The bins have been emptied,their silver bellies linedand sprayed to quell the stinkfrom last week’s puddling condensationtack dried at the base.In the background the washing thumps,thuds, thunks,throws itself around drum wetand clinging,till the spin cycle sticks it tightto the very edge of a whining whirl.Clementine clouds each counter,cloth swept of crumbs so they shine when the clouds part,sun splitting through the greyand spilling onto the tiles,knuckled into a gleam on hands and knees,so your face stares back up at metight lipped and furious,about to speak till the sponge cuts you off.I can soap over those featuresbut eventually it all dries outand there you are watermarkedsprawled across this floor,elbows and knees against the tiles,and the dishwasher bleeping that it is time. Tonight’s DVerse Challenge is to focus on adding a ‘turn’ or a ‘window’ into our poem. I’ll admit my focus has drifted slightly at the end of this, as something keeps beeping down in the kitchen and investigation is probably in order.
So many orphaned sorrows,I gather the castoffs,pluck stories by root,dirt clotted,waterlogged.Old tears still bloomwith dark, thickened flowers.In the potting shed I ease themone by one into terracotta bassinets.Pack soil round tight,to keep them from weeding outinto the garden proper,before their time.From the window, half-light,slips between the shelving slatstrips over spiderwebs and drip trays.Safety among the looming gloom,safe from the unearthing grief. Tonight’s poetics challenge was to take a line from Paul Dunbar’s The Paradox, and to build a poem around it. My choice was “I am the mother of sorrows; I am the ender of grief;” which has led to this rather odd piece.
On the very edge,where you go to curl your toesinto prayers.Ten tiny bodies bent shoulder and hipheads tucked in tightas if curved spines can protect themfrom the weight pressing forward,you’re so wind washed of expression,clinging on.
Salt stiffened, her wings don’t liftexcept pinwheeling featherscaught helter-skelter by sea breeze,sun bleached and lichen lined.Watches for the hands rising,faces breaking among shallows,hope and desperation.She sings for them.Caged in her cove, she sings.
Each day there seems less of me.Folding in on myself,there is a sense I can crisp my edges,find the perfect bend,turn blemishes in and under,tucked away out of sight.Any tattered edges can be smoothed,rebound into coverstight enough to stop my spilling out.An ache tells me that I use to spreadall these pages of myself out across open floors and tables,revel in how much of me there was.When did it become a shrinking,less is more,best kept out of sightand out of mind?
I can knot myself into a kaleidoscope.Pull in every shade of my beingtill I flicker out of sight,be whole in my absence. Still, a Muse will find my reflectionin the ripples on a lake,a shivering blade of grass,half a note of birdsong.Some such poetic nonsense always betrays me.Reveals the stress fracturesscattering from my joints,the places you will press into meto dig out meanings.To understand me you must dismantleall the elements within these limbsthen jigsaw them into your own creation.Redefine all the colours in the prism,and leave none to belong to me.
These are not my grandmother’s mushroomstheir blotched white skins mottled in the grass,a hand tucked beneath the umbrella meat,bone handled fish knife soft to the stems.These are a different kettle of spores altogether,ruffed collar about a shortened stumplips pursed on top of each other,sour sucked expression rolled in on waves.Extravagant, and no good to anyonethese are the dangerous sort. This afternoon has been a delight of migraines, so I’m having a quick go at tonight’s poetics prompt and then turning in for the evening. I used to go picking mushrooms with my grandmother quite a bit, but I can’t remember why we stopped… I think they just stopped growing quite as much in the fields around her house.
The size of a lemon,which reminds me of a fruit tree,miniature,leaves buttered up and greenas the unripe citruses berried in-between…and this is much the same,this slow uncurling as you ripenmy own belly thickening till I peeloff my layers,test the softness around my middle,squeeze the fruit flesh.You feel all this apparently,spin like a top, end over endbecome a flicker in a whirlwind. Still hidden by your smallness,little lemon pip blooming. I’ve missed quite a few DVersePoets night over the past couple of months, and that’s mainly been because I’ve spent all my free time napping. The little Gremlin above is due this summer, and I’ve had all the fun of pregnancy sickness to content with, so my writing took a bit of a hit. My husband and I are very excited to welcome our little human into the world, and I thought what better way to tell my poet friends the news, than with a poem for the Open Link Night!
News cycle filters through the pictures again,muted buzz of static from the back of the setperched high above an empty bar,upturned stools kicked up like drunk legs. Cigarette burnt low he flicks the butt wide,watches it sail, scatter ash, splutter in the sink,tap drip, dripping in that constant aching mannerof fists drumming against windows caving in. Could comment on the old school tactics,another plague, a new spin on the old classic.Some times the old tricks do work best,even if they stop short of razing it all to dust. Tonight we are being challenged to write War Poetry, which immediately brings back memories of studying Wilfred Owen’s Selected Poems for A Level English Lit. However, war is something that always seems to exist somewhere at any point in history, and all too often conflict is much closer than we would like to believe.
Roll my shoulders,crackle spine of dry fleshsmoked fractures and boiler hiss,hiccup of breath in a radiator. Airless and unloved,in the dank basement of the mindsnow cannot refract any lightinto these shadows. Still it aches on the backs,eyeballs tight against their socketsstraining past the crisp,no bounce in the world outside. Imagine melting into dust,slithers of self pooling at the footof all this make believe.As endless as this frozen season. “Airless and unloved, in the dank basement of the mind” L. Igloria ~ A Reparation