I know I’ve just spewed out a whole deluge of poetry in one day…. I’m just back from holiday with a sheaf of poems that felt lonely between the pages of my notebook. They were begging to get out there into cyberspace… and who am I to argue with a poem!
Daily Archives: August 12, 2008
Over at Watermark, Sharon has been walking around with her nose in high sensitivity mode in response to read-write-poem’s prompt to write about smells. She came up with a kaleidoscope of amazing and vivid images, and some great phrases to express them in, but she wasn’t sure what sort of poem they made.
As I read her post, poems were jumping out at me, so I impertinently offered to see if I could play around with her images. She kindly said yes, and this is the result:
She puts vanilla on her pulse-points to sell herself
Like her mother baked cookies to sell their house.
She checks all other odours – belly-button, under-arm, vagina –
Are deodorised and masked. Dogs may sniff the crotch
To say “who are you?”. But she is no bitch in heat,
For she is scented with lily-of-the-valley, lavender and lilacs.
He has an old pickup smell, animal and metallic.
The smell of muscle and suppressed rage.
Stale beer, stale cigarettes, chips cooked in stale oil.
His unhealthy diet leaking from his skin.
Yet he reeks of male animal, and deep in her brain
Something ancient and female quivers and surrenders.
When she comes out later to bring in their laundry,
She brings each garment to her face to sniff the day.
She smells of garlic and tomatoes. He, of another woman.
Sometimes she sobs into his faithless shirt. Telling herself
That as long as she can smell him, he is still hers.
But their shared dreams have no scent, and taste of sawdust.
Thanks Sharon, for such excellent images and for generously allowing me to play around with them!
Each month of this year is lit like a calendar
With the image of last year’s remembered emotions
(June – a tentative and curious first meeting
July – the intense joy of souls matching perfectly
August – honeymooning together in the sunshine)
Each day’s story is related to its counterpart
A year ago. Not tied to it, just compared.
(September – the start of a shared life
October – sudden argument and deep hurt
November – mute and painful silence)
Some days are shadowed, others lit brighter
By the echoes of their year-older siblings
(December – dark days of lonely weeping
January – crawling slowly out of darkness
February – new life sparked by pen on paper)
Yet all, somehow, are strongly founded on
the deep-learnt lessons of a year intensely-lived.
(March – seeking a fresh direction
April – a journey to a new world
May – finding better dreams to dream)
And now each month I lay down the ground
For the days and months that are still to come,
(June – the cycle begins again…
Once I stood at the threshold of life
all opportunity and experience
spread before me in aweful newness
in my hand, beating strongly
my unique young heart
new and scarless
in its naive impatience.
a different treasure
we walked down into experience
like swimmers into a vast lake
walking to the drumbeat of our individual rhythms
clutching at different comforts
as we were submerged into vividness…
…until out of the kaleidoscope we return
tired but triumphant
ready to lay down
the burdens that have ripened
through a lifetime
and even if noone ever reads it
still my heart’s story will be eloquent
in the scars and knots and fissures
of the tireless walls as they tire at last.
the song of those days of ripening will be heard
in the voice of its last faint beats
as I stand at the other threshold of life.
Another poem for another of Rick Mobbs’ eloquent pictures. Just can’t resist….
I’m not sure if the objects in the hands are meant to be hearts, but that was the way they struck me. And I liked the idea of each starting off on a similar journey, but with very different hearts. Hence the poem.
Decanted out of the office
I expand into looser clothes
Like wine liberated from its cork
And free, at last, to breathe.
My hair, released from its prim twist
Falls into curls like amber wings.
I chase butterflies across the red-rotten
Timber of wandering jungle stairways
I shout gleefully back at the macaws
Screaming brightly in the treetops,
Trail my fingers in warm tea-coloured rivers
And swing in the ease of hammocks.
Briefly intoxicated by the sweet tasting air
And the fresh re-dawning of carefree days.
This is a jigsaw poem for Poets who Blog – composed using ten words supplied by various poets – decant, loose, hair, twist, amber, wings, chase, timber, shout, taste, carefree. And it rather nicely sums up what I’ve been doing for the last week or so! You can see the work that other poets have done based on these words here.
In the windows of countless stories across the earth
Candles flicker bravely in endless nights of waiting
A light to guide absent feet back to home and hearth
A path back to love, lit for a lost soul’s navigating.
Stories speak of patient love, always waiting to forgive
But the casual storyteller never seems to count the cost
Of the vigil – for “endless” is easily written, but far harder to live
In being faithful to the wanderer, the waiting soul too is lost
Yet futile self-sacrifice still retains a glamorous magnetism
Although waiting seems to take less courage than moving on
But life continues to send nudges of reviving pragmatism,
As if saying, don’t waste precious hours in endless hanging on.
The cost of heroic waiting is more than the human soul can handle
And so, arising with stiffened limbs, I blow out the candle.
The germ for this poem came from two sources – first a dimly remembered scene from a film (I think it was War and Peace) of a candle burning in a window as a woman kept vigil for the man she loved. And secondly a song by Duparc (Au pays ou se fait la guerre), depicting a woman waiting endlessly in her tower for her lover long beyond the point when it seems possible he will return. And, as in my earlier poem, Myths, it seemed to me that this was an image of heroic tragedy that could very easily become a trap.