When I read the prompt for this week I was sitting, of course at my computer screen. Liz Elayne invited us to find inspiration in a place where we spend most of our time. I spend quite a bit of time in fromt of the computer, of course. Could I find inspiration for a poem on my screen? Well, it brings me a lot of poetry from all around the world, but I didn't think that's where my own inspiration comes from, so I went out to pull weeds in my garden. I dug and pulled and heaped the weeds on top of an old rabbit hutch until the pile was about ready to topple over. It was a grey moist day, and I found myself thinking of the blue skies of a few days earlier, with their banks of flaked fish clouds. I uncovered dark scuttly things - centipedes, beetles, spiders - which hurried away to find cover again under the leaf litter. Later, weeding in another part of the garden, I looked up to find a cat, striped dark and tawny, gazing at me. I greeted her and she streaked away. But no poems. Maybe they streaked and scuttled away with the garden creatures. Maybe another day inspiration will come.
I have been further exploring the poems of Michele Leggott, a poet I mentioned last week. So I thought I would post the poem that first interested me in her work. It is set in her kitchen, another place where I spend a lot of time (my kitchen, not hers!). It took the explanation that she has two sons for me to start unravelling the meaning of this poem.
Smile at that mountain where love was
eaten on a morning when the world held still
in the rain's embrace a promise of iris blue
In the heart every moment a splitting of the moon
in the belly picnics of sky and dancing zephyrs
Be loved be happy, feed and be fattened on this -
A weekend in winter lemon butter thickening
over slow heat, two candy boys ecstatic
on the juicer, Persian mystics on top of the fridge
glinting elevation and excess Stir and shout
give them (feet off the green couch right now) the works!
The parrots of my soul have begun to chew sugar
they turn up the deck and dance loopsville
one in my arms whirled in a golden mirror
I have been exploring Michele Leggott's poetry in the spirit of last week's prompt - poetry you avoid. I think I understand the one above, somewhat, but most of the rest of it I find rather difficult. I would probably have given up, normally, but I think there is treasure in here - wonderful rich images - and so I am trying to persist. Besides, I received an alumni magazine in the mail yesterday from Auckland University where I did my master's degree, and there is an article in it on Michele (which seems like more than a coincidence). See it online here
More of her work can be found online here and here.