Gateway – #writephoto

It’s very rare I write poetry, but this came to me when I saw the #writephoto prompt from Sue Vincent, at Daily Echo.

#writephoto prompt from Sue Vincent - Daily Echo
Credit: Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

Before you read the poem, please be assured that I am very well, enjoying life, and haven’t touched a drop…yet.

This is the gateway to heartache

This is the gateway to my soul

This is the gateway to all of me

My thoughts, my secrets, my control.

Don’t enter this gateway

Don’t put a foot inside

For what will wake up and confront you

Will be sadness, my tears, not joy.

Find me a lock and find me the key

So I can protect you from all that is me

Build up a brick wall and pass me on by

So this gateway to nightmares will no longer horrify.

I think it goes to show that these photo and writing challenges are a brilliant way to bring out the unusual in my writing.

Given that I rarely write poetry, because I find it so difficult to write, I’d love to know what you think of this rare attempt.

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104 comments

  1. Deep, meaningful. Love it Hugh. Love that you tried a bit of poetry too. I don’t normally do poetry either – very occasionally I will try it, but I have to be feeling REALLY REALLY confident to do it.

  2. Surprised me yet again, Hugh. I read with one eye open looking for your trade mark twist, but no, you played it straight this time. (Yeah, I heard that too, just laugh and move on)
    Have a drink or three and write more poetry. This is GOOD !
    “Find me a lock and find me the key
    So I can protect you from all that is me”
    These two lines are my favourite. We want some one to know us, yes, but not the hard parts, the dark parts, not the parts that will make them run for the door … maybe that’s just me 🙂
    Well done !

    1. Somebody else mentioned those two lines as well, Aimer. I think I struck gold with them.
      Thank you for your encouragement. Poetry with a twist sounds a great idea, but I can’t begin to think how hard it might be to write. Far more difficult than in a short story I think. Anyway, we’ll see what develops from within the deep unknown of my creative mind. 😈

      1. Likewise Hugh ….My short stories…which came ‘Out Today’ in Phuket Writers Anthology were all penned from a photo or an occupation or place…..I react well to those which you obviously do as well.. When is your book out?

  3. Good on you Hugh, for writing in a form you say you don’t feel comfortable with. It is only with practice that most of us can do anything. I liked the “soul” of the poem, and some of the lines just flowed really well together. I always find that reading my poetry out loud helps me work out if/where I need to change a word, because quite often what I think sounds all right on paper and in my head doesn’t quite fit the tune when it’s voiced.
    My favourite lines: “This is the gateway to all of me, My thoughts, my secrets, my control.”
    and “Find me a lock and find me the key, So I can protect you from all that is me”

    Really enjoyed it Hugh.

    1. That’s a great tip about reading it out loud, Claudette. I just wrote this poem down as it came to me. Did reread it, but didn’t change anything. Having read it a few more times there are certainly a few better words I could have used. I need to treat poetry like I do my short stories.
      Thank you for your lovely comments. They’ve certainly encouraged me to have another go. 😀

        1. Once the book is published, I may well look into developing into the world of poetry, Claudette. However, there are quite a few new short stories all bidding for my attention at the moment.
          Once again, thank you for your lovely comments. Certainly a great way to start a sunny September day.

  4. Wow Hugh, there is a real secret dark side to you that is only ever revealed in your writing. Otherwise, none of us would have any inkling it was there. This piece is very powerful. And striking with its repetition. You should write more poetry, the only way to improve and encourage it to flow is to keep on doing it. Follow Jane Dougherty if you don’t already, she’s a master. I find poetry is a great format for expressing emotion. I’m like you, I love poetry but find it hard, its not natural for me, but every now and again I give it a go. Well done and have fun with it!

    1. Seems so, Ali. I guess we don’t really know what lurks beneath other people. Well, not unless they write and publish it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to the dark side when it comes to writing.
      I already follow Jane. I’ve participated in some of her writing challenges. One of the stories I wrote for her will be in the upcoming book.
      Thank you for the encouragement. I’m sure I’ll be back with another piece at some stage.

  5. I usually dislike poetry. I think it comes from having taught high school English for a few years and having to critique the “poetry” that my students would come up with. But your attempt I actually liked. Great job!

