by Alexandra Harrison
My grandmother was first
Not the first, but the first of mine to go.
When the clouds had changed and formed a million times over
And the sun had ran into the sky again and again
My mother became the second
And my father followed shortly after.
Everything is a little more cluttered now,
And those hands have become knotted with dust
And it feels as if they are slowing.
That face is feasting and spilling over
The tightness of my shoulders
And the knotting of my fingers
But it will do nothing yet.
Sleeping is like dying for a little while
It feels so heavenly
There is no longer a structure or a loss
And everything plays like a movie.
When I wake time has passed
An hour or days perhaps,
And its killed so much
But I am still alive.
My lips are still wet and warm,
My skin is still breathing and its pores
Are filled with the dirt from yesterday;
That I will wash off again and again
Until the soap makes my arms bleed.
I use lavender acid and have dark and deadly dreams.
Explanation (if you prefer to interpret poetry yourself ignore this)
Hello everyone. I hope you sort of enjoyed that little poem of mine. I always find it really difficult to explain poems such as these because there are just so many ideas to break down. But I know some people find it really helpful when I explain my writing like this so I’m going to try my best to make it as clear as possible. Also I can’t cover everything but feel free to leave questions below!
Stanza 1 – Describes the deaths of family members and I used some subtle descriptions about the sky changing to reflect the passing of time and also clouds remind me of dreams, which is another key idea in the poem that I basically start to set up in this stanza.
Stanza 2 – Now there is a shift into the mind of our protagonist. Referencing to the hands and face describe a clock, which is another symbol of time. Our protagonist is waiting and wishing for death and therefore you have the idea of the clock slowing down due to the dust, which has formed over the length of time they have been waiting (this is metaphorical). The clock is watching them suffer, but has chosen to do nothing.
Stanza 3 – Introduces the idea of dreams and the relationship between reality and death and what our existence means after we stop existing. The adjective ‘heavenly’ is deliberate, as it creates a positive image of death, reflecting the mindset of our protagonist.
Stanza 4 – Describes the disappointment of waking up and still being alive. The idea of dirt is introduced because when the dirt is scrubbed away it symbolizes the protagonist scraping away marks of their existence, the physical evidence of them existing and being part of the Earth. Only when they scrub this away, do they finally commit suicide. Washing away with ‘lavender acid’ which is actually lavender soap, reflects their destructive nature.
I considered concepts of time a lot in this poem after briefly studying Ozymandias by P.B. Shelley today in English. After reading the poem I realized that time holds power over everything and despite any power or glory time will rot everything away. Yes time doesn’t exist, but neither does anything else in this reality, so I guess time is the master of all the other fictional ideas in our heads. In the poem time is the master of death.
Please tell me what you thought of this poem below! Also, I get the majority of my images to go with my poetry from tumblr and pinterest so you can follow them below! 🙂
Thank you so much for reading,