you knew me when

Whether I’m writing stories or poems, I always get the sentiment out there and then go back and revise it to make it sound better. I don’t usually share those raw versions because the end result looks so much different. I was so happy to hear that an old friend was getting back to writing and performing the kind of music that he loves, that I posted the bones of the poem that rushed into my head after chatting with him. I’ve since updated it. It still needs something more, and I’m not entirely happy with the 3rd and 5th stanza, but thought I’d share the iterative process while I’m waiting for inspiration to hit me on those. I’ve kept the first draft which you can see below. The sentiment is the same, but I’m hoping I’ve captured more depth in the second draft.


Second Draft

The melodies and morsels of tender love,
longing, and philosophies linger
even now.

Fragments of past rhythm, lyrics, and music
skim and tease beneath,
lying low.

Supplanted and subverted by
wedding cake and school plays;
office drudge, vacations,
strained vows and sick kids.

Everything, and nothing
slowed the heartbeat of creativity.

Teetering on the brink,
rocks and dirt slip beneath my feet
daring the fragile pulse to cease.

Defiantly, I’m making my way back
to where my soul has always been.

Stripped of pretense and persona,
the props of the familiar are discarded
to make way for my voice.


First Draft

You knew me when
my dreams felt boundless.

When lyrics, and music, and rhythms
exhaled from me as life itself.

You knew me before
the years of life piled up.

Before jobs, and marriage, and kids
slowed the heartbeat of my creativity.

If you knew me now,
you’d see I’m making my way back
to where my soul has always been.

Now my words, and voice, and guitar
have been revived and given new life.

Stripped of pretense and persona,
my dream rebounds and breathes.

Ⓒ 2019 Lisa Shaughnessy

This poem needs work and is a little surfacey, I know, but I had to get these thoughts down when they rushed into my head today after a FB convo with someone I hadn’t seen in nearly 30 years. He’s a musician and turns out he’s getting back to writing and doing what he loved before – just like me and my writing. The poem isn’t about either of us specifically – it’s about all the people like us who reconnect with past creative interests after so long.

1 Comments on “you knew me when”

  1. Pingback: you knew me when 3rd Draft | Lisa Shaughnessy

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