Friendscaping After COVID, I get to share another failed writing contest entry. This one was a freebie to enter from my province’s Writers’ Federation. It was poems to be displayed on our transit buses, with the theme of connections, a limitation of ten lines or fewer, and be suitable for an audience of all ages. There were 70 entries, and ten was chosen, so pretty good odds, but mine was not one. It didn’t earn the accolades, but I’m sure I didn’t help in writing not only semi-classical format with rhyme and even meter in a modern poetry world, but I also wrote on subject matter that might not be suitable for all ages. By that, I don’t mean violent or sexual content, but just the harsh realities of relationships and friendships. I’m sure if some kids read the poem on the bus, they’d have some hard questions for their Parents or adults with them! Regardless, I really liked it, not the least because it’s personal enough to reflect my situation that is core to poetry, while having enough universality as people are re-thinking their relationships and friendships the world over in reopening post-COVID. Read and see what you think.

Revive these ailing friendships from the past

Feed these blooming friendships to make them last

Let these stagnant friendships be what they’ll be

Let these fading friendships die naturally

Weed out these so-called “friends” for your own good

Substitute these so-called “friends” if you could

Cultivate friends in these new areas

Stay far from those you deem nefarious

Work out how to do all this tactfully

Don’t take any failures personally


And given this poem is reflective of my situation, I had thoughts during the judging period that it would probably be best if the poem wasn’t one of the ten selected, all of the people who know me outside of work, including new ones met recently, would be wondering where they would fit since I am not really making any efforts to rebuild any old friendships unless the other makes the first move. I had enough of doing so and had made the commitment in 2020, having left the ball in all their courts. The pandemic, for all of its horrible impact, in this instance, being like the Fate given anesthetic to make the transition painless. I’ve hung on to 1% of these old friendships as I had estimated, and and merrily moving on without having hurt anyone’s feelings! And without this being on a bus or gaining notoriety, nobody’s feeling will have a second chance of getting hurt! That means none of them pay any attention to this blog, and at least half probably wouldn’t know or remember if you asked them because their worlds and mine are that far apart. 🙂



458 words

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