findingtimetowrite

Thinking, writing, thinking about writing…

Archive for the tag “love”

Emotion in Poetry: Misaligned

Mandarin.duck.arpYour ducks poised for flight         forever

askew, misaligned,

I linger to add my knowledge

whether you want it or miss

the days of silent entertainment.  Mirth

drops like bounty from that dog-eared sky

where geese meet your ducks, summer meets winter.

And I, alone, my ducks in a row…

One just off,

so easy to shoot at

just mock.

just mock.

Claudia has us playing with our emotions over at dVerse Poets Pub: don’t show, don’t tell, just hint. I’ve been trying to remember all the delicate allusive texts of Japanese literature. Mandarin ducks are regarded as the ideal couple in Japanese poetic and theatrical tradition. Tachibana Akemi, one of the greatest poets of the late Edo period, summed it up beautifully below, but it all changes when geese come into the picture. Or more ducks.

My sweetheart and I,
Sleepy face side by side,
Look out at the pond
Covered with snow and watch
The mandarin ducks floating.

 

Mother Love

Can’t take my eyes off you

compact form

rubicund cheeks

biggest mischief-eyes

your bounce in every step.

From the spectators’ gallery at the gym

I pour all my love my admiration

I’d even adore, if that weren’t so embarrassing…

But only at a distance…

As long as you don’t speak, never whine,

when your mouth does not form into stubborn slit

as long as no grumble rumbles in our umbilical cord

as long as you stay unmarred and perfect.

Inspired by gym galas, Yummy Mummys and scruffy ones like me…

Linked to the Open Link Night fun over at dVerse Poets, where we are discussing passion over form this week. Well, my son is passionate about his trampolining, but his form… Still, in my eyes, he is the best competitor out there!

The Barbican Centre, 20 Years On

English: Barbican Arts Centre

English: Barbican Arts Centre (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 

I went to London recently and walked through the Barbican Centre on a balmy evening. All of a sudden, I remembered the first time I had come here, when I was still new to England and to Western ways of being.

Was it November or February?

We were down from Cambridge for the day.

Nights fell early, that I do know.

A few lost flakes of snow found us embracing on terraces

as we meandered through endless walkways.

Twenty years and we still haven’t found the play or entrance to the theatre.

How we giggled as yet another dead end loomed,

never thinking that soon

we would face our own

blocked corridors, no-exit wounds.

London, Barbican Centre at night

London, Barbican Centre at night (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We practiced our dancing by the lakeside, exulting

in winter dearth of its fountains

no parallels no metaphors

to make our ballroom steps falter.

Twenty years and yet

your hand feels warm

wrapped around mine, safety illusory.

Today the fountains are trumpeting water and sound

to fill hearts with peace, minds with Zen chanting.

There are still summer cadences to this September lull.

My life? Oh, turned out fair to middling,

not as deeply blissful as I once glimpsed

through our entwined limbs on narrow college bed.

So why do I stop to ripple out, retreat,

why allow my heart to drum out aching beats?

Barbican Centre fountains

Barbican Centre fountains

You see, I was hoping

that you too might never have felt such joy since,

such lust-laden satiety.

But now I think it likely

you have, and more than once,

it’s just me

who lingers on borders of might have beens

slurping in nostalgia along with daily bread

destined to mourn not be mourned over

remember rather than be memorable.

When they open me after death

and find the wizened heart of walnut size,

they will see your name folded in tightly

source of all the dry rot

killing belief in mumbo-jumbo of twin souls.

Once, when I was twenty, I was not brave enough

to defy conventions

and go out to meet my turquoise-fired lover.

And I’ve been paying ever since.

[This is very much work in progress, only a rough initial draft of the poem. But the impression of the setting was so immediate, so vivid that it made me cry and I felt compelled to share, especially since we were asked to revisit something painful at dVerse Poets today. I'm off to read what others have written about, why don't you join me?]

