Monday, 18 May 2015
Ambling Through the Weekend
It's a long weekend here, a holiday on Monday, and the weather is lovely. For some it's the promise of summer. For me the temperatures are perfect already and not too hot. I spent some time in cafes writing this weekend, and on Sunday evening went for an amble around the marina. I wasn't the only one ambling, and chose the location for the fact that it is an ambling place. My natural pace is a brisk walk, but my afflicted pace is at best an amble. Some clouds rolled in, making the sky a bit darker, but the temperature didn't drop noticeably.
Why do I publish first draft poems on my blog? If I didn't I would never share them because they are never finished.
Moving helped to keep me from seeing.
Seeing can be dangerous -a horse needs blinders to keep moving forward,
to keep from bolting in panic and
I would have turned our cart upside down, or is that
right side up?- If I could see.
When galloping turned to trotting turned to plodding I tipped everything over
emptied out the cart and started again, with one less person in it,
I could no longer carry you; I would no longer carry you.
So you sat on the side of the road accusing me and nursed
Your wounds that were my fault.
Hitching another ride you kept on going on your own way
And I kept going on mine, pulling a different cart
Less weight to pull with every step-
Stronger than either of us knew I was
steadily taking a new road.
I want to be a badass poet
not sweet or soft or romantic though I confess
that is more who I am.
I want to be a badass poet
with hard things to say and cutting words
that make you catch your breath and nod your head.
I want to be a badass poet
who makes you ask how does she dare?
How does she dare to be her?
Style and beauty experts- stealth attackers, double agents
telling us we are beautiful but have flaws we’d better hide.
Buy this, wear that, it will make a slimmer, polished you.
Polish is for furniture or shoes.
Trash talking my own body-I did that once.
Or twice-okay I did it often.
I bought the idea:
Don’t look slutty, trashy, frumpy,
Too young, too old,
Don’t show those arms, they have flesh!
We are told we must define a waist.
For what is a woman without a waist?
- surely not a woman.
And never wear anything like neon leggings or tee shirts with slogans
Because after the age of thirty
You only ever want to be taken seriously.
You don’t want to have fun
Or be ironic
Or look like you are trying too hard
But do try harder, please, for your own sake.
Be chic like a French woman.
They don’t get fat, you know- only use croissants to decorate the plate.
Baguettes are for carrying, a crusty accessory.
And who wants to eat all of that molested bread?
You can’t eat it-it will ruin your waist.
Ask an expert and you will be reminded that the only important thing is your waist.
Ask Hollywood and you’d better have a booty or boobs or both. Triple B.
Looking like a liberal arts professor with a part-time hobby
Making hand-thrown pottery
Is a look to be avoided by the truly chic- and chic
Is the only look that counts as style.
Be ashamed of yourself you creative woman
Your opinion on what looks good doesn’t matter.
We don’t want to have to look at you dressed like that-
looking like yourself.
I would rather look tousled like I’ve just come from a delightful
Roll in the sack but Oh My Goodness, A woman of a certain age
Doesn’t do THAT! With a baguette or without.
I forgot to water the plants.
The cat will remind me if I forget to feed her,
She will remind me if I forget to wake up that day.
The plants are helpless captives in my home,
unable to fight for their rights.
They nearly died.
Nearly died but not quite yet, shrivelled
accusingly, moaning softly in the corner.
I forgot to water the plants because
I didn’t hear their silent screams.
You are Gone
A catalogue of the best, an archive of the worst,
collected and curated -the story of our love......
I remember your gentle blue eyes.
I remember your heart so vast and your arms so long.
I remember when you held me and the way our bed smelled once.
It doesn’t smell like that now you are gone and the space on the left That once held you now lies empty.
I tried to lie there but I can’t.
I cling to the edge of the opposite side, away from the unbearable Knowledge that you are not there.
And I wonder if I need a new bed- A bed that never once held you-
A bed that holds no pain, no loss, no you.
That’s the problem: No bed will ever again hold you and
The urn that holds your ashes has no room for me.
I am afraid that the scent of you is fading,
Fading from the bed and from my memory.
I haven’t washed your clothes and from the corner of the bedroom
Looms the medical equipment-ugly reminder of what you endured.
You are gone
But you and I together,
We go on forever- the story of our love.
Cafe on Saturday
Barristo: straight-faced, tired, bored,
I am working hard to make you laugh or smile,
Knowing that you just want to get back
To chatting with the cook.
I see you sleep-walking through your job
And I wonder if you are ill
But then I remember-
You are young and today is Saturday.
Cafe on Sunday
Loud girls telling their stories,
Suntans, tight shorts and ponytails,
On the table-keys on lanyards, smart phones and sunglasses
Whipped cream covered mocha smoothies.
Quiet couple doing a crossword together,
The pencil in his hand,
Matching mugs, large lattes, tech fabric
Solitary young man
Top brand laptop
Earnestly working on something important
Eventually drives away in a battered car.
John with his wheeled walker, basket weighted
Cheerfully talks to pretty girls
Who, smiling, laughing, nodding, don’t understand what he says
Except the part about liking them.
Boys and Grandma, arrive with a red wagon,
Order cookies and pop to go
Then return up the hill
Smaller boy riding, larger boy pulling.
I sit with my pen and notebook
Watching, listening, writing, glasses half-down nose,
Holding on to these people forever.
Nosy old woman.