All posts tagged: family

Metaphorically Speaking – #DVersePoets

You with your oak bark hands planted on the bank just before the hill drop to what is now town.   I could see worlds still turning in your memory, as if the clock stopped in a hundred different places.   I even recognise a few of the people caught here in this last place of green before the concrete and brick.   It is a cruelty to take you from this bank above town. It is crueller still to take all this away. My mother thinks I should try to write some less heavy poems, and I have been trying, but they all seem to twist into the shadows.

From Her Side Of Things #DVersePoets #MondayHaibun

Someone comments that she’d never really worked. Not a proper job. Not a nine-to-five, sit down at a desk, shuffle the papers, count the numbers, find the words sort of job. She just ‘helped’ her parents in their shop, then ‘helped’ her husband. At Christmas my mother, her daughter, takes the carving knife. Skills become ingrained when you park a pram in the backroom of a butcher’s. They get passed down on generation to the next. Not always perfect, but present like the bark and callous of their hands when they take mine. Evidence of everything they’ve given. She says she never really worked a proper job, not a nine-to-five, like I have. Passes me the cutter for scones that won’t be as good as her mother’s, because she hasn’t got the knack like she had. She was only ever ‘helping’ not working, not like her daughter does, not like I do. She was only ever there in the background. Autumn is not Spring, but beauty still grows in her and there is worth there.

Roots and Branches #DVersePoetics

Half this family tree has been watered until the branches hang heavy with fruit.   We know all the name, if not the faces, see the resemblance in the variety.   On the other side we know much less, can’t quite feast on what is left.   There are wanderers in this blood, apples that fell far and wide and distant.   Strangers in stranger places bobbed, grew their own trees from loose cores.   People put down roots, grew branches, spread the distance between lines.          

All To Market #DVersePoets #TuesdayPoetics

When the backboard drops they spill like water over a fall, woolly bodies frothing from the flight decks, feet upon each others’ backs.   There is a boy behind the hurdles, already knee bent in anticipation, fingers spread for the catch.   Outside, a woman is selling cauliflower. Holds the head of it like a newborn between the palms of her hands.   A farmer rattles pounds in his fist, counts his luck, passed it on to the winning bid.   In a corridor there is a circle of bowed heads and five pence jumps, till the circumference is a singular.   A lone man is loading up, clicks the gates on what he brought, tries not to fumble the catch.   Someone whispers at an absence, shakes a head at suspicion, does a math of miles inside their head.   They wait to hear the hammer fall.        

Returning Home For A Spell

My father had a VCR tape of One Man and His Dog that we could never get to play properly. It’s probably still in the bottom of the cupboard, with the Disney films and MotoGPs that never quite make it across the living room anymore. Some people have got rid of their VCR players these days. There’s nowhere else for them to go but the bottom of a plastic bin so they stay in the dark with the dust and the spiders. That is the way things move on. In October I re-learnt how to be by myself. Sort of. Just me and the dog, and the crunch of autumn on farm tracks. Even the walkers seemed to be absent or perhaps I had fallen out of step with the world. Found the time of day when no one ventured further than their front-door or garden gate. I’d found a time when all of it, all of the emptiness was mine for a while. So I let it swallow me, completely, for as long as …

Hear The Ancestors Speak

There are motions that crack open the audios files inside my head. I don’t realise what they are until your voice is playing on the loudspeaker in my brain, blotting out all other thought with the echos of your absence. Salted caramel for the mind, both sweet and salty, love and tears. I will hit repeat until the lump in my throat jams the mechanism and you stutter into silence. In the months where I’ve lost track of time, I cannot tell if you have begun to sound more like me, or if I am becoming you. Rolling the words around my mouth before I speak as if to stain them with your voice. Familiar phrases still clutter my tongue as I sift through the vowels jumbled between my teeth. You spoke so easily compared to me, I do not think anyone notices that I am using your words instead of mine. Learning how to thread these sentences into conversations is a little like taking the waist of a dress in a few inches before …

Fingers And Toes

My fingers are wonky. Long, slender, but wonky. They start off straight enough, but seem to loose focus near the ends where suddenly they tilt off course as if there was a cat in the road or something.     I think it’s a Forrester trait. Hands and feet not quite lined up the way they should be. The length is all Swin, though the blood ran short at the other end, with teeny, tiny toes more child than woman.   Index, middle and fourth are all the same length. Even the little isn’t really little in comparison just a fraction shorter than the other mini sausages wriggling beside it.   At one family gathering, we compared missing knuckles, stumpy thumbs and odd shaped toes to see who could call bingo with a full set of oddities. Actually, that should have been the name given to my family. I hope tonight’s poetic’s host doesn’t mind me using fingers and toes as my family trait in response to tonight’s prompt. I know we were only meant …

NaPoWriMo – Day Seventeen : A Job Half-Done

If you don’t want to be asked to do something again, make an awful job of it the first time round. That was the lesson my father’s father apparently taught him when it came to household chores. It was the reason that his attempt on the lawn, a job normally reserved to my mother, has to be redone once he’d relinquished hold of the mower and she’d had chance to evaluate the outcome. It was similar to my Grandfather’s paint job of the kitchen in my Dad’s childhood home. The instructions were to leave two inches of each wall below the ceiling unpainted, so my Grandmother could do the edges with a hand she clearer believed to be steadier than the one she left her commands to. The result, was two inches of paint, on ceiling and wall each, while the rest of the room remained untouched. When my father pointed out that he didn’t think that’s what his mother meant Granddad responded with ‘Never you mind, I know what I’m doing,’ and besides the …