Thursday, 30 November 2006

The Awful First Post

I've decided to do away with the whole introduction (name, age, life story) thing and plunge right in. All you need to know is that I'm a nocturnal student and world class procrastinator. I'm sure others things will be apparent in time, but, eh, what's the point? I'm hoping to say something vaguely intelligent on here occasionally and keep navel-gazing to a minimum.

This, yet another online journal, is the product of insomnia. It's now 8am and I've been up all night, mostly writing poetry. I'm very glad of this (the poetry, not the lack of sleep) because I don't write nearly enough. I came to university intending to get up an hour early every morning and write, which, needless to say, didn't happen. But, while I haven't done nearly enough, I have, at least, done a little. And I finished two poems tonight. Here they are:

The Dying Woman

When the doctor shook his head,
you became a woman changed.
You became a prophet, telling us,
only through hoarse coughs,
what was to come. Your husband
the ever-stubborn unbeliever.
Nightly you shake the sheets free
from biscuit crumbs like desert sands,
while he just lies there, numb.

As a child I played in your house,
watched by the grandfather clock.
He, unknown to us, was counting down
your days, your years. I imagine
he will one day chime in time
with your funeral bells, booming through
the empty rooms. When we pack up
your things, remove the relics of your life,
he will be the last to go.

Travellers’ Tales: Thailand

We fly over a foamy sea of clouds,
the kingdoms beneath like Atlantis,
and land unsteadily on a country
still dizzy from drowning.

We drive through a city of slums
and skyscrapers, and buildings
in ruins as if after an Apocalypse.
Buddha has left, choked

by the smoke and noisy advertisements.
He ran with his hands to his ears,
found a retirement home by the sea
with trees to sit under

and water to wash his bleeding feet.
He grows fat on bananas and coconuts.
The sea speaks to him in rhymes.
He is not seen

in Pattaya, where even the sun
has turned away and the lights
are like Christmas gone wrong.
Here are the leering,

the drunk, the girls grinding
and writhing, fat flies, the dogs’
ribs showing as Buddha’s had done.

Please, take me home.

I'm not entirely happy with the ending of the dying woman one (which is about my aunt, who has cancer); and the Thailand one, in retrospect, is just generally a bit shit. What's with all the Buddha stuff? Oh, well. There's late night ramblings for you.


Amy Wentworth said...

I have to say I really enjoyed the first poem. It kind of reminded me of a Derek Walcott poem for some reason!

andey said...

Derek Walcott was very 'wordy' himself..

Hey there you got something bookiesh, kind of, going eh..