, I felt it more than ever. Despite my surroundings and experiences, I missed my Wife, I missed my home, I missed my Cat (even if she does bite my feet)…I missed EVERYTHING

Plane Wing

‘Plane Wing’ taken by Stuart McPherson November 2012

And then it occurred to me what a deeply human and commonly shared emotion that ‘MISSING YOU’ really is. We feel it about all sorts of things. We miss lost loved ones, old friends, first loves, old haunts, special places, special times in our lives. We miss our pets, we miss our favourite old pair of pants, we miss lazy Saturday evenings watching TV & spilling pizza down ourselves, we miss LOTS of things.

In a way, the things we miss, and the feelings recreated, is simply an assurance of who we are and the experiences that penetrate into our very DNA, our own individuality.

Lights at Copenhagen Harbour by Stuart McPherson, November 2012

Lights at Copenhagen Harbour by Stuart McPherson, November 2012

And I thought, how good would it be to share that. For us to express poetically, a feeling of ‘missing’ or ‘longing for’

To give an example, let me turn to one of my all time favourite poems by Pablo Neruda, which captures that real sense of ‘I MISS YOU’. This poem is one of my absolute all time favourites. It moves me every time I read it.

A DOG HAS DIED

By Pablo Neruda

Translated by ALFRED YANKAUER

My dog has died.
I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.
Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.
His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine
withholding its authority,
was the friendship of a star, aloof,
with no more intimacy than was called for,
with no exaggerations:
he never climbed all over my clothes
filling me full of his hair or his mange,
he never rubbed up against my knee
like other dogs obsessed with sex.

No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

Ai, how many times have I envied his tail
as we walked together on the shores of the sea
in the lonely winter of Isla Negra
where the wintering birds filled the sky
and my hairy dog was jumping about
full of the voltage of the sea’s movement:
my wandering dog, sniffing away
with his golden tail held high,
face to face with the ocean’s spray.

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

So now he’s gone and I buried him,
and that’s all there is to it.

And so to today’s prompt!

Write a poem that encompasses ‘MISSING YOU’
It could be a poem about:-

  • Someone you miss dearly (a loved one, a wife, a child)
  • A friend that you wish you could see again
  • A time or place that you miss (why do you miss it?)
  • A situation that made you ‘miss someone’
  • You could even write about a favourite item of clothing you miss!
  • You could write about a piece of music that reminds you of someone- it makes you miss them
  • An object that makes you miss someone or think about someone

THIS IS WIDE OPEN! This can be interpreted in so many different ways.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

  • Write your poem and post it to your blog
  • Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below
  • This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog URL and entered your name, click Submit. Don’t worry if you don’t see your name right away
  • Read and comment on other peoples work to let them know it’s being read

Share via your favourite social media platforms
Above all- have fun!

See you out on the trail!

Stu McPherson

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