Poetry and Waiting Rooms

The clouds look like they could be snow clouds. But this early in November, probably they won’t shake down any soft feathers upon us. (Though far-away friends on Facebook are proudly sharing photos of white-dusted lawns and even a miniature snowman.) Beneath the clouds’ shadowy canopy the crabapples on the nearly leafless tree are a startling yellow, a squirrel waves the grey flag of his tail as he bounds across the yard, and the leaves, which only last week were golden showers, have faded now to drab brown litter on the still-green grass.

Sophie and Ben are singing together over their jigsaw puzzle, back and forth, making nonsense sounds, echoing voices making joyful noise. I’m trying not to let it irritate me. Lucy is sailing a cardboard box around the living room, Bella and Anthony are lost in books.

I spent the best part of an hour this morning in the Caribbean– Santa Lucia– with Derek Walcot, witnessing Maud Plunkett’s deathbed and funeral, another scene into which the poet self-consciously inserts himself, weeping among the mourners for the death of his own creation.

I love the magic way a book can make a waiting room fade away and you know it’s there, but you are not, you are miles and years away and the world where you are is more real. And the way poetry reshapes everything so that as you re-enter the world you carry with you the rhythms and carefulness of language and the tendency to observe closely all the beauty around you and the habit of metaphor and simile.

And as if sharing my mood Bella paused on the balcony, and gazing out the window at a flag waving on a hill against the clouds, re-framed the view with her words. And later wrote down some other words that did not describe that scene but connected it to other flags, other days, other feelings that were the same and not the same.

I’m trying to spend some time each day just writing whatever comes into my head. Returning to the origin of my blog, which started as a place to stash whatever I felt like scribbling, long before I ever dreamed of an audience. It probably won’t last long, but I’m feeling restless and aimless and figure why not.

One Response to Poetry and Waiting Rooms

  1. Stephanie Sheehan November 23, 2018 at 1:32 pm #

    Love your words and identify with what you say. I also have it happen with music when the intensity of the music makes everything around me hyper-real and imprinted like a sound photograph.

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