Friday, May 06, 2005

Birthday poem for Tim

You must remember this: a kiss is just a kiss. Thirty-six years, however, is significant. This is your birthday pome:

Dreamimg of Yesterday

A full moon over Boho,
A staircase of descending stones,
Numberless bone-cosy fire-warmed nights
And frangipani-fragrant dawns,
Nightly feasts of living flavours,
A deck beneath our feet,
We float above the distant mopoke,
A sea of frozen stars over our heads,
Before we sleep,
Warm spoons curled in intimate hollows.

Do you remember the red glow of burning ash
As the tottering willow flares and sparks?
The silent fall of spare snowflakes on young brussel sprouts
And the taste of our own raspberries, warm on the vine?
Can you still see the garden caught in a rushing tide,
The grass lying afterwards, breathless with vanished floodwater,
Or cool under the giant plum,
While the cicadas strip the hot yellow air of oxygen?

I remember a naked man, flailing the weeds from the dam’s edge,
Ploughing the patchwork of currents across his field of muddy water,
Slipping the narrow roots of tiny trees into the earth,
Conjuring a grove, a vineyard or an orchard with his hands,
Back bared in the fierce sun,
Playing with fire,
Our man on the land.

It’s just a place,
A shabby hut in a rock strewn, dry and weedy gully,
Where we laughed and quarreled and dreamed
And our music filled the air,

I remember you at the station,
And you were always
Coming home

Happy 61 Jates!
Love,
Shannish

8 comments:

Finn said...

That’s a loverly poem mum. I remember the last bit: “I remember you at the station”. Dad always had the perfume on and sometimes had some trinket of interest.

Finn said...

Hey did you mean to write “poem” instead of “pome” is is “pome” like Anna “Pome”?

shannish said...

of course it’s deliberate finn. Dad always likes a play on words and that’s also why Anna is called Pome.
You would also remember the other things too - like the snow on the brussel sprouts, the flooding, the fire that got away, the weeding of the dam and the burning upright willow trunk. After all, you were there!

Jtrobertson said...

brussells sproots were these from Brussells did they come to fruit or grief were they ate or more were they put in a pot and boiled I disremember

Pierre Luniere said...

I wasn’t there, well, not that much, and I find all those things totally evocative, thank you, Char![I must confess to believing this form to be a prose, in so far as pomes have rhymes, don’t they? But then my education, outside fairly limited parameters, is sadly lacking.] Ask me, however, what key Bach’s Dm fugue is in and I may get it right? Love, P.air.

shannish said...

Well Jates, sigh, the sprouts were little and we had planted them from seed i think in a bed near the place where the grapes are now. Finn trotted around in a blue wool dressing gown I had made for him, agog at the thin white blanket of snowflakes. He was four years old and I remember how we stared out of the window together as the flakes fell, completely delighted and entranced, before we made our tour of the transformed garden. The sprout seedlings were unaffected by the snow, as i recall. we would eventually have eaten them, though i gave up on the brassica because of the little green caterpillars which munched them and looked so sad and offputting in the pot when they floated to the surface, quite dead.

shannish said...

Thank you Peter but as I am always assuring my students, poems come in many forms and rhymes are only one of the elements that may be included. I suppose this little effort could be called free verse.
Tell us about the fugue.
I have started piano lessons at last and may soon be able to tackle some of the jazz songs i love, thanks to the real book cd you sent me once

Desiree Lane said...

Brill Shannish just beautiful; especially the native frangipani(sorry about my boyfriend - he’s a bass player y’know).
DD