For Days Now, Mr. Bowie

Space Oddity Album Cover 1.
Space Oddity Album Cover 1.

For days now Mr. Bowie

has withered my poetic vine.

He absorbs all thought, each molecule

of passion.

So dreams turn monotonal

and pastel-grey wins mornings.

Twelve labours turn to twenty,

each step backbreaking toil.

Ears hum with his songs, not mine.

(So easy to find solace

when others say it better.)

Tempted – oh, yes! – to stop searching

for the word forever lost, crooked, faulty…

For just one minute I stopped upon a rock

with Sisyphus

lost in contemplation

of the melody of life.

Hunky Dory Album Cover
Hunky Dory Album Cover

But tell me, Mr. Bowie,

you who have known sorrow

– and great joy too, no doubt –

what do you know of my heart?

How can you show in my place

where fear fell  away,

out glistened unfettered soul beneath?

You cannot speak for me

so haunt no more my mind and senses.

Leave me to find my own laborious words.


Despite the pictures and the name-dropping, this poem is not really about David Bowie at all, although you know that I am a fan.  It’s about writing, finding words to describe your experiences, finding your own voice, inspiration: all the bees that are currently flying around in my bonnet.  Buzz over to the dVerse Poets Pub today, where they have Open Link Night.

34 thoughts on “For Days Now, Mr. Bowie”

  1. Marina Sofia – He is awfully talented and it can be hard to both be inspired by someone like that and still use one’s own voice. You do a masterful job of expressing that.

    1. I was listening to one of his albums the other day and found myself humming the tunes when I woke up the next morning. As a result, I was unable to write any poetry first thing that morning, which is when I usually find my inspiration. So I started wondering what would happen if I was permanently obsessed…

  2. cool verse…a couple things come to mind…one is how we can listen to or read someone so much that we begin to take their voice…or even start to compare ourselves….and we have to be careful of that…and you know, you can say it just as well…smiles.

    1. Ah, yes, those blasted comparisons… Do you know I suffer more with that in prose rather than in poetry? Maybe in poetry I feel more ‘inspired’, while prose is more ‘work’. So there is always the illusion I could do better, learn more craft…

  3. Yes, Marina, this is exactly right, though I like to play with my favorite poets’ styles, especially when I am in the middle of my own dry spell. Love your words.

  4. nice… i think sometimes it helps if we can identify with another artists words or song..but there’s the moment when it’s time to find our own voice…

  5. I really like how you wrote about David Bowie in a metaphoric way to write about finding words to write poetry. Very clever indeed.

    1. I sometimes wonder if celebrity culture is all about letting other people speak for you… because you feel you have nothing important to say. Does that make sense?

    1. Ah, you know me so well: yes, as a pre-teen I did imagine marrying Mr. Bowie. That’s in there too, somewhere, the hero-worship of celebrities whom we think we know.

  6. sometimes the greatest inspirations are sparked by another’s words or lyrics~ I find all the time that reading other writers makes me a better writer in turn~
    this is a wonderful piece I especially love the closing lines~ thank you for sharing!

  7. As a teenager, I listened to a lot of tongue in cheek rock, such as Mötley Crüe – I don’t think it would be desirable for me to try and emulate their style, so I’d better stick to my own voice 😊. But, I certainly appreciate your address to Mr. Bowie.

  8. Wow, how aptly you describe the frustration of opening up to pour out your own pain and joy. Too often we read the words of another and it moves our heart in similarity but not enough, for similarity does not expunge the emotion of individual experience in its totalityy and we must give voice to our own torment and joy. Nicely done.

  9. Marina, it is sometimes hard to find ones voice. I could relate to this very much. Bowie is quite the lyricist. Nice poem and post.


  10. Creative and a poem I can relate to. Sometimes I read or hear the words of others and wonder why I ever thought to use words of my own. Then I realize that I do have something unique to say, even if it is unique only to me.

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