Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Poetry Thursday

I haven't fulfilled the brief this week, I had my own agenda. This is my contribution, make of it what you will.

Like smoke it began to seep under the doors,
Was there fire in the room next door?
Washing over exposed toes, vague,
Formless dust laid over sun-filled windows.

How insidious this invasion was,
I could feel it growing slowly,
my consciousness feared the fire at its source,
A make-believe origin formed.

Shout as it might, choke me even,
My soul was wary of looking,
Toxicity building and damage accruing,
Yet still from it my spirit shrank.

Until pretending was obsolete, and brought to my knees,
I had to choose one fate or another.
And did then I dare too creak open that door,
With limbs weakened, face blackened, a feeble spark.

Which grew like the fire ablaze before me
Her face bearing a mirror to my truth.
For why do you burn?, I asked this wild being,
‘For you burn my love, you burn’.

And with that it was gone, but a spectral wisp,
Perished my fear in the darkness.
In the ashes remained a hope-filled Phoenix,
Her gift to my shaken self.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Dictionary Definitions

Wow, I can't believe how many words I managed to find in response to this brief which I did not know the meaning of. I love exploring language, and so this for me was as much an academic exercise as it was an opportunity to write poetry. When I looked through my Collins dictionary, I noticed that many of the words I was unaware of were foreign in their origin, of which there were simply thousands (and how many are not noted in this particular dictionary?). I don't know how many new words are added each year to our English vocabulary, but clearly as we have progressed through our history new words inevitably come into use, older words become less and less known, and in short there is bound to be a turnover in our use of language. That, for me, is fascinating in itself. We are changing our conception of our own world and our own self, which is reflected in the words we use each and every day. I was inspired to write my poem after this thought. (Please note that I haven't looked up the meaning of these words as requested in the brief - I'm hoping I haven't unknowingly written lines which mistake nouns for verbs, adjectives for nouns, etc, as I have no idea what their meanings are...)

Leaves wafer thin, finger licked to peruse another letter's offerings,
This book represents all that I can conceive myself to be.
And how much, therefore, do I not know about my own being and my own roots,
if I do not understand the meaning of all these combinations of letters,
with their multiple origins, phonetic pronunciations, cultural derivations.

Take anopheles, or anoa, or anserine.
And cyanosis, cybernating contumaciously.
Which parent gave birth to these mysterious children?
Did I know their naturalized forefathers, foreigners adopted in this familiar land,
their brothers irregular inflections who will forever remain anonymous to me?
Or was it native scientists who defined their variant spellings,
who lie placarded infamous for all time,
their life celebrated to the end?
Did an astronomer reach into the sky and pick out an orphaned definition,
scrimmaging for the cuspid teratoma of a keloid loculus,
and finding that its particular face pleased him?
Or was it the social commentator who noted the derogatory nature
of some of these new additions to our word family,
the offensive connotations attached to their employment with us?

And what does one do when one impolders or noddles;
have I ever been guilty of those particular acts?
Who or what is 'nerine' anyway; are they nasty, nebulous, naughty, neat?
Am i eidetic, a quoin, razoo, falderal?
Parent-volume, now reveal to me my brethren's little known secrets.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Red/New Landscape

Hmmm, red. When you look the word 'red' up, you find that there are many different meanings, many different associations with this particular colour. When you think 'red' you could think angry, e.g. red rag to a bull; you could think embarassed, 'red as a beetroot' (they are, of course, a very dark red). You might think 'stop!' as in a red light, or danger when the red flag flies. Red also connotes warmth, deep security and importance too, (lay out the red carpet). In short, red can be associated with a vast array of sensations, feelings, symbols and meanings. I've used red in my poem in different ways, ways which seemed to apply to my content. This is a highly symbolic poem; sometimes I do tend towards the cryptic even. Apologies if that is the case here. By the way, apparently, the phrase 'red-letter day' comes from the red symbol added to ancient calendars to denote a saints day.

New Landscape

Red tail of crayfish sidles in comfy
in that pregnant moon
which weighs down over me,
Lying pensive in deceptive calm,
Its crimson jaws will find its prey in me soon enough.
Or in my lover's red drum beat call, 'heart!',
eaten up swiftly, or slowly, or at least with certainty.

Blue is the rain which fed a parched land,
the one with unseen fences which now rise and fall, and rise
unclippered this time.
Former realised landscape latent now,
the red harvest of an open season bears rich fruit.

That tuesday was a red-letter day,
a close shave with closure for one separated soul.
Which now sidles in comfy in that warming, rounded, yellow sun,
which lifts me high.
Its steady arms will hold me long enough.