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.