Thursday, 5 October 2006

In Memory of A Figure from the Past

We got back from our holiday late on Monday. Since then I've been working longer hours than usual.

After spending the evening reading blogs, it is now time for beddy-byes and I haven't time to do much else than post a poem for Poetry Thursday.

I will report back about the holiday over the weekend.

This week's Poetry Thursday theme is 'The Body'. I wrote this poem some time ago (I have adjusted the age to bring it up to date) in a fit of depression over my middle-age spread, and memories of my former (almost boyish) figure of past years.

llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

like a tree

Look at yourself
at fifty-three
in some changing-room

mirror. How generous
the double helpings
over the wiry frame

that used to be
more obvious.
How much there

now to seize
with both hands.
Like a tree,

the older the wider.
Look! How much
life has grown on you.

28 comments:

Catherine said...

I like this, simple but with so much to say- especially the last couple of lines.

liz elayne said...

i am with catherine...
those last two lines triggered tears for me. i love this image. (so glad you shared this one today.)

Anne S said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere CB.

Having been there and done that with the body image, your poem is apt and very poignant.

PS: It (the body) falls back into line after a couple of years, so cheer up.

madd said...

I loved the last..so true, so true, very nice..thanks..M

apprentice said...

Yes really captures the change.
I hate those mirrors, they're one of many things I now choose to ignore :)

wendylou who? said...

You are back!!...and full of grace. This poem is un adorned beauty, like a tree, like you, like it is meant to be.

Wendy from quiet..

Carolee said...

i really love the imagery of the trunk thickening with age and how the years grow.

pepektheassassin said...

A perfect ending for a funny (and accurate) poem! Do you think we also get "wiser" as we get "wider"? I hope so!

Not that wisdom has so much to do with width....

pepektheassassin said...

anne s: the body falls back into line? --WHEN, WHEN??? TEll me!

Deb R said...

I'm glad you're back. I miss your posts when you're away! :-)

I like this poem a lot and wow, can I relate. Like others have said I particularly like the ending.

January said...

Ooh, I really like this. Nice job CB.

the sightspeed guy said...

Thanks for the kind words on my anniversary!

Tammy said...

You have been missed! This was very touching but never look in those awful mirrors, the lighting plays tricks. More to love!

Clare said...

I love the optimism of this - the idea of life - and living - being celebrated. I hope you don't think this a trite comparison but I remember that Stella McCartney said her mother told her that lines on a face are cause for celebration that they tell the world about how you are...something like that.

Welcome back CB. Did you have a good time?

kj said...

fantastic! this poem wraps its arms around you and tells you all is well...

wendy said...

PS gave you a shout out on my blog...Want everyone who know me to know you...tried to link...but the link, she would not work!!!hope I get some new eyes on your work! YOu...Deserve a wide audience!

Ceebie said...

Ooh I like this...A tree has so much strength and rootedness...How wonderful to feel that power in your body!

Patry Francis said...

Oh those changing room mirrors. I try to avoid them at all costs. Glad to see you back!

chiefbiscuit said...

catherine - Thanks - as I commented - I love your body-poem too!

liz elayne - Thanks for that - didn't mean to make you cry but I guess it's a compliment that you did!

Anne S - Maybe the mind follows!

madd - Thanks for dropping by

apprentice - Aint that a fact!

Wendy - Aw sucks you make me feel all coy now!

carolee- Yes, thinking of myself as a tree does help me to accept the body image change thingee that happens to some of us as we grow older. :(

pepek - I believe we do get wiser - hallelujah for that too!!

deb r - You are an inspiration for me I love the way you celebrate life.

january - Thanks a lot. I love your work too - you keep getting better and better!

ssg - My pleasure. (Meeps made me do it!)

tammy - Aren't they just horrendous things - so close-up too. Yuk. I promise not to look ever again.

clare - Why thanks - to be compared with linda can't be a bad thing at all.

kj - Which is excatly what I want it to do!

wendy - you are such a lovely soul ... :)

ceebie - I've just got to keep remembering that on those bad-body days!

pf - Thanks! I think we should ban them all Only flattering mirrors allowed in shops (ones that widen or slim on cue.)

Turquoise CRO said...

Ah Yes! The dreaded dressing room mirror, if I had the courage I would like to go in one and scream at the top of my lungs! LOL They might as well have those carnival, circus mirrors in there! Phew! Maybe that's why I haven't been to the Mall for a long time! I've got to lose some of my weight! There, now I've said it, maybe I'll do it! if there are witnesses to me saying it! I need to get FIRED UP! about my weight! before winter sets in and I start gobbleing every NUT in sight! I think I'm related to the squirrels! Is that a good thing or a bad thing? LOL xo

chiefbiscuit said...

turqoise cro - Hi! You are so right about those mirrors.
Good luck with your aims re weight.
It's a never-ending battle it seems.(Now, someone pass me those nuts!?)

twitches said...

"double helpings." Ha.

I like how this sounds almost meditative, especially the ending. Celebratory but real.

Belle said...

Hi Chiefbiscuit,

Glad you are back, enhanced figure and all!

chiefbiscuit said...

twitches - Thank you very much - you've put it so well - until you said it, I didn't know that that's just the way I wanted it to soun.

belle - Thanks. Hey like the new logo!

Lynn said...

Yay! You’re back. I'm glad you took the time to post this. It's a wonderful poem.

chiefbiscuit said...

lynn - Hey you! Thanks for dropping by and for the compliment.

Cailleach said...

Hey there CB glad to see you've been busy this last while and had a nice break away too!

I love seeing your trademark simplicity at work in this poem. It reminds me of the time I went clothes shopping, about three months after my third child, and nothing would fit me right. I ended up going home in floods of tears.

Later on I realised that there were ways of diguising that oul pot belly. I think it was the lighting in the changing room that got to me - it was really brutal and showed every flaw and defect - or was it just me being overly critical?

That's what I like about your last line, that it gives permission for the onlooker to forgive themselves for being what they are!

chiefbiscuit said...

Thanks so much for that Cailleach - I really believe those dressing-room mirrors are unecessarily cruel.

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'