Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday Poem: Increasingly by Harvey McQueen


Despite memory -
‘tiny, native narcissi
midst distant massif
verge & meadows’ -
my cruel malady
spurs me to confess
increasingly, I
long for oblivion

Harvey McQueen

Maybe I’ve compressed too much but this is my final personal poem for the Tuesday blog site for 2010. I  finished it this morning.

The poem originated with these lines.
‘Flame & moth
attract, hover, merge.’
Along the way I rejected them as old hat as I did a further two words ‘larks overhead’ after ‘meadows’. 'Midst' and 'verge' kept hovering about. There was an archaic feel about them which I felt summed up memory. Was the French massif really like that. I recall fields glittering with little flowers and inhabited by large cows. The skylarks I also recall but were they in the Loire valley with cuckoos calling from the woodlands - the lure of Europe to a colonial lad.

 I try very hard to be positive and cheerful despite my malady, illness, ailment, call it what you will – it’s relentless. But every now and then I crumble. I did so late last week. The result was this poem.

It’s true. Also untrue! I look at it, say it, & then feel its trite, feel its truth, a bite of sensation that existed. A moment, a mood, a measure, a melancholy, moonshine & melody! It’s out there for your reaction and scrutiny. I’ve had a good day today. The poem captures a bad day a few days ago. Such is the nature of poetry.


  1. I came to this post late Monday night and felt deeply moved by your poem. Today I read the accompanying words and feel a pang; an upstitch.

    Have to go write poetry now; a response less trite than this comment I hope...

  2. Harvey, this is powerful in its economy. I have read it over many times and each time each individual word flowers differently. But the end didn't flower in the first reading nor the last. Oblivion is a dark, unflowering thing, sucking the colour, the light. I am sorry it seems to call you sometimes and am happy it isn't now. May it stay that way over this season - more sun would help, more birds, more flowers. Thank you for your posts this year. They have illuminated the world for me.

  3. Harvey, I've been trying to think of something profound and meaningful to write, but I can't, except to say thank you for sharing the poems and just--kia kaha; arohanui.