I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

This blog is not, 'Here are my very best poems'. It's for work in progress, subject to revision.
Posts may be updated without notice at any time. Completed work appears in my books.

30 April 2008

April Challenge 28 - Pass

April Challenge 28 was to write a sestina: a complex form involving a pattern of line-ending words.
I did. I even posted it here briefly, and I hope no-one saw it. I re-read it and realised it was the most awful melodrama! Maybe I'll manage another; otherwise you'll just have to take my word for it. :)

Not an April Challenge

Spotted this at a friend's blog on MySpace and couldn't resist!

Write a poem including all of the following words: branch, flew or flu, humble, orange, steel or steal, jazz, flood, extra, jerusalem. Include at least one of the following actions: shoveling, rowing, falling or falling down, collecting, and one or both of the following phrases: "the best part", "if you didn't care".

Please note, my effort is fictional!


I Never Knew Why

I never knew why they were called
jerusalem artichokes. The best part
was all that oozy butter collecting
in the bumps and hollows, a flood
of yellow. My Dad sipping and slurping,
me shovelling the soft white flesh
into my throat. It would be a Sunday
and he'd be listening to a jazz trumpet
on the wooden wireless, he'd be
standing against the mantelpiece
to listen better, leaning one elbow on it.
If you didn't care for jazz, that was just
too bad, because Sunday morning was
for treats and feasting. He'd have worked
extra hours at the branch, and this now
was his time. Before he got falling down drunk
late in the afternoon, before him and Mum
started rowing, before the sun flew
too fast through the afternoon, too soon
turning to orange in the wintry sky…. Later
when he was old, he used to mention
"the humble artichoke" as a very good
vegetable, much underrated.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

29/4/08

29 April 2008

Half a Phone Call

April Challenge 27: Today's prompt is to write a poem that is only one-half of a two-person conversation, or the "one side of a phone line" poem.

He came to see me, you know.
Knocked on the door one day.
I was in bed with the worst flu.
I dragged myself to the door.

I was pleased to see him,
I really was. But my legs ached.
I had to go back to bed
and talk to him from there.

No, he wouldn't mention that;
too wrapped up in himself.
I had to bribe Amy to see him.
'Find out if he's changed,' I said.

She didn't seem to think he had,
but I don’t know what they said.
Oh he did? We like it, otherwise
we would have done something else.

Yes, he does that. He tried
to do it to us too. I don't know
how to say this, but he's the most
manipulative person I ever met.

He's quite ruthless. I wonder who
he learned that from? It's as if he went
and trained in those techniques. Where
do you study brainwashing, though?

Do you think he's crazy? No,
I don't see you that way. I think he's
more autistic than you – the lack
of compassion. You're not like that.

He's like a sort of cult leader. Oh dear,
I hope he never gets any power
over people's minds! He's also very good
at making people love him.

Don't get me wrong, it was really nice
to see him, for a while. I was glad
he came, and I was glad when he went.
I feel deep affection for him.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

29/4/08

28 April 2008

I'm so over ... (April Challenge 26)

Prompt: Write a poem with the title, "I'm so over (..............)"
I'm so over being improved!

And yes it's true what you say:
I like the people who like me
the way I am. You tell me
I should lose the red hair,
it looks like I'm trying too hard.
I check with my hairdresser.
"It's OK to be eccentric,"
she says, only slightly defensive.
Good, I'll keep it then.

You think I should stop
making poems. It's not as if
my poetry's all that good,
you kindly point out. And not
as if it makes me happy. Well!
Luckily there are those who like
reading all these inferior
verses I love to write. I don't
in any case know how to not.

I need to get a new husband,
the one I've got's getting old.
He never did suit me anyway,
you say. Funny that all those friends
who've known us over the long haul
disagree. "You're so united!"
"You're such a team!" Our lives
are dull and empty, you insist.
They: "You're so engaged with life!"

I ought to get rid of my books,
take down all my pictures,
sell my computer,
replace my defective friends.
My beliefs are all wrong
and so are my dreams;
my memories are outright lies.
Well, I can see one change
that's overdue. Goodbye!

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

28/4/08

The Psychic Reader

I sit in Murwillumbah Market.
It's cold in the big pavilion
though people tell us
it's already hot outside.


We've had the free cup of coffee
that only this market provides.
We've eaten our second breakfast –
a packed lunch scoffed early
before the customers come.
On a good day I'll be too busy
for any more mouthfuls after 10.

Andrew's been and bought
our supply of organic veggies.
Patsy, who always sees me here,
has had her reading early, as she does.
She brought us each a gardenia.
Mine's on my table, to the side;
the scent wafts up to me. Patsy said,
"It'll keep you happy all day," and it does.

My crystal ball is filled with
inclusions and patches of rainbows.
As big as a baby's head,
it sits on a silk scarf in a basket.
"You can't read with that!" a passer-by
says loudly, "It isn't clear."
I only smile. "You mean that you can't,"
I think but don't bother to say.

I find my chocolate biscuit.
It's 10 to 10; the customers begin.
Two and a half hours later
there's a lull. The autumn sun
is clear and bright in the doors and windows
of the pavilion. The crowds thin
and we are left with big empty spaces
all down the middle of the stalls.
A sudden breeze blows my sign over.
I put my watch back on and start to pack.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

27/4/08

27 April 2008

Serendipity

April Challenge 24: Use a photo to create a poem.

He comforts me, this little dog
in the picture, big ears cocked
(the sort of ears you need
if you're mostly wolf)
and his eyes fixed on me
quizzical, knowing.

He sits by a set of drums
on the floor of a desert –
white sand and stones,
pale, tangly scrub –
and waits for a word
from his human comrade