Saturday, April 30, 2011

Last day of the wild poeming

I missed yesterday, being away on the island, so here's the kind of unfinished (baby started spinning round screeching) second half of the poem I started. Is it even worth sharing a half written thing? I don't know, but I plan to work on this more, later. It's partly about painting, partly about life.


Vertical aligned with the upright
Elbows at a good L shaped ninety degrees.
Joined with pins. Formally,
this picture is a pair of scales, the kind you hang
from your finger, the kind
that tilt. When it slips
enough to let the yellow in, like the thin
ending of a scream, a tempered one.
The sound one might hear, perhaps,
in a foreign city, out walking
on a dusty summer evening. If a window was open, and
from the shade, you might walk past as
a woman makes supper
in the kitchen, her eldest
child having just left home.

The first part of this poem is today's, and makes - I think - the thirty for this month. It's dedicated to Shanna for being such a fabulous inspiration. Thanks, S!

i )

I would like to give you a painting
I would like it to emanate light.
When you look at it, you should
taste orange ice lollies, the kind
the colour of poppies heads, you know
the crinkled petals still crushed tight
in the good green bud.

But there will be layers, too,
and windows. Keyholes for you
to lean into, sidle through, fold back and emerge
from, ink blue depths to dissolve into, leaving
only salt-rimmed lips and a pair of sandals behind.
Great leaping creatures will dance into the frame,
if you look hard enough, if you squint
into the lengthening rays of the sun.

There may be antlers, or the echoes
of voices singing things
monks ought to sing. Seagulls will wheel.
In this still life, you'll taste the mango
I forgot to bring last time, and the empty
suitcases under the bed will be filled, while
you're away, with unspoken conversations
good poems, better times.

Thanks so much, Shanna! See you next year. Phew!


Shanna Germain said...

Gah... You just made me cry. Like, the good kind of cry, but unexpected because I'm in public. Thank you.
Can I steal a copy of this? I want to hang it over my desk...

<3, me

misternoble said...

Nikki, your kindness with this last day is the perfect closure. It's been a privilege to discover your writing, and the bits and pieces of your life and your soul you've floated here.

Many thanks.

Bill Noble

Tony said...

Great piece, Shanna. Really gorgeous.

Nikki Magennis said...

Shanna, it's a gift - it's your poem, I'd be honoured if you hang it anywhere you like!

Bill, you're very kind. I've been very moved by your poems this month, too, and your lovely irises.