on the banks of soft grass
reaching into the night
for pin pricks of starlight
longing to be caressed
by the cool November breeze
this is the me who dreams
of lying by a creek
this is the me who fades
with wisps of morning mist
This came to me at an odd moment. I was staring at my About page, which has remained unchanged for years now. I felt like I should explain the blog title you see at the top. An idea hit me. A mental picture, really. The background came to me first… I could make out a stretch of open, green plains in my mind’s eye.
Then I remembered how it felt to lie spread-eagled on the field back home in the RI field (my high school) in the late evenings. With nobody around there was a stillness in the air, as if time itself were suspended. The empty field surrounding me seemed to grow impossibly large and melancholy. The ground would still be warm with the day’s heat, but a light evening breeze made sure I never grew uncomfortably warm. Off in the distance I would hear the faint murmurs of evening traffic, almost drowned out by incessant cricket calls. As night fell, tiny pin pricks of light would peek out from behind the cover of darkness. I tried my best to track each one as they appear but I would soon lose count and give up. I would then close my eyes and let myself drown in the darkness instead, willing time to come to a standstill.
I started with a jumble of unremarkable prose, but a few phrases jumped out at me, demanding to be felt. Slowly the poem took shape, revolving around those phrases. An empty field seemed kind of sad, so I added a creek to spruce up my mental picture.
Writing all of it down was the easiest part. I didn’t make a special effort with rhyme schemes, but there was a pleasing rhythm to it, something that felt organic and natural. I also made a conscious decision to omit any capitalisation or punctuation because each lines flows into the next and so it felt wrong to dictate how my words should be read. A half hour later, it was time to put on the finishing touches. And then I sat back, satisfied to have captured the moment.
Having lived in a city all my life, I’ve never actually had the chance to go out to the countryside and lie by a creek; to quietly wait for stars to fall while watching the world go by. This is the closest thing I’ve had. So this — is what I think it must feel like.
More than five years after I first crafted my blog title “Under the starry night sky | Open plains and the cool November breeze”, I finally penned down what that phrase really means to me. Now it’s up on my updated About page. Pretty neat, huh?