Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend Poem

Just when you thought it was safe
to put the jars back on the shelf,
the wine in the rack,
the books in the book case,
there is another tremor.

Just when you thought it was safe
to hang the pictures on the wall,
plaster over the cracks,
build castles in the air,
the earth is shaking again.

The city is all falling bricks and blossoms.
You keep a torch by your bed,
water in the cupboard,
stack heavy books along the foot
of the walls, put Blu-Tak under everything,
tie cupboard doors shut.

Your chimney has toppled,
your neighbour's house is off kilter,
your friend's buisness has shut its doors.

And then, just when you thought it was safe
to mope in corners, dress in black,
put on your gloomiest face,
there is music in the park,
the first strawberries of summer,
the generosity of strangers,
sunlight sparkling on fountains
and you drive down the street
past a tree filled with paper butterflies.


I thought it was time I wrote something for Big Tent Poetry, but instead of writing to their prompt I chose something else. I'm not doing the November poem a day challenge but I have been following the blogs of several who are. A few days ago the prompt was Just when you thought it was safe followed the next day by "a stacking poem". I've been resisting writing an earthquake poem - I'm sure we will be inundated by earthquake poetry at all the poetry readings in Christchurch in the next few months - but this prompt seemed made for an earthquake poem. I'm sure this is not the best I have to write on the subject, but it's a start.

The photo at the head of the post is a church I passed yesterday when I took a different route home from work than usual. I shot it through the mesh of the safety fence surrounding the grounds. I was going to photograph the tree full of paper butterflies, but there wasn't any parking nearby. I may manage to do so later in the weekend, if it stops raining.


Cynthia Short said...

I really enjoyed reading this. The piece travels from irritation, fear, and anger to such positive feeling...

Tumblewords: said...

I love this piece - you've written life as defined by an event. Love it!

Unknown said...

I like how you turned uncertainty on its ear and make pleasure out of it.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful. love the way it ends. My e-mail

Elizabeth Welsh said...

Despite the topic being somewhat despairing, you write with such light! I love the juxtaposition of 'The city is all falling bricks and blossoms'. Stunning!