From November 2019, I began secretly writing poems.
I had never written poetry before, but when I wrote, I didn’t stop. It was almost second nature. It was as if the poem was already on the page before I had written it down. I kept writing. I wrote about my experiences with cavers. True experiences that I had had. I wrote about the friendship and love I felt for caves and the caving community. [and.. the pitfalls of being in the caving community too.] But what happened next is what took it to a whole new level.
Now I’m out of it, I feel like I can be open about it a little bit more. But seasonal depression made me exclusively negative within my life about everything. But holy moly did it actually help me write.
In those times, I wrote more poems than I ever written before, and promised I would keep writing until I came to a better place. A place where I could tell myself that most weeks were more positive than negative. I didn’t stop reading self-help books on how to make friends, how to embrace life and ground myself. I started to attend my local Buddhist centre and all of a sudden, had more friends than ever before. I wouldn’t say I ‘turned my life around’, but it was a good starting place. So I kept writing.
Slowly, my poems became more grounded and less negative over time. They came with more perspective and understanding. Some of the poems I wrote were dark. For example, I have nightmares about caves a lot. I wrote one of the nightmares down in this book. [If you have the book to hand, it’s called ‘Claustrophobic’] But the lighter poems about the caving community were just as deep for me. What is it about our community that I cannot place my finger on? We are all strange for wanting to go into holes in the first place, but then we like to contort our bodies into a squeeze machine whilst drunk for entertainment? God- we’re special, aren’t we?!?
Of 31 poems, here is just one fun poem from the book:
There is nothing like that feeling of..
how do I say this?
diving in the icy water,
wading through the muddy pond
in complete darkness
because perhaps you feel slightly pressured to by your friends.
(even so- it is the only way toward adventure!)
But then the water seeps through into your pants
and soaks through your privates
soaks past them like your privates were never there in the first place
and now they’re numb in pale ice- perhaps they’ve gone forever?
When finally, the water drains as you stand out of pond, shivering:
And you realise-
That the only way back out the cave is to wade through it all once again.
So that’s some information on how I wrote ‘The Fragile Cave’!
Check out ‘The Fragile Cave’ information below:
Here is a collection of poems based around caves, cavers and the caving community. These poems were inspired from the place of hurt, pain and personal growth in the relationships and friendships that caving brings! Romance, sex, drama, fear, security, fun, and wit- all in one epic journey of poetry!
More information and quotes on my instagram, where I did a live reading of 7 poems:
if you read the book and enjoy it, please feel free to leave an amazon review!