From the Young Poet to the Old

As my early summer sun sizzles into evening,
on the other side of a mountain
of poetry, winter chill has frozen
your fingers to your pen
or your keyboard,
poems petrify in your head
and there’s no escape.

My season has begun to flow
while yours has ebbed and, although
the beach is empty of waves, it is cold
and damp. Salty air has corroded your anchor
and you are stranded, an ancient whale
with too many songs and no voice to sing.
Only faded rainbows spout from your blowhole.

Kim M. Russell, 30th December 2019

Image result for stpaintings and artwork  whale spouting rainbows from its blowhole
Image found on

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads PLAY IT AGAIN! with REAL TOADS

Today is a sad day; it is Kerry’s final prompt as a founder member and Creative Manager of The Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. After nearly a decade of being part of our amazing community of poets, writers, photographers and artists, she is saying goodbye with a retrospective, and invites us to PLAY IT AGAIN! and AGAIN! and AGAIN! We have a great choice of prompts. I decided to go back to July 2015 with Kerry’s prompt ‘Let’s find our poetic voice’.

31 thoughts on “From the Young Poet to the Old

  1. Your poetic voice is so strong, Kim! A writer can only develop as true a voice over time, and with a lot of consciousness about what his/her purpose is in writing. I have always admired this in your work, and love how it comes out in this poem. The metaphors which draw upon your appreciation of nature and cycles, so neatly tied to emotion are poignant and heartfelt.
    Thank you for everything, dear fellow toad. This journey is not yet over.. though new paths have appeared.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is gorgeously encapsulated, Kim! ❤️ I have loved your poetry and learned so much over the years! This is especially strong and poignant; ” an ancient whale with too many songs and no voice to sing.”


    Liked by 1 person

  3. The last line nearly broke my heart. There is so much pain in that sort of loss, in seeing beauty and life being stripped of all the goodness… and turned into the shadows of shattered bones.

    May the rainbow reclaim all their bright.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautiful, sad, yet I feel it call out to those who feel the hunger to write poetry, to write while the words are there, to leave them as flowers so others can be urged to write their own garden.


    1. Thank you, Bjorn. Have you read Rilke’s letters to a young poet? There are other such writings from the old to the young, but not many from the young to the old.


  5. Beautiful, Kim, wild, difficult and a little strange in your account — I’ve not seen poems of yours go here much before — And as an older poet, giving voice to the younger one is both a gifting and al question: Do poems ossify in our voice? Are those songs lost or reinvigorated in a new generation of poets? The old beached whale here suggests something lost forever or going extinct. It’s been such a wonder reading your work at Real Toads and I hope you will visit after it launches this week and share more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s hard not to feel weepy, here at the end of the Garden. I know that echoes of those songs will still linger on the ‘net and there will be new songs sung some other places, but I will miss the Toads.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “..poems petrify in your head/and there’s no escape.’ This really hit me where I live, as the old expression goes, as I have been living it for too long…but there seems to be an ability to thaw out and dig deeper in all of us, regardless of age, and I hope we can avoid the terrible fate of silence you depict so vividly here. Hopefully our small band will never completely dissolve, though the tides may carry us to parts unknown. Thanks for the years of reading and support, Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A poem both accomplished and moving – the sadness of ending and also the optimism of future directions: not so much a passing of the torch as a claiming of it by its new bearer. Yet I like to think the old torch will continue to give light, so that many new ones may be lit from it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.