Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Poem: This Cup

This Cup

Orange sarong on the beach, tip-toeing on the hot stones, a cup of seawater in his hands, 
laughing, keeping it steady, taking it to someone only he can see. I’ve passed him now and
up ahead two people in white – white hair, white hats, white shirts – tipping from the hip 
as the old do, kept from falling by a small child. They stop and watch, they take his hand, 
they go forward on deliberate feet, love spilling from a china cup. Between the orange
sarong and the folk in white, I walk as you’d expect: one foot in front of the other, dressed
in the colour of stones, my devastation an empty spoon. 

                                                                                                Mary McCallum

The other Tuesday Poem: Missed 


Rachel Fenton said...

Something about the tiny font makes me take close notice. It suits the intricacy I think. What are your thoughts about ending a line with "and". I was reading Ruth Paddel's opinions about this in last year's Mslexia poetry competition and she seems rather fiercely set about the use of it, whereas I think a poem speaks to you about where the lines should end...

The stones and the spoon really struck me with this poem, and the observation of the aged's stance. Eclectic imagery. I'm looking forward to next Tuesday already!

Bookman Beattie said...

I cut and pasted your poem and put it into Word and then expanded the font size!

Mary McCallum said...

Heh heh - thank you Rachel and Bookman for heroically coping with the tiny font, but the fact is I couldn't bear it. The poem felt reduced. So I have gone giant-sized now - used some fancy s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d template. I rather like it actually, and it suits my poetry which is the most important thing. I simply could not bear to break those lines and the old template was, well, hunched.

Re. the 'and' at the end, Rachel. How marvellous you brough that up - I did debate its merits right up to the last minute before pressing 'publish'- but I like the poem better with it there because it gives better sense of the movement (walking, seeing) from the man in the sarong to the elderly couple - and it didn't fit on the next line (it made the line too long) - it also rhymes nicely with hands, hand, and orange?

And Bookman - the thought of you cutting and pasting the poem so you could read it was one reason I was impelled to change my blog. Lovely of you to do it, but hopefully you won't need to again...

Rachel Fenton said...

Blog looks fab!

Yes, I noticed the words walking hand-and-hands down the edge. Wonderful sound to read loud. But I feel restricted with my ands after reading said poet's criticism. Must learn to throw off more criticism!

The description of the old also made me smile because it reminded me of the phrase my (much younger) brother uses to denote the elderly: "cotton bobbers"!