While doing the thinking and the writing about my reluctance to Love Poems, I learnt more than a few things about myself: the how-s and why-s of the what-s, the things, I think about. The Psychology – a subject I love very much – of it all.
But I digress.
Late last year, I suffered and enjoyed a bout and a thrill of writing poems, poems which once again, I will be careful to call Love Poems.
This is how the thrill-bout happened:
- I randomly open my Facebook account and meet the eternal question, ‘What is on your mind?’ where my next status update should be.
- I think of what to write. I mean, I think of what Facebook is asking me. For the very first bout, the first poem of what will later be the first in a series, I was thinking of Someone, someone specific. This was on 23rd November 2017, some time after nine in the night. (The last in the series happened on 30th December 2017.) The poems that poured after this first one had a mind and method of their own. That is, I needed not have the said Someone in mind before I wrote them.
- I write, free and as fast as my phone’s keypad and its text prediction, as fast and easily as my fingers and my typing pace can allow. I write, the words coming in drops and shots, dribbles, puddles, and sometimes pouring too fast for my mind to assign moulds to, and for my fingers to put down before the words gel and cake on on the phone screen. The words came to me, far too willing and freely.
- I pause, sometimes, to do very little editing — like correcting spelling errors and replacing words and such with others. At other times, there was no editing. Only more of versification, that is, packing words and punctuation into lines — arranging fragments and whole units of thoughts into lines and stanzas or verses.
- If there is no slip in my use of the technology, I touch the POST button when the stream of words cut, albeit with a discernible sense of closure. And it is ready to go, more raw than parboiled. The poem, just as it is. If slip happened — and it often did, for some poems — I would re-write (not re-type) the whole poem from a near zero-remembrance… Because I often tell myself that I have no talent for memorizing things, things including poems, even my poems, especially my own poems?
- Poem then loads. Then Poem goes up and public.
- Poem is posted!
The immediacy and urgency with which the poems happened to me, the solid and presence of the soul with which they came to me, the feel of freedom and light which followed my clicking the POST button on Facebook…
These. And more. I love. A vast lot. These.
It could be that things happened the way they did because I was in Love. Like actually, literally, in Love. Or because I thought I was in Love. Or I was only in Love with being in Love. Or because Love was falling in Itself with me. Maybe (not).
But if this experience is one of many things Love can do, one of many ways Love can come to anyone, and a writer in particular, then yes, I love Love (too). And I want Love coming my way more often. This way. Or any other way — Verse-ions, Persons, Other(s) — that Love chooses.
And I still can’t really explain why and how I settled on CloudYOU! as the title for the whole series. I say ‘I can’t really explain’ because cloud is not the only motif in many of the poems. Because there were others like corn and okro and fish and even water and sun. Because I gave each poem, in the time order in which it happened and poured, a #HashTag — more of a Name-Tag — of a stage in a plant’s growth. Such that, the series began with #Sprout, went through #Blossom, and ended with #Harvest.
I do expect, some day, that I be(come) more relaxed and reckless, less careful and calculating in professing my love for the kind of poems categorized as, or bluntly called Love Poems. And this time, not only as a Reader and a Writer and perhaps, Teacher too, but also as a Lover, and as every-One one of the Wonders about and inside the Magic called Aisha Nelson. Me.
So on this note, an excerpt from one of the poems in the series called:
sought and saw you in all, around me.
thought about you.
wove fine futures of us, around you.
dreamed about you.
– Thursday, 1st March 2018; Dansoman, Accra.