Found these two lovely photo-postcards at a flea market in Italy. Judging from the clothing style and the automobile, I’d date them to the early 20th century, possibly the … Continue reading Early 20th-century Photo-Postcards
Final NaPoWriMo poem of the year. So I thought of it as a kind of pair to the first poem I wrote at the start of NaPoWriMo, although that probably doesn’t come across as such. I hope you enjoy it, regardless.
So adept at lying
we turn our gazes
on other people
pretending we could
the world and then
birth it again
in a new shape.
Wouldn’t it be
for one of us
the other and
with the devil
of desire, to die
Let us forget
the lies and
This time round, I started from today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, but decided to narrow it down somewhat. So, instead of writing “a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses”, as the original suggestion went, I focused on sound and hearing specifically. There was no complicated reason behind this choice; I suppose that was just the mood of the day.
This, she told me,
was freedom: the sound
of rain in one of those
tiny rooms of your heart,
the waltzing steps
of your parents on their
wedding day in another,
the clatter of a mirror
that fell but didn’t
shatter in a third,
and a stranger’s
in the final chamber.
Today has been what I think of as a typical spring day, wavering between cloudy and rainy, and sunny and pleasant. Felt like the perfect setting to write a haiku, so I wrote… several. Five, to be precise. They’re not connected by anything except the general theme – spring – but it kind of makes sense for them to be presented as a continuous sequence. So here they are, my “spring haikus”!
Because it is spring
and I am wearing new clothes,
let us make-believe…
Little white flowers
blooming from your fingertips –
it has been a year.
Out in the playground
a spotted bird is screaming
at the lazy rain.
The memory of
a ringing phone still lingers
in this empty room.
I wish it was night
already, but the sluggish
day will not wake up.
Today’s poem was written in light of extreme sleep deprivation and what seemed like a never ending and therefore surreal hopping on and off cabs, coaches and planes. That says it all, I think, so here it goes.
It must have been like this in my mother’s womb:
a soft buzz of mysterious engines,
brisk turbulences with every coughing fit
– which god is it that heaves or grumbles or sickens? –
this feeling that is always both more and less
than fear, I must have had it then too,
as a homunculus without memories
and with no sense of death. I take a deep breath
and focus on the pregnant lack at the centre
of the self – all sounds become waves
and I am a floating speck of dust
riding the dragon. It is not so bad after all,
living this suspended life.
It’s been just about a year since I last posted something on this blog. Oddly enough – and that probably says something about me – I’ve made my comeback because of (thanks to?) the National Poetry Writing Month which I can’t seem to be able to give a miss. Been too busy and preoccupied by life, in general, to put down my weapons and share my random thoughts with the world wide web. But poetry always gets me going. That seems to be a constant in my life, and maybe participating in NaPoWriMo for three years in a row (this being the fourth) has affected my biological clock or something like that. I woke up today with a strange ache to write a poem that I couldn’t attribute to anything specific. And then I saw the date and remembered that NaPoWriMo was on again. So here it is, my flow of unsolicited poetry. Feedback welcome.
I had left you […] and was going away, but I turned back at the door. You were sitting up in
the bed. Your face was in the shadow, but the lamp shone on your shoulders and your back. You were naked, for I had torn off your clothes. The bed had green and golden curtains, like my forests in the mountains, and you were like my picture of Daphne, who turns away and is changed into a laurel. And I was standing in the dark. Then the clock struck one.
~ Isak Dinesen, “The Roads Round Pisa”
The room was a cobbled alley
lit by lamps smelling strongly of paraffin.
Their flames were naked
but unashamed, teasing the glass
with silent laughter.
Your eyes were not as they might have been,
they were not cat’s eyes or wolf’s eyes.
Your eyes were velvet curtains in the room
that was a cobbled alley at the heart
of another city. They were heavy –
though not with sleep – and grey –
though not the shade of any colour.
You, too, were naked, but you were afraid.
When morning came, the room
was an island in the midst of an indifferent
ocean. There was sunlight over everything
and the sun was ashamed.
A man-sized moth lay dead on the sand
of the room that was an island.
As the peasant girl of the fairy-tale,
it was neither clothed nor naked,
its grey velvet body soft to the touch.