Motions

Motions

When you say sorry I hear
only sorrow, the weariness
in your voice, words
of concession. Given
our situation, it’s understandable.
Apologies seem the norm.
Yours, mine. And what do we have?
If we are sorry for anything,
it should be for not
realizing this sooner.

A change in my poetry writing came about when I opened my WordPress account and participated in my first NaPoWriMo in 2014. It introduced me to forms I simply had ignored in the past (some of which I still do!), and others in which I had only dabbled (haiku, specifically, comes to mind).

For a long time, I limited my poetry reading to published work. I wanted my writing to be my own words, without the influence of others. I finally woke to the fact that I could expand my thought process, even find inspiration in a poem I was reading, simply by seeing one word or recognizing a style in which I felt comfortable writing, and still make it my own. At the same time, I was introduced to some wonderful writers.

Sometimes, the inspiration will even come from something outside of poetry. Today, I saw a Tale Weaver prompt for “sorry” at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. I may not be up for a short story, but I knew I could write a poem on that theme, so I did.

Now, it’s not always easy writing something when I’m in a totally different frame of mind. In another life, I’ve written poems similar to this when my head actually was in that place. Still, ideas such as this give me an opportunity to exercise my thoughts, yet calmly walk away from the words, once they’re written. This is one of those.

Ken G.

Shared on Open Link Night at dVerse

43 thoughts on “Motions

  1. You comments are enlightening. Awaken me to reflect on moments of understanding and grief, anger and apology, love and gratitude. We experience, and are possessed by, so many different and varied states of mind and emotion, all moving and changing from one into another. Your work words with form remind(s) me of a Dylan Thomas (my initials, too) specifically his famous villanelle do not go gentle etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah that word can carry a myriad of meanings….sometimes more potent than others. Well written.
    Quick query: did you tag it to dVerse or include a link somewhere? I know you usually do and it just could be the Cape Cod sun blinding my vision on the computer here….if you did not, could you add a dVerse tag?

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  3. Apologies come in every stripe, vibe, and color; some coerced, some heartfelt. Your title suggests many of us just go through the motions. These days I never say I’m sorry unless I mean it.”Love means never saying you’re sorry”–remember that movie? Truth is the antithesis of that.

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  4. A good portrayal of “sorry” as word, as emotional state.
    Your discussion of how you wrote this hits home – affirming something I do more and more as I grow older and keep writing. Not a lack of new subject matter so much as a call to revisit older situations. And when I do, I can write poems that articulate what I was experiencing at the time yet at-the-time not at all comprehending. So much clearer in the rear view mirror! Some of what I wrote 2000ish makes me wince at the “whine” coming through. Back then I could not see unsolicited changes as blessing, opportunity – only as barriers locking me out of familiar turf.

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    • Thank you, Jazz. It took hindsight to realize that some of what I wrote in the nineties was of grief and in denial of truths that were manifesting themselves in my writing. I don’t revisit that in writing too often, these days, but when I do it’s curious to me that I can write it without experiencing the intensity of those situations.

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  5. Sometimes it feels as if someone saying sorry is just going through the motions, as it’s a word that’s used so often, even though many people find it hard to say. Sorry and sorrow are related words, which is why I don’t like using the word lightly. I like the way you’ve expressed succinctly something that s quite tricky to explain, Ken.

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  6. I like this….”the weariness in your voice/ words of concession”…an apology has to be believed! I liked your commentary also, I have also found that responding to prompts can generate poems that one would not normally write. While I’m here, really enjoyed your recent nonet , I was not familiar with the form, now I’m intrigued….JIM

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  7. So often (well in my long-term-now-over marriage) the word sorry loses any importance after being said too many times to each other. The trick is not to do the things that lead you to have to say you’re sorry in the first place! I too marvel at those couples who can remain happy together. I like your explanation of how you were inspired to write this too.
    Gayle ~

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  8. I like the description of your writing process here. I know that sometimes I write as myself today, or a past or future me, and then other times I am pretending to be someone else and reacting or acting as they would do (as I imagine it). The flexibility of words in being able to try out alternatives and realities and maybes –

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    • Until the early ’00s, I was writing poems about tragedies in the news. It became too overwhelming, and then, especially, disturbing when I found myself writing one from the viewpoint of someone who did something unspeakable. I don’t want to give voice to a persona such as that.

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  9. The poem made me feel the reality of a relationship breakdown and was glad to read your comments. To be able to write with insight does not always mean we have to be experiencing the situation. Very interesting to understand your creative process.

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  10. I also appreciated the commentary you wrote after the poem itself. The poem touches something familiar in most of us, no doubt. I find it not too hard to say I’m sorry, but it’s hard when the other doesn’t seem able to accept or even hear those words.

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  11. Hi poet!. Wanted to let you know I am “temporarily” sightless in my right eye from a retinal disease. It is a struggle fir me to write, but I will still wrote my pieces, going very slowly. Reading at any length is extremely difficult, and causes painful headache — so wanted to say thanks for contributing to OLN. But I won’t be able to read what you wrote, yet I wanted to visit. I spent a little time writing this best I could with one eye, i copied it, and I am pasting it in here to say hi. Got an operation coming up in about a week when the infection is down. Hopefully things will get back to normal.thanks, Rob

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