Friday, 23 March 2007

In Sunlight That Shines Like Moonlight

I just about didn't do anything for this week's Poetry Thursday. I've gone and caught myself a head-cold - no surprise when working in close proximity to 'littlies'. I am taking tomorrow off work to recover. Usually I 'soldier on', but this bug is a real doozy, so I am treating it with the respect it so obviously demands.

Because I have a poem in my book 'Feeding the Dogs' which fits this week's prompt, it has made it an easy one for me. And I so need easy right now.

I wrote the poem from the photo I've also posted. It shows myself and my mother on a swing down on the beach. Remember when they used to build swings on beaches? Well, I do anyway.




black and white photo

From where I sit on your knee
I look down. It might be
at the strange sight
of your shoes, your feet
as they fly

over the sand - it is all new
to me; the squeak
of the swing as we fall back,
surge forward, just like the sea
that builds and collapses

in front of us and behind
Dad who takes the photo
with a camera
with a jack-in-a-box lens
of pleated black.

From the perspective
of time you, my mother,
are no more than a child
yourself. Today
all we have to show

for that day is this small square
photo made up of greys
and no colour to intrude
or take away from the sweetness
of capture: here we are then

in sunlight that shines
like moonlight
where I smile at the sensation
of flight and you
at my tense joy.

22 comments:

Beaman said...

This is a poignant piece.

Maybe a couple more pauses in the middle may help.

'just like the sea
that builds and collapses

in front of us and behind
Dad who takes the photo
with a camera
with a jack-in-a-box lens
of pleated black.'

This is all one breath?

The imagery is wonderful and I'm sure most readers will relate to this poem in their own way. That is the power of this piece which you have, on the whole, successfully carried across. Good work!

Tammy said...

How absolutely precious CB. I loved the flow and sentiment here.


Feel better soon. HUGS

January said...

What a wonderful poem, CB. And I am floored by the last stanza and the line, "in sunlight that shines like moonlight." What a great image and title.

Emily said...

oh, i especially love the phrase "tense joy" I really like this a lot. It goes so well with the photo.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Oh, I loved this as well. I love old family photos- they carry so much meaning as we get older. The first stanza especially intrigued me- I could envision myself looking at flying feet!

pepektheassassin said...

The poem and the photo are both great! All your poetry (at least those I've read are so "grounded"--I don't know any other way to describe them--in life, in real people and places and things. Good work!

Catherine said...

Lovely. I remember a camera like that! We used it long after everyone else had bought Box Brownies and similar cameras.
I hope you feel better soon

paris parfait said...

Such beautiful imagery in your words and a lovely photo underscoring the magic. Wonderful!

Maya said...

Ahhhhh you were SO CUTE! Sorry to scream, but the cheeks alone are just...edible. Love the poem. We never had swings on our beaches...that looks like fun!

Kamsin said...

There's something magical about old black and white photos (and new ones!), and swings on beaches sounds like a super idea! I like the line about it all being new to you, and also the bit about the sea which "builds and collapses in front us".

Cam said...

Wonderful, CB.

I really like the flow of this; the rhythm of the poem seems to mimic the metaphor of the sea building & collapsing, just as a swing goes back & forth, with the cautious slowness that a young mother holding her child would have.

Beautiful.

Kimberley McGill said...

The words, the rhythm, the line breaks - wonderful. I also noticed how in the beginning the movement is the back and forth of the swing (like the sea) and then there is the father in front and then behind and towards the end the movement through time from now to then. So good.

chiefbiscuit said...

Beaman - It is a bit of an ask to read all that without a breath. Sorry. If it ever gets re-printed I'll think about putting in a comma ... somewhere ... :)


tammy - Thanks Tammy - I'm getting there

january - You're very kind

emily - I think that's what my faec portrays (I look like I'm thinking "Am I going to fall?")

regina - i think it's calledpoetic license!

pepek - you make me feel so good. :)

catherine - Yes Dad used his for quite a while - until it wouldn't go anymore I guess.

pp -Thanks Tara.

maya - Maybe my cheeks are still a little too chubby!!!

kamsin - Thanks - I guess there's some building restriction now re swings on beaches. Wouldn't surprise me. But then - isn't it unwise to build on sand? I think there was a piece of clay this swing was built on - near to the cliffs.

cam - What a beautiful comment - I often think our words reflect a rhythm in our mind according to the subject e.g poems / songs about trains ...

chiefbiscuit said...

kimberly - Thanks so much. :)

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is lovely and evocative. The sweetness of capture i especially like.

Jan said...

This made me shiver with its loveliness.
I have got family staying here at present; the older I get (!) the more I appreciate family ties, those footprints in our times and our memories, the shared patterns, the wonderful hopes we have for each other
There was your mother, with you...caught on a beach for an instant and its with you for ever. Your mother would be so proud of that poem...

gautami tripathy said...

"From the perspective
of time you, my mother,
are no more than a child
yourself."


I remembered the old times spent with my parents and brothers. We looked so funny but happy. Thanks for this post.

gautami
Soul

jillypoet said...

"It is all new to me..." This single line captures the essence of the look on your little face. That picture is so full of joy. What a gift to have it, still.

kj said...

ok, chief, you've made me cry. the photo is touching enough. then your words....

i consider you a kindred soul...

chiefbiscuit said...

cgp - Thanks. It is sweet to capture a moment that can then be carried on with you into the future until you understand it, even if you don't remember the actual time - which I don't because I was too young. Yay for photos!

Jan - Just like I was trying to describe in the comment above ...enjoy your family and making those memories.

gt - Yes everyone looks a little funny don't they when we look back! :) But you are right, they are times we treasure (well, hopefully - if they were happy times we do.)

jilly - Yes I do treasure it - I'd grab it in a fire for sure. (Although now it is on the computer, all wouldn't be lost if I didn't. So I guess it's Yay for progress and for the past, and when the two combine? Why it's nothing but wondrous!)

kj - Thanks so much kj - I like to think we're kindred souls - it's very Anne Shirley-ish!

Jone said...

The poem and the photo work so well together. It is poignant and reflective. I hope you are feeling better.

chiefbiscuit said...

jone - Thanks. Yes better - it didn't last long thankfully.

Harbour

Harbour
'how this all harbours light'