You Bring Me Joy

My relationship with poetry started more as an extramarital affair than a marriage. I was not allowed to write them, my focus should’ve been on my studies.

My mother even suggested that I was ‘married’ to books. She was not wrong. I had written many short stories, but the enthralling feeling I got from the short expressive sentences that I added together and called poems was pleasing. I did not want it to die, like the caricatures I used to draw, I did not want it to be forgotten. And so I developed it, even though most people insisted I shouldn’t, I dared to rebel.

It was during those lonely days and those sleepless nights. When the wind chimed in my ears, and the words of my peers reached my ears. I just scribbled what I could, letting my mind drift into a certain limbo. The affair started, a summer fling that refused to end. I have not experienced summer, but I have lived it in the novels and poems of the ones who captured its essence.

One begot many, and soon I had a poetry book. I struggled to develop my poems, shabby connotation of words that captured my essence.

I was proud. In a way, I felt like a mother begetting her first child. I dared to dream, and together with our fellow dreamers, founded the school’s first poetry club. I knew it was not perfect, and other students called our poems the works of an idle teenagers who wrote about trivial things that were of no interest to anyone. I was a teenager, and the things I wrote about were of interest to me. My poem was supposed to capture my emotions, and convey my message, enabling other people to understand how I viewed the world, and educating them on important matters. That is all I wanted, and they served their purpose.

So, ignoring the criticism, I submitted my poems to my teacher, Ms. Harriet. If I didn’t love her before, I definitely loved her as she explained to me how relatable my poem was. Ms. Harriet guided me, and it is because of her that you can find me lying on my bedroom floor, a pencil in my hand, slowly transferring my emotions onto paper in my dimly lit room. I know my mother may not understand a boy’s love for poems, as she puts it, but my relationship with poems is strong. Like forbidden love, it grows.

Like a fire my love for you grows
Melting the ice that clouded my judgment
Clearing the shrubs that forbade me to see
Like a fire my love for you burns
Lighting the muddle that entangling my life
Showing the path that leads through the sea
I cannot bring myself to put out this fire
Because like a ranger during winter the fire warms me
Like a ranger the fire gets me through the night
Poetry is my fire
Its love burns within me.