Saturday, February 27, 2010

Work in Progress

As Doty says ‘a poem is always a made version of experience.’ Here’s my latest, unfinished at this stage. On Thursday Paul took me to the hospital for my six-monthly respiratory check-up, a four-hour process. ‘You’ll have to write a poem about the waiting room’ he said.

When I got home I tried but it was going nowhere. Poems cannot be produced on demand. But then two thoughts coalesced. A few days earlier I’d jotted down some thoughts about the garden. And last year when my mother was dying I’d written a few lines. If I combined the three I could create a narrative. Like all fiction it is true and not-true. I’m unhappy about the Muse – an abstraction amidst concrete details. Sooner or later I’ll find an appropriate metaphor to link the thoughts.

Alien Actuality

At home after the tense
boredom of the hospital
waiting room, interior
minds sitting each in its
own space, I contemplate
the alien actuality of an
orange gerbera, a present
hastily heeled in, now
dominant in the petunia
patch. A monarch flutters
past, cabbage trees stark
against a cloudless sky.
The Muse proclaims sit
& sing of defiant Gods
but then the phone rings
to say she’s sinking fast.

Harvey McQueen

After I'd put this up I sat there thinking how much my daily blog has become part of my present life. This poem popped into my mind. Here it is unaltered in the writing down.

An Old Man Starts To Blog

Metal bars rattle the cattle stop
Weeping willows trail the Avon
Kids crowd school corridors
Imposing ruins rise to Grecian skes
Meetings plod through afternoons
Now, he pursues the power of audience.

Harvey McQueen

No comments:

Post a Comment