Narratives tell a story. Generally, they are told, or at least begin, in the first person. They can be long or short, but they will, just as in a novel or short story, have a beginning, a middle, and an end. There are multple formatic rules narratives can take, but many modern poets use the Free Verse style.
A narrative will, whichever structure it follows, have a lyrical nature to it. Narratives are a class of lyric poetry. This means the words and sounds of the poem may appear to mean one thing, but when taken with the melody, may mean something else.
I tried my hand at this narrative long ago, and I’m still working on it, and it continues to grow. Keep that in mind when you try Narrative poetry: They have a way of going on and on and on.
The bridge rises from the marsh.
I give space to the truck pulling the fishing boat.
Harpsichord and violin mingle
between the heavy clouds carpeting the sky
and the misty clouds floating about the fields.
For miles in all directions,
forward and backward,
Vast grassland that is the Gulf plane billowed wet and gray.
The grass stands still in heave air
But bends ears and rushes to follow as I speed pass.
I am gone.
Green through gray haze,
dark green, light green, blue green, brown green.
It reaches for the moist mist above.
Water clear and clean.
Trees follow mangled wire,
a small clump here,
a lone tree there.
The cows stand chewing,
brown eyes look to me as I pass,
then I am forgotten.
They’ll be there when I pass in summer,
standing and chewing in the shade of a tree.
They’ll be there when I pass in the rain
standing and chewing in the shelter of a tree.
Here and there,
like the flames put to the grass in fall,
Indian Paint Brushes rush from roadside,
flicker along the embankment,
and blister into a field,
Until cooled by a wave a Blue Bonnets
puddling in the drainage ditch,
drowning in the sea of grass.
Golden poppies scatter that field,
sparkling where the sun would shine,
if the sun came out of the clouds
for only a moment
but then the moment would be gone.
A lone hawk sits, perched on a pole,
surveying the vastness shrinking.
The pole carries the wires that carries the power,
that carries the voices of people it never sees.
It watches me pass,
then forgets me.
Flatness all around me
except in the review mirror,
The hump in the road,
the bridge over Chocolate Bayou.
But then there is fog,
I turn. Vast columns of smoke, soot, mist pour from the plants.