Inspired by a Picture

you-can-fly-mary-by-judith-clay

you-can-fly-mary-by-judith-clay

Claudia from dVerse Poets has introduced us to a wonderful German artist, Judith Clay, whose dream-like paintings are our poetic inspiration this week.  For more pictures and details, please visit Judith’s website http://society6.com/judithclay.

Blue Moon

Please take just this once my hand

and lead me to the terrace

to bathe in silken moonrays

drink in the shush of trees

laugh softly at the mewl of plaintive cats

and trace that whimper within us

eyes sinking in each other’s.

 

For once switch off reason

indulge in full moon madness

dance among the giants of Poesy

and leave

algorithms, measurements

to tremble just a little

at fear of your neglect,

your newfound magic powers.

And if you can’t lead, follow,

join me in this folly,

savour every twinkle

of fairy-silver dust.

As I ascend, so fly me

with eyes open to wonder

and planetary music our only constant guides.

Just be

Just feel

Oh sweetness

of stolen blue

moon incantation.

Finding Myself

Who enters the day with tongue too curious?

What enters the mind in bewilderment’s sway?

Head-first the plunge

into waters unplumbed:

do I know myself? No more!

No more

I say.

Thin peel by thin

I unwrap the onion

of my soul too shivery

of a layer too deep.

I choose to believe

I will it to be

the rawness

making me cry.

And what would you say,

what would you whisper,

what would you shout

if you could?

If you woke each day in love

without fear

in a cocoon some call home.

 

Not sure I am doing this properly, but I am trying to link this to the OpenLinkNight at virtual pub dVersePoets, a rather amazing website and initiative which enables me to read poems by some of the most interesting voices that the online world has to offer.

 

They Keep Me Here

They keep me here,

those lips puckered up for good night kisses,

the tooth fairy duties,

odd chuckle in the night.

 

They keep me sane,

those questions about fairness, children who have

nothing, polar bears drowning,

how drains and bridges work.

 

They wash away anger

with silly puns and toilet jokes,

songs half-remembered,

the la-la shrieked out loud.

 

They ground me.

Clip my wings.

Imprison me with love.

Know not what they do.

Nor ever will.

I swear.

Mind the Gap

Yearning, LongingI miss you like a boat craves the water

perched aloft in dry dock winter.

I miss you like the sails ache for the wind,

the storms still to come, the journeys to make.

My adventures incomplete, I tack uselessly against the current,

caught in the pull of your wake.

I miss you like a fish misses swimming,

each muscle a memory.

I miss myself

my self

with you.

The Remains

Like little birds startled by crumbs we scatter

for cover when the big words come,

the ones stripped of any art, the ones that singe,

mostly avoided, successfully dodged those lumps of dry bread.

 

Keep truth abay with a light swathe, a gauzy cloak of

half-heard, half-uttered little drones of

nothingness, conventional riffs of jazz, too polite to improvise.

A necklace of platitudes we spin for each other:

barbs disguised in vanilla puddings

to be uncovered by the archaeologists of

our dead love.

 

The Poem of Laughter and Forgetting

How do I forget thee?

Let me count the ways…

 

I forget when I laugh over silly accents, when I flirt

and linger, reflected in others’ eyes.

I forget when I cry over details misremembered, whispers misquoted,

each one erring in your favour, building a love

heroic out of daily fatigue.

I forget how distance each day can edge a wrinkle,

how dust will add each layer, a little more complete.

 

I forget your voice, your smell just after kissing,

the way you wear your hat

and that you never sipped tea with me.

But I can still recall and will forever savour

the feelings you awakened and nourished in me.

The Sceptic

There’s no fun in joining in

but what’s the point of staying out?

Every cliché in the book

has been tossed, bandied about.

Every shadow, every smile

which has flitted on her face

he’ll remember and attempt

on his heart’s parchment to trace.

She spelled wonder, enchantment, light,

the earthly pull of love divine.

But arms enchain, roots entangle,

metal corrodes on every sign.

Better safe, better far,

diminish your attention span.

She promised so much:

He ventured forth leonine man,

Came back worn to bone

Insignificant also-ran.

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