Monday, August 12, 2013

Tuesday Poem: The Storm

She dreams of wheelie bins hurled from great heights and wakes to find the street a thicket of meat trays and fruit nets and eggboxes; the asphalt, a jig-saw puzzle. The dog is discovered at the neighbour’s – the fence, worn thin by salt wind, is down. The woman who dreamed of wheelie bins stands by the gap calling the dog and sees the vege garden for the first time. All those trellises, all that lawn, a purpose-built compost. All the way to the shops, she sees how delicate things are: the way asphalt is only a skin and trees are brittle at the tips, and roofs – usually so respectful – can turn and laugh at you. At the café, she shares a table with a woman who forgets how old she is. She needs to text her husband to find out. She’s not old, she’s just in pieces. Together the two women watch a family walk its belongings from a sodden house – cat bed, cushions, crime paperbacks. A truck pulls up with orange cones and men in high-visibility jackets. Someone cheers. Both at the same time, the women lift their bags and go. At home she tries to fix the fence. There’s a blackbird contemplating the lid of her wheelie bin, he’s pinkish in the light. The bin lid is yellow, the sky, yes, at last! a little blue.

Mary McCallum

We've had a big earthquake since but we're still fixing things up from a massive storm that hit us some weeks back. The asphalt is still jig-saw-like in parts and sand is over the footpath and rubbish bins are wrenched from the ground. We were lucky really... just a fence down. That bit of the poem is me. The rest is true of other people I know. How helpless storms make you feel and 'in pieces'.  Enjoy Tuesday Poem this week both here and at the hub where Australian poet and author Catherine Bateson unfolds a gem for us... Go here. 


Kathleen Jones said...

Lovely Mary! Hope everything is soon mended - I saw the pics and it looked awful.

Michelle Elvy said...

I like the way this flows. There are distinct rhythms here, and yet it portrays this idea of life 'in pieces' very well indeed. Interesting, the form you chose. I would have imagined it in broken sections and lines... this works well, however: the juxtaposing of the solid block of words, no interruptions, no spaces with the ideas in it. And that last little subtlety -- a little blue.

Anonymous said...

I am enjoying "the blue". A great book.however as a yachtie I cringe to read "shipping the oars" it does not mean throwing them in the bottom of the boat when you finish rowing. It means putting them in the rowlocks before rowing :-)