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-   -   Verse: Kath's poetry thread (http://forums.srellim.org/showthread.php?t=8927)

Kath Jun 25 2014 06:09 AM

Kath's poetry thread

These curves, this grace, the twists of time and stone,
the bedrock that endures to speak
the strata of a heart exposed:
projected, salted, isolate and cold.

Follow, flow, through sand and scree.
The water pools where once we paused:
clenched in declivities, dark, deep,
hollowed and hallowed by hungry air.

Here it ends, here, where movement ebbs,
where grief is buried as silted bone.
The meaning of shapes is coarse and amorphous,
writ with gravel and clay, and with nothing at all.

[comments/feedback/questions welcomed]

Hans Jun 25 2014 08:56 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
I like it. The only comment sI have are that the last line of the first verse doesn't seem to flow as naturally as the rest. It feels like it has one or two syllables too many, or maybe a whole word? And in the third lines of the second verse I would use 'and' between dark and deep as that cmbines better with the (almost) allitteration of clenched IN declivities, dark AND deep; but that could be just my perception.

Overall I like this very much. Pleasant to read, food for thought, makes you think and especially for the non-native English speaker somewhat of a challenge :)

Kath Jun 25 2014 09:35 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Thank you, Hans!

I do see what you mean, and your suggestions would certainly make for a more regular rhythm. What you didn't know is that the missing 'and' is a deliberate removal (it was there in the first draft). Both the last two lines are also longer by choice, kind of matching the extra foot in the first line, but without any metre at all. Whether the structural shift works...well, that's not a question for me to answer. Maybe it doesn't! :lol: Actually, maybe I should ditch either the 'and' or the 'with'... Hmmm...

I might make a quick voice recording, so you can hear how I hear it....

Hans Jun 25 2014 05:52 PM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Gladly done, Kath. Interesting though that what I perceived should be there has been at a given time :)

Maybe I should make a recording of it, too. Might give you a good laugh :)

Kath Jul 1 2014 06:23 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Zennor, Portheras, Pendeen

The beach is scarcely there beneath
the looming thrift- and green-strewn cliff:
a sea-carved shore of pockmarked stone.
The waves recede, and now the sand
is red-stained with the rusty spume
and sun upon the tumbled rocks.

Above, the wild montbretia flames
beside the wheal-house, derelict,
its cogs and gears in silence, seized,
between the stands of twisted gorse,
while tumbling waves tap out the notes
no longer echoed from below.

The tunnels driving out to sea
so deep, have seeped, are steeped in salt.
Their richness, once, in stolen tin
has gone, and let the ocean in.

(This one's straight-up geographical nostalgia.)

Hans Jul 1 2014 10:37 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Beautiful Kath. I've seen some photographs by you of Cornwall but this poetry made me go look up wheal-house (don't understand why it isn't wheel house :)) and subsequently the mines and the title names. I searched Flickr and boy, did some beauties of pictures come up... Of course I also had to look up monbretia :)

You made me think of my mother's place of birth: the Hook of Holland on the North Sea coast. Definitely not as beautiful as Cornwall but with likewise memories of seas, waves and foam and coast and things long gone. I used that in the eulogy I spoke at my mother's funeral.

And that's what it is, this poem, isn't it? A eulogy...

Kath Jul 1 2014 11:51 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Wow, Hans! :blush:

But yes, that's very perceptive of you. It's Cornwall as it was back then, thirty+ years ago. The beaches down that end of the country are certainly a lot cleaner now, given that all the mining's stopped!

P'ter Jul 1 2014 04:59 PM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Hans: "wheal" has nothing to do with round things; it's Cornish for a "mine".

Hans Jul 2 2014 09:32 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread

Originally Posted by P'ter (Post 192544)
Hans: "wheal" has nothing to do with round things; it's Cornish for a "mine".

Aha! Thanks.

Brenda Jul 9 2014 07:29 PM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
That was beautiful! I love the image you paint with it, and the feel of the rhymes in those last four lines.

Kath Jul 10 2014 03:24 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Thanks, Brenda! :)

Hans Jul 11 2014 10:13 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Isn't it a coincidence that this week I started reading "A Moorland Hanging" by Michael Jecks, a medieval whodunnit, and that is all about tin mining on the moors :)

Kath Jul 11 2014 10:49 AM

Re: Kath's poetry thread

Kath Jan 26 2015 03:04 PM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
I don't think I posted this one before?

Fever Birds

These are the Fever Birds come to roost:
drawn down through glass, amorphous and artless,
forced cries of colour on cellulose sclerae.
And they come, and they come,
shunning the decoupaged catalogue-gardens
to be shaped and stippled, field-guide posed
in the details of beak, of claws and one blind eye.
Graphite and wax scrape suggestions of feathers:
a meniscus of shading that hides their fury
while wood-skirted dancers scatter and crumble.
These are the Fever Birds come to roost.
The colours have flown and my fingers are raw.

When I was younger – much younger – I used to draw birds. And there was one day – perhaps one of the days at the end of the two week period we were all down with stomach flu, but more likely another bug, another time – when I sat down between the sofa and the patio doors, and I drew and I drew and I drew. In my memory, my Mum took the drawings into school with me the following week, and they went up on a wall somewhere for a while. I think my mum may still have them, lurking in a box in the loft.

Kath Jan 26 2015 03:13 PM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
I've been messing about with poetry quite a lot this weekend - it's good for ironing out emotions, plus I'm critiquing an educational theory paper through the medium of verse (don't ask!!!)

Anyway, I've been re-treading a lot of old emotional ground recently, while my brain tries to figure out how to accommodate Dad's diagnosis. And I found myself launched straight back into one of the realisations that got me through the miscarriages - that although genetics and biology and simple old age can be shitty and awful at time, the whole thing is really quite marvellous. We're constantly duplicating ourselves, again and again, on the cellular level - sometimes in a reproductive sense, but most often just through the fundamental process of being alive. And although it's riddled with imperfections... that's just the way it has to be. Without it, we'd still be single-celled amoebas. It's a hard price, living through the moments when biology makes a mis-step (and don't get me wrong, I'm absolutely in favour of chucking money at researching cures for all of these medical nasties), but somehow looking at all the glory of the world makes the tough times easier to bear. So, yeah. That's the context for this one.


I remember the weeks before,
when the bottom fell out of other people’s worlds.
Hope bleeding out in a trickle, a flood,
and the small, factual statements, made
to near strangers with open hearts,
abbreviated and masked.
But we were all losing our futures, then.

There’s nothing the doctors say that shifts the world.
The track’s already set, the genes expressed,
and all that’s left is waiting for the ground
to fall away. There’s nothing, the doctors say, it’s done,
it’s cast. But we already knew, all that and more,
impatient to be told that it was time
to bid farewell to futures long since gone.

I remember the weeks before.
Trying to make sense of other people’s grief
and finding the hope in the trickle, the flood,
in the subtle changes from which we’re made.
Evolution punctuates our past,
and blinded, masked,
looses our futures to flight again.

P'ter Jan 26 2015 04:24 PM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
The trouble with eliminating one fatal disease/condition, is that then more prople have to die of other things (sometimes even nastier things). The total always has to add to 100%!

Kath Jan 26 2015 04:52 PM

Re: Kath's poetry thread
Wow, P'ter. Did you even think for one minute about how that might come across?

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