It’s been a while since I posted my poetry adventures because I was running low on ideas. I was down to only about five to write. So I asked my lovely friends over on Etsy and got a flood of ideas in, so much so that I think I’m going to have to take a few mornings/afternoons off just to work on them. This is excellent.
So here are the latest. This first one comes from very close to home – my Dad very kindly chose three words from ‘Bento’s Sketchbook’ by John Berger for me to mess about with! The three words were “canvas, telescope, bamboo”.
This weathered man walks over
a canvas of hills framed by corked oaks
towards a tower refracted by the lake.
A still lens except for the slow twitch
of bamboo rods held in place
by the fingers of lethargic children.
Trailing along his daily route
up a gentle slope past shuttered windows.
He rests a hand on the white-washed house
gathering breath before walking back in
under the open stone arch. A halcyon prison.
Shuffling through the courtyard he
listens to the clouds passing overhead
and enters the study – pausing
to rest his mind on a dusty telescope
now abandoned to an archive.
A paradise to some but lost to his eyes.
Sometimes there really are just random words however Andrew’s (@mygoditsraining) selection of “brochan, heart, dendritic” probably tells you a little more about him than most, but mainly that I need to shout at him when I next see him. Seriously – I went through six drafts for something that made even a little bit of sense. This is another one I might work on again later but I am happy enough for the moment.
“Styx and Stones”
The night came slowly, creeping carefully
so that no one noticed until it was too late
with no chance for corrections.
The sun’s turn to sulk now that his
smooth and bright shine was unseen all over.
A huddle of people stood still looking up
seeing nothing and feeling only air beneath their feet.
Dendritic roads spin off over the moors endless choices hidden from the lost.
Marsh surrounded the path leaving an ever shifting unknown way through.
No one knows where they are going, they think about it
and then choose to ignore the inevitabilities.
Not looking down into what lies either side
a thick brochan made of old bones
and things lost in between times.
More people arrive as the old struggle to remember
where they were going, why they kept trying.
It’s too far to drive in one day so they walk instead
through the heart of rock and rubble as the underground crow flies.
Poem number three in this batch comes from a challenge of sorts by the wonderful David Moore (@abaddondave) who wanted to see whether I would take words that had been seen as unpleasant and make them beautiful or just let them swim in their ugliness. The words were “jug, grout, moist”. Oh and I almost didn’t write this at all because Mr. Moore is currently in Australia surrounded by the good light, the middle of the footy season and most importantly Farmer’s Union Iced Coffee and I am insanely jealous!
Rain water still collects in old stone
the tanks full as the foot-worn hollows.
Sunlight passing over the wall
dries the starry dew from moist grass
overgrown into the green granary.
Glass constructed to protect a broken jug
and a collection of coins.
Lost property carefully managed by volunteers.
Cars park so that all ages can see
all ages of layered objects.
Far away in an unremarkable open air room –
furthest from the protection of the long wall
a faded mosaic of a forgotten goddess.
The grout falls from her eyes
and her hair splinters in the heat
so she is only a fragmented reminder
of the faith of a family.
The army who worshipped her
replaced by legions of tourists.
She isn’t recognised. Buried and unburied.
The final post is the first of my Etsy crafters words from Dbervi who gave me the words “feeling, pebble, dream” to see if I could turn them into something. Also a special thanks for kicking things off on the Etsy forums with me!
“A Dream Vision”
A fountain sits below this glass
dome, shattered by a creative
pebble thrown below the waning
moon. Lines cross over an Eden –
Fighting man’s made society,
the king’s decadence in a dream
to lay at peace in his god’s land,
a cruel place split by a river
of god, faith and nature.
A fragment of feeling. Two horns –
of plenty and of Africa,
the earth a temple to nature,
lost buildings house the creative
a grand palace to art.
I am now busy working on the next batch – but as always if you’ve not given me any words yet I would love to hear from you.