  6. I loved it. So dark and delicious! You should take partake in the liquor and poetry more often 😉 Writing poetry frustrates the hell out of me. My mind insists I should be able to do it, that surely it should be part of a writer’s repertoire, but alas, I fall short every time. Perhaps I should try it with a little tipple! Great work 🙂

    1. Delicious? I love how you describe it, Mel. That’s a lovely way to put it.
      I find writing poetry to be very difficult. It’s something I usually stay well away from. I’ve tried it a few times but it seldom allows me to join its circle.
      Thank you for your encouragement.

  7. Hugh, nicely done! It’s possible you had one of your “dark side” book characters in your head at time. Don’t we talk through our characters? I wrote poetry years ago and know how hard it is to get just the right words in the right places. I liked the word repetition, and the rhythm. I’d say continue writing poetry once in a while when the mood strikes you! Just takes practice! You’ve got the skills, you’re an excellent writer! 💛 Christine (Elizabeth)

    1. I suppose we do, Christine. I mentioned this to somebody else and there are certainly certain characters that seem to stay with you during your writing journey. I’ve now seen first-hand how they can cross over with you into different writing styles.
      Thank you very much for your encouraging words and for the lovely compliment about my writing. It’s a great way to start a sunny September day. 🌞

  8. IMHO, Hugh, I liked it. It feels both personal and universal. Who hasn’t felt that him/herself is a kind of lost cause? It’s a great foray; I would be up for reading your poetry more often. Sci-fi poetry is a thing, too. Sci-faikus, even. Good luck!

    1. Thank you, Leigh. I’ve surprised myself with this post today. It reminds me of the time I wrote one of my short stories in the middle of the night. When I published it, I got such a different response. I don’t normally write after 6pm in the evening. I’m more of a morning writer.

  9. Hmmm, the Roberts’ dark underbelly exposed. Was your public ready for this, I wonder? Or should you have let us in gently to the seamy side of your world? I like the repetition at the start, gives it a sinister rhythm, like a train in the dark. You are right to drop the rhyming you start with becasue I think that might constrain you but the last line breaks the metering rather and for me jars a little. Overall a tremendous piece with some lick and spittle needed aroudn the margins. All good poetry is like old pewter – it needs a helluva lot of polishing to get right.

    1. I agree, Geoff. That last line certainly needs some polishing. I just wrote it as it came out. How it all came to me, I’ve no idea. My poetry box is often locked up and in a dark cupboard. I fear it may stay there for a while.
      I don’t think anybody was ready for this. Not even I was 😀

  10. Hugh I honestly thought that the poem was amazing . It dug deeply into the physi. You lived the sadness as you wrote the poem and it truly showed. I am no expert but I know what I like and what feels real and this poem was and is. Well done! 🤗

    1. These are wonderful, amazing, comments, thank you so much, Willow. Poetry really does scare me, but maybe it’s me it is scared of? I just find it so difficult to write and the words rarely come to me. I’m so encouraged by your kind comments. Thank you so much.
      xx

  11. I loved reading this poetic side of your creative self, Hugh. Very effect use of repetition. “This is” …”don’t’…”so”…”gateway.” The mood you’ve woven with words tugs at my emotions. Beautifully done! ❤

    1. Wow! I never expected a comment like this, Olga. I’ve attempted writing poetry before, but it never works out because I can’t seem to find the right words. It’s always been one of the most difficult forms of writing for me.
      Thank you so much for your lovely comments. They’ve not only put a big smile on my face, but told me that “I can do it.”

  12. Wow, for someone that finds poetry difficult to write you did a great job. I too only dabble in poetry and have to be in the mood as well.
    I enjoyed reading your poem and it left me with many emotional thoughts, the most prevalent being sadness and hope. I guess everyone will interpret it differently. Well done. :o)

    1. Thank you very much. In the almost three years I have been here, I think this is only my third attempt at poetry (other than a few haikus).
      It left me thinking that it was written by someone who was not able to accept being loved. Certainly not me, but maybe came from one of the characters in my short stories.

    1. I know. See what you do to me, Sue. I think this is a very rare event. If it were an item on ‘The Antiques Roadshow’, we’d both be opened-mouthed and in shock right now. I’d certainly be asking for a large glass of brandy and somewhere to sit down.

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