Invisible Friends

A summer-born child, I lived in my head,
I drew, wrote, sang and read,
peopling worlds with invisible friends
to fill the space where reality ends.

Now I feel winter creep into my bones
and my poetic graffiti covers the stones,
written in lichen of saffron and green;
childhood’s buried where it can’t be seen.

But gravestones speak of lives lived and lost,
omitting the parts that weigh up the cost.
I enter the graveyard through gates in my head
to record all the stories I hear from the dead.

Kim M. Russell, 5th June 2018

Invisible Friends

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Getting Personal also shared on Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Tuesday Platform

Amaya is tending bar today for what she says is the one and only dVerse Speed Dating Night. In honour of the 199th anniversary of Walt Whitman’s birth, she wants us to be inspired by his magnum opus, ‘Song of Myself.’

She asks us to imagine we are writing personal ads and write poems that show our intended audiences who we are, not who we want the world to see.

Amaya says that there’s a lot of freedom with this prompt, but to remember to proclaim and celebrate ourselves as if our soul mates at the other end of the universe would recognize us.


45 thoughts on “Invisible Friends

  1. So profoundly beautiful. Our departed do live in our heads. I especially loved “omitting the parts that weigh up the cost”. There sure is a lot of subtext in those gravestone hyphens isn’t there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely and contemplative. I hear my childhood speak but I wouldn’t call it a friend. Mostly, even though it was full of good things, not all but enough, its ghost haunts me, begging me to take it along forever. Purgatory. Things will never be so romantic or delicate as a dreamy childhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amaya. I spent a lot of my early childhood on my own (with invisible friends) but when I moved from my grandparents’ house to my parents’ home on a housing estate, I found some flesh and blood friends to run around with.


  3. This has such a strong structure, Kim, and the words and ideas sing in beautiful melody. I love the descriptions of stanza 2, but really the whole poem is so cohesive it is hard to single out one part of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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