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an island story

by Magestorrow

Author's Note: This poem was based on Riku from the Kingdom Hearts video game series, but also a little bit on my own experiences with trios of friends. While Soriku may not be canon, I like to think that at least Riku feels something more than friendship towards Sora - though that might just be me self-projecting about my own childhood loves and losses.

This poem was also written for the Big Bang Event: Pride 2019, so please check that out to see other queer works written for this year's pride! 

(And, if you want some musical accompaniment while reading this poem, this is what I listened to when writing the poem. It's a piano cover of Riku's theme, and I highly recommend listening to it.)

an island story

a boy and girl
sat together on an island
and watched the sunset
while a boy
sat in the darkness
and wished he was
there with them.

the girl said
that they should run off
towards the horizon together
and sail on distant seas.
the two were
perfect for each other
in every way,
and the entire world
knew it was their fate
to be together.

he knew it
as he contemplated
the worlds out of his reach.
that he needed to be supportive
of a friendship that might
someday become something more,
and that it was his place
to be the loyal best friend,
who didn't care when
the girl forgot about him.

yet as he sat in the darkness,
he let himself think
that he and the boy could
someday be something more.
even though it was forbidden
and even though he knew
his love's heart would always
belong to her.

but when he held out his hand
and asked him to come
to a world faraway,
the boy – though scared – took
his hand and momentarily
ventured with him
into the unknown darkness.

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303 Reviews

Points: 20225
Reviews: 303

Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:14 pm
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fraey wrote a review...

Hey there! I'm popping back here to hopefully go through more of your portfolio. ^^ I've definitely read over a few of these poems, but I'm never sure about typing up reviews, hehe. This one will be a little shorter as I've never played any of the Kingdom Hearts games, and I know very little about the content besides the elements of keys, Disney characters, and good/bad souls of some kind, I think? Whoops.

Anyways, let's get into the review! First off, I think the whole arrangement of this poem really works - the non-capitalization gives this a more introspective feeling (or at least to me it does) and the switching between the characters' views is kind of like flicking through photographs and getting to know a little about everyone's goals and opinions. As with everything, patterns are helpful and different stylistic choices are always analyzed - so I think the "he" in italics could be put back in normal text since nowhere else are italics used, but I do think another word such as "shadow" or "alone" to indicate that the "he" in question is the one in the background could help with keeping the reader knowing who's meant to be speaking.

Besides that, overall, I think having a few more specific details as described by the other reviewers could really help make this poem a little more unique. I do like that this based on another medium so that fans of that series could really connect with us but for outside readers, a little more of anything could really add something to this nicely written poem. Even just describing the characters themselves for a moment would do wonders in painting a more narrow picture of what's really going on in this poem - of the boys and the girl, of the world that they live in, and of what kind of things they all want to do.

Even without more imagery or development of that imagery, I really did enjoy this poem and {meant to review it earlier but oh well}, and I think it fit the Pride Contest quite well. Nicely done!

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106 Reviews

Points: 10793
Reviews: 106

Sat Jun 15, 2019 11:09 am
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silvermoon17 wrote a review...

I think this is a really fun thing to read, since we get an overview of the game’s friendships as well strong references to friendship in itself. Your short sentences keeps us hooked in your rhythm until the very end, where we are kept wondering what will happen. The where? When? Why? Who? What? Are constant questions felt all throughout the poem. Which is a good thing.. but sometimes, exposition is nice you know. I also like the way we keep doubting reactions, like when you say (and asked him to come/to a world faraway) we wonder if he’ll say yes. Since this is a poem, we never know what might happen next. I also like how you have not presented a perfect relationship, or; if it’s not perfect- then at least it might not be approved my everyone. That shows the true fears of relationship.

Magestorrow says...

Thanks for the review! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I guess I know who to tag if I ever write more Riku-centric poems. <3

silvermoon17 says...

Yup! Just pick me XD

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1193 Reviews

Points: 51267
Reviews: 1193

Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:34 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...

D'awwww Rikuuuuuu <3 <3 <3

I really, really love the darkness theme and the unknown void that it describes. It's a very layered piece, drawing ties between the pit in Riku's heart, the forbidden relationship he pines for, as well as almost a foreshadowing to the darkness Riku is forced to fight. There's so much to work with, and you draw attention to each aspect of this metaphor.

This piece is just so very Riku.

Digging into the smallest, deepest confines of my personal poetry knowledge base, I would probably say that there seems to be a lot of unnecessary wording, like some of the phrases could be condensed or the line breaks make the prolonged phrase flow awkwardly. It's probably more of a style thing than anything, but it's something that stood out to me. The opening stanza, for instance:

a boy and girl
sat together on an island
and watched the sunset
while a boy
sat in the darkness
and wished he was
there with them.

It feels like if this were rephrased a bit, we could actually insert some descriptive wording to help build the setting of this piece. They're on an island during a sunset, so the imagery could be used so powerfully here and perhaps even mold the sunset imagery into that of the darkness metaphor, as the day drifts off into an eternal night of blinding darkness. The line break between "and wished he was / there with them" felt jarring as well.

It's simply an example of something that I noticed throughout the piece.

I really don't have much constructive to say though 'cause I really like this piece, and I'm just so in love with how you worked Darkness into this piece about Riku. It's just so incredibly Riku. I guess perhaps the last stanza felt a bit vague, but I rather like it because the darkness is unknown, so their fate of this boy's decision to go with him is also unknown, and it just feels like it works to me?

It's also so powerful how you bring in his lack of care toward the girl (i'M NOT USING NAMES BECAUSE I DONT KNOW THEEEEM kairi) because all Riku sees is HIM. His attention has always been on the boy.

Lovely piece! Very well done. And thank you for letting me know you posted this. I really enjoyed the read. <3

Jabber, the One and Only!

Magestorrow says...

Thank you for your review! <3 I definitely need to work on my conciseness, imagery and formatting, so I appreciate you pointing out where it needs the most work - I'll definitely take your advice to heart when rewriting this in the future.

Part of me wants to continue writing poetry about Riku. He's just so darn fun to explore, especially now that I'm playing through the game. I already knew that Riku cared a lot about Sora, but it didn't become apparent until I started up KH1 just how much he pushes for Sora and Kairi. And though he makes comments about Kairi changing his views on the world, and competes against Sora for sharing the paopu fruit with Kairi, he ultimately doesn't do anything about it. It's fascinating looking through it with the idea that Riku has an unrequited crush for Sora.

JabberHut says...

It's a really fun take on their relationship, for sure! I could never help but wonder about it myself. It really adds a new depth to his emotions considering everything that happens to them over time.

And yeah, that makes sense to me. Their relationship doesn't really get explored as much later on since the first one kind of establishes it already. It's exciting to hear you're playing through the first game. I never got the chance to play it myself, but I've watched several cutscenes from it and it's just so beautiful. <3

"He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how."
— Fredrich Nietzche (Philosopher)