Poet of the Day – Ren Pike

National Poetry Month April 15, 2020

Ren Pike

 old friend
we met in
snowsuit suffocation
bursting bruised from bully buses
enduring lawless endless recess
powerless in paramilitary dress
singing campfire songs
me in hand-me-down stress
you riddled and repressed
carrying cafeteria tray caution
past hostile hoards
we merged
into oncoming havoc
registrar-recorded rapids
circling, eddied passings
wrung dry from overreacting
seismically spilling our spasms
surrendering to slipstreams
flushed on flotsam
you a dot among dots on shore
me at sea
we stayed
in touching distant
switching post-sedentary tracks
ostensibly giving each other slack
stepping off the train and back
portentous reverberances
pricking the string of time
sending messages down the line
telling each other
we are fine
NOTE: This poem has never been published.

1.     What inspired you to write this poem?

This poem is about enduring friendship and it has been with me for a while. I keep updating it as I get older. It reflects the things I see between my friends and I as life bounces us around, yet we remain connected, though in everchanging and sometimes challenging ways.

2.     What do you like about this poem?

I like that it truthfully captures the feelings I had at these stages – school, young adulthood, and now. It brings me back to those realities and the choices we each made that have taken us on different paths. Miraculously those paths keep bending back toward each other. Again and again.

3.     What would you change about this poem?

I would like the imagery to be more consistent. But then think this is in some part about the inconsistencies, the jarring bits of life. The many ways our paths diverge from what we think they will and should be.

4.     Where, when, and how often do you write?

I write a few times a week. Often when a concept or feeling crops up and demands attention. Usually always on the weekend. I try to get some space away from chores and let myself drift mentally. Those journeys feel great and often produce poem stubs that I can work on over time.

5.     What poetry books are you reading right now?

I keep revisiting Clea Roberts Here Is Where We Disembark. She’s a Canadian poet from the Yukon. Her poetic grasp of environments is a joy. I am also really consumed by  Mojave American poet Natalie Diaz, and her book When My Brother Was an Aztec. Her brutal truths are often hard to read but are delivered so beautifully. It’s a must read.


Ren Pike grew up in Newfoundland. Through sheer luck, she was born into a large family who understood the exceptional value of a library card. Her poetry is published/forthcoming in NDQ, Orson’s Review, Gyroscope Review and Juniper. When she is not writing, she wrangles data for non-profit organizations in Calgary, Canada.

Twitter: @sputta

Website: http://rpike.mm.st

picture of Ren Pike