"We grow accustomed to the dark..."
In dark nights, my breath grows weary
and my words turn to stone
on sleepy lips, as I enter
daring the high sky town.
I press the stars against my lips
my wishes kiss skies deep;
a loyal friend, the darkness holds
my secrets in its keep.
There are many forgotten rooms
locked upon old despair:
my spirit fingers work the keys,
caught up in knotted hair.
I dare not speak beloved's name
for fear the gods will hear
Though petals plucked from flowers fall
and silent pleas they bear.
Secrets may perish on the tongue,
red leaves wither to white,
but in my dreams your voice calls clear
Love has no wish to hide.
But how I dream my spirit sings
a music true and fair
that need not whisper prayers in vain
and perish in despair.
The most difficult thing about collaborative poetry is finding the place where two completely different poets, with their own voices and styles, can start. We began with Emily Dickinson, or rather, with her words. I sent Sheri a word pool of over 100 words commonly used in Emily Dickinson's poetry, and three titles of her poems. Sheri suggested we go a step further and write in Emily Dickinson stanzas, in iambic feet (loosely applied on my part) and 8/6 syllable counts. We went our separate ways, having decided to write 3 stanzas each under the chosen title. When we regrouped, we were amazed to see how seamlessly our stanzas fitted together, and no, we are not saying who wrote which ones - that would defeat the purpose.
We hope that you will enjoy our poem, written to celebrate a whole year of Real Toads magic, which has been about collaboration from the start.