Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Tuesday Poem: "My Mother's Ashes Feign Disinterest in their Dispersal" by Tim Nees

Tonight a cradle moon.
The window on the low side of light.
Sleep scurries, hides round corners.
Come on, Sunday.
For one undeniably this much reveals a hollowing.
Fitting up the mystery eternal.
One false step you get done in.
Does that sound right?
John Donne and the Metaphysics eschew the eternal, way down below 
on shady lane.
A long worn life invests not in the promise of the eternal promise.
Is that the way belief circumlocutes itself?

    Where to find even more, with that extra step hampered by a 
drooping foot.
Time surely to complete another feat, appetite never replete.
Whether you land or take a tumble, nothing certain.
In this belief system what’s willed never happens.
What should be simple tasks toss and turn, become insubordinate, defy
being picked up and held struggling in the fresh streaming light.
In principle we should all be convinced.

    Meaning what, I wonder, when it was she who demanded the wall 
simply listen to reason.
There was a door but for her no-one would open it, not in her direction. 

Nor at her direction.
Rail and strike at stubbornness with tiny fists and her walker. 
Entranced for hours.
Banging away in her mind.
Gentle bumps, mind you.

    Protest shouldn’t have had to be a defence against the boulder of
Don’t bet on a punchline.
Insistence is no virtue but blame is a force uncalled for.
Step inside, love.
Not on her watch.
I figure she was avoiding in the back reaches of her mind the exit. 

The second man she loved never arrived.

    Reason is not simple.
Reason must first repair deaf ears.
Acquiescence is a retreat to be beaten.
The main argument once stated will be glossed, patience required to
release gravity.
We pray.
Effortlessly we pray as every fibre of our being shakes.
Until experience uncovers the truth without wishing for it, even though 
we realise this time we’re going to be pissing into our boots.

Do the selfless have interests?
The things we wonder, sunshine.
Sadly, the best-by date for wonder has long since expired.
Sit, smile and touch, smile and touch, sit.
Who’s to own this, this outcome?

    My mother’s ashes undignified in their container.
Disdain comes to mind.
Disdain is a word she’d turn her nose up at.

    Birds fly all about but no-one hears them singing.
No one hears them.
No one at all.
Will one to come brighten the room.
One needs to do one’s best in order to tolerate what one finds in others,
and give a little bit, otherwise one will end up with someone else’s
uninvited hands handling one’s spoons.
Toleration served with a grain of salt.
Too much to have been serious.

    The circle shrinks again.
Well that’s alright, maman cher?
Nothing done will make it right.
My mother’s mother fell in love with Elvis while my mother fell in love 
with Charlie Rouse.
That says something significant and a half, though what wasn’t said in
between dry facts was a bundle and the other half, too packed in to 
begin to unpick.
Little more than a flush.
Can emotional states even be facts?
Any old way you do, do now.
God how she hated that fact word.
Few left to review, and too late to stop.
Which is just fine seeing no-one listens to no facts no more no how.
Fine and dandy, fine and dandy, fine and dandy handy Andy.
Ever ready with a twinkle and a misdemeanour.
Don’t care even if you blow my top, but keep on going.
Keep on going.

    One memorable occasion, a blue Imp transporting a grand get-up 
topped off by a black gold-tipped Sobranie.
Okay, that much is true.
Regardless, she would have preferred a carnival in cocktail colours to 
jive through her saloon, except Russians don’t do carnivals and 
Latin Americans don’t smoke Sobranies.
Not in her world.
Conflicting interests party with absurdity.
Just don’t expect her image to be verified by this type of occasion.
Fall back on dignity.
Give her some teeth.

    Cigarette ash settles on her lashes and her front.
Shine on warm freckled enfolding diamond.
My mother’s freckled ashes.
My mother’s gin and tonic ashes.
My mother’s Brebiesca fingered ashes.
My mother’s ashes won’t brush off this time.
Fitting up the stubborn conundrum for good.
Sleep scurries, hides round corners.
The window on the low side of light.
Tonight a cradle moon.

© Tim Nees 7 May 2020

Tim Nees is a Christchurch-based writer. He has a Master of Arts (Creative Writing) with Merit from Victoria University of Wellington. In 2009 he attended the Iowa Fiction Workshop,  the Iowa Poetry Workshop and the Short Fiction Workshop at the Institute of Modern Letters, VUW. He has had poems published in Poetry NZ, was a Runner-up in the 2009 BNZ Katherine Mansfield Short Story Competition with his story “Cartography” which was also nominated for the Pushcart Prize (USA). In 2008, he was a Runner-up in the NZ Post Wellington Sonnet Competition.

Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Tuesday Poem: "Places Becoming Lonely" by Andrew M. Bell

Photo Credit: Andrew M. Bell

Not a name on a marquee,
but a firmament in which a star could shine

this solid Earth, dependable unless we forget
the hard lessons of gravity

understated, not showy, he knew the places
his eyes could take the audience

there are more of us now and they say
we are more visually literate

and the images multiply daily
and yet there are more

places becoming lonely

by Andrew M. Bell

For more information on poet, Andrew M. Bell, see:

Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Tuesday Poem: "Fear" by Charles Simic

Fear passes from man to man
As one leaf passes its shudder
To another. 

All at once the whole tree is trembling
And there is no sign of the wind. 

by Charles Simic

For more information about poet, Charles Simic, see: