It was a tiny scrap of disintegrating paper.
I found it at the bottom of a shoebox previously used to hold a collection of worthless crystals and a couple of fossils. A scrap I had completely forgotten about. The shoebox had been wet. The mould-ridden bottom was ready to fall out, scattering minerals and prehistoric beasties everywhere. A plastic tub for them; recycling bin for the shoebox.
The scrap was rotten, covered in mould spots, but there were the words. Words in my handwriting, the blue ballpoint pen ink indistinct but present. Words I had put to paper as I thought about song lyrics. A song I would never write, lyrics I would never finish, an ode to one now long gone. Yet … the words lived on, forgotten at the bottom of a rotting shoebox.
Sapphire eyes dancing,
Show us your world.
Spin round, glancing,
Bright hair all curled.
So full is my heart,
Stay close to me a while.
Couldn’t bear to be apart,
Sunshine in your smile.
The rest, alas, illegible. The scrap has now joined the shoebox in the bin. I don’t want to risk getting sick from any of the moulds and fungus growing on it.
As for the lyrics. Cheesy? Yup.
Not for me the destiny of Lennon-McCartney.
Still, there’s something equally unsettling and moving about rediscovering unexpressed passions from years long gone. It was the beginning of the nineties—a time of excitement and optimism and bright colours and young love. Such a contrast to present day with all its maudlin drab narcissism.
I didn’t think of myself as a poet back then. I still don’t, but perhaps back then there was enough stirring me to consider poetry as the medium of choice for expressing my romantic side.
These days I’m lucky if I can rhyme ‘orange’ with ‘forage’. I’m not too worried. Rhyming lines are only one form of poetry.
Now if only I could find a new passion to wax lyrical about…