Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Tired, but something flows

Sunday falls

Sunday's levy is a fall and a tear:
The grit gripes and grinds with tiny teeth,
rings up its coin of scraped skin,
its mouthful of wool.
I slip a hooked finger in,
pull burry edges wide: no blood,
just the usual stings and stitches.
Under blue knit my knees are round
and hard as darning eggs.

At the instant of falling a stop
and a rush collide. Holes are my calling
and I ponder their collective names
while mum closes in: a host, a hoard,
a huddle, a spill, herd, hive,
charm, mob, throb. A cloud.
Best of all: a murmuration of holes, due
their quiet puffs, their quiet flutter in and out
the tunnel of my tights.

Mother slaps dirt off my legs,
all sighs and stringent hands.
On the way home dad photographs me
standing on a low wall. He calls: smile!
and I draw myself up
in my black patent leather shoes,
their toes well clawed,
my blue and red chequered poplin-coat
with its lustre of dust.

I give him a gap-toothed one
and that frayed blue ‘O’ stows away.

6 comments:

Lesley said...

This is so powerful. I'm wondering where this has stemmed from, your recent absence online, your M.E. I do not mean to intrude or need answers but work so strong as this often comes from some sort of withdrawal, a closing in. And it's a wonderful piece of writing.

swiss said...

oh, i like this, particularly darning eggs and murmuration.

quibbles - repetition of holes in stanza 2 takes away from line 7. and, more uncomfortably (lol!), i'm not fussed for the end. for me, lustre of dust is a great finish. you've already introduced the idea of the photograph - i don;t think you gain anything from reiteration

but these are quibbles mind, they're far outshadowed by all the lovely wee bits and corners you've got in there

Marjojo said...

Thank you, Lesley and swiss! It's a poem that I wrote a couple of months ago, but deemed boring and in urgent need of a rewrite, and this is the new and improved version. My absence here is due to focussing all my energies on a) a fortnightly health appointment and b) in the weeks in-between a fortnightly afternoon writing workshop, to which I take a camping mat and a cushion so I can lie down when I get too tired. Both activities are good for me on many levels, but they do leave me exhausted and I've had to let a lot of other stuff go. But I do creep to the computer to see if I've got messages, so thank you!

mansuetude said...

really enjoyed the tone/voice; the rhythms remind me of Hopkins and make me want to take the poem into my own mouth and speak it here.

Love the image of "my knees are round
and hard as darning eggs." I can feel it and hold it in my hand/mind.

(can agree that holes is repeated too close; after that delicious repetition... though i have no solution :)

enjoyed this!!!

Peace.

Marjojo said...

Hey there, A hole has gone and a stipple! Still pondering the last two lines, rather fond of the 'O' stowing away, but maybe it does just that without me saying so?

Roxana said...

i love this part best:

Mother slaps the dirt off my legs,
all sighs and stringent hands.
On the way home dad photographs me
standing on a low wall. He calls: smile!
and I draw myself up
in my black patent leather shoes,
their toes well clawed,
my blue and red chequered poplin-coat
with its lustre of dust.

I give him a gap-toothed one
and that frayed blue ‘O’ stows away.


i think it is very powerful in itself and could make a poem just like this. no other explanations are necessary. i know this goes against your conception of the poem, but i rather like it like this, more mysterious, leaving us to wonder what came before that. but it is a great poem anyway, most important, a true one, true true true, as is all what you do.