Reading & Writing Poetry
One daySo, one day I will visit asurgeon who I hope – turn away if you’re squeamish – shall make an incision with his scalpel deep into tissue around my skull – its perhaps too late for gas and air, green screens – flesh could flap, bone may shine as blood bubbles up, seeps out of veins as if my soul was attempting to escape a sea of regrets; my favourite shade of colour is lilac – after my silent dreams are removed I shall rejoin the human race and suffer.
One day in the sunset of my soulI'll grip the tickled troutthat passion shrouds.I'll clatter the quiet rooftopswith elation's mighty shoutthat love abounds.I'll cut and thrust with buckled swash,wield a full bloodied clout,dispel those clouds,and cry aloudthat eternal 'truth will out'and love, love only, is the goal.
CryingOne day I will make the sky stop crying;those heavy downpours that hurt your eyes, that snap the heads off roses.
GratitudeOne day I will find the church where we read the names of men from your village, where we crowded into the porch and you said, I never knew he died. One name on the list of a boy, you thought had survived. I remember the drive over the moor, cramped between sister and mother, another sister and you in the front with dad. The smile of remembrance on your face, as you recognised this farm, that gate.You told us a story about walking those miles to Keighley to meet a girl, not your wife. Way before the war, the hospital, when you were young, had no clue how life would turn out.We held your arms, covered that short distance from kerb to church steps, your breath wet-wheezing in your chest. One of us carried your spit pot, your nebulizer on the passenger seat.One day, I will find the church where we read the names of men from your village and say a silent thank you. My gratitude is that your name is written in a different place, that I had the chance to know you.
It's a little sentimental, I know. it was hard to write without sentimentality...
I believe there's a difference between sentimentality and emotion, Annie. The former, for me, is 'unearned' emotion, like the verses on Hallmark cards that have no depth of real experience. But the attention to detail in your prose recreates scene and character and experience, all of which feed into my own imagination and memory and allow me to respond with deep feeling.
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