For most of these many years of writing poetry, once a piece was finished I would show it to my family and my friends, think the poem over a few more times, and then put it into the "Poetry" box. Done. From time to time I would pull them out, look them over, or share them with someone new to me, and ultimately back into the box they'd go.
Now and then, a new idea would come to mind and I'd jot it down, and there might be quite a long span of time between finished poems. Ah, but Echoes, my first published book of my of verse, has changed all of that, and my poetic juices are all the more active for it. There is a new sense of purpose in writing in rhyme: producing yet another published book, and then others, of my work.
Right now, all of those snippets of verse are screaming to be completed. "Why?" I ask. "Do they all want to be in the next book?" Well, apparently so, and yesterday I finished such a one. It's called Phantom in the Crowd, and this poem has been languishing and calling out to me from within the "Poetry" box for several years now.
When I originally wrote the first few lines of Phantom, they floated in my brain for several minutes, until the air went out of them. So, I acquiesced to shelve them temporarily. Some months later I looked at those lines again, but Phantom stared back at me blankly. All the while, I was writing other verses which I sometimes completed.
Yesterday, I revisited Phantom in a Crowd, and I realized that I did have a few more lines to add, and then a few more, and so on. Several hour later, I had a finished draft, followed by another hour of tweaking. I showed it to my family, which confirmed my own suspicions that it wasn't quite there yet. Hmm...
I have come to realize that poems often need a lot of time to fully emerge, and that finished pieces always require some patience on my part so that they can gel. Phantom was a huge reminder of this, and yesterday, at last, it was done, actually done! My innate governing senses relaxed and then melted into a sweet relief.
Phantom has had many hours now to settle out, and a fresh look at it today affirms that it is indeed done. I have added Phantom in the Crowd to my poems here, under the "Other" heading. After so many attempts over such a protracted length of time, Phantom is ready to for it's unveiling. Enjoy!