Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rachael Mead #3

This is another very early draft and I'm almost embarrassed by how many versions of the final lines I've played around with - but it's Sunday afternoon and I'm forcing myself to post something before the week is over.  I'm battling a couple of dire deadlines on freelance work at the moment so I've not spent any time commenting or offering feedback on others' work. I'm sorry. My game will lift at the end of this week. Promise. 

Three days of powerlessness 

Three days in and the only sounds are wind,
rain and the hiss of flame beneath the kettle
when I make a cup of tea. I don’t mind.
The quiet of the road blocked by tree-fall.
The reminder that electricity is not the fifth
element. Andrew is out clearing roads
and I’m reading on the couch when
Sue knocks on the door. Tom is dead;
the final erasure of that disease, the one
that eventually steals everything,
from his last conversation to the memory
of his wife of sixty years. She is strong
but after she leaves the grey air seems
especially sad and even a little jagged.
The world is not what we want it to be.
Our minds, those tender, playful muscles
all stiffen and seize, however hard we work
at making ourselves seem original.
Beyond the glass the green world
blurs with rain, the trees bend and crack
in allegories of wind. My heart folds
and folds itself down into a tiny thing,
small yet infinitely dense: a grain
of sand, a mote of dust, a dead star.


7 comments:

  1. This is a serious and layered telling. I like it.
    Perhaps something like a 'dying star' or a 'star is dying' softens or at least defers such a definite stop to what is otherwise so lucid - unless that's the point. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Jeffree - yes, I really like using the gerund instead.

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  2. how about --

    My heart folds itself down to some small thing,
    infinitely dense: a grain of sand, a mote of dust,
    a star we know for dead.

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, lovely! Thanks Kit - that's brilliant.

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  3. Hello, after reading twice your poem, here is my first question/comment: Do we need to know you make a cup of tea? It seems my ears want to stay with the noise made by the kettle and don’t care that much about the “trivial cause” of it. It doesn’t bring more to feel and it doesn’t seem to be essential information to my mind… But you may disagree!

    And after reading the poem two more times, I played with the lines and it looks like this:

    Three days of powerlessness

    Three days in and the only sounds are wind,
    rain and the hiss of flame beneath the kettle .
    I don’t mind.

    Quiet is the road blocked by tree-fall,
    reminding that electricity isn’t the fifth
    element.

    Andrew is out clearing roads and I am
    reading on the couch when Sue knocks
    on the door.

    Tom is dead; the final erasure of that
    disease, the one that eventually steals
    everything,

    from his last conversation to the memory of
    his wife of sixty years. She is strong but after
    she leaves

    the grey air seems especially sad and even
    a little jagged. The world is not what we want
    it to be.

    Our minds, those tender, playful muscles
    stiffen and seize, however hard we work
    at making

    ourselves seem original. Beyond the glass
    the green world blurs with rain, the trees
    bend and crack

    in allegories of wind. My heart folds and
    folds itself down into a tiny, small yet
    infinitely


    dense thing: a grain of sand, a mote of dust,
    a faraway star we too well know
    for dead

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  4. Sorry the lay out on the page is not respected here, but I think you can understand what I did, the all text being centered and the last line of each stanza in the middle of the page.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Beatrice - I love the concision and the rhythm of your suggestions. Brilliant! Thanks again for taking the time to rework this. Very much appreciated!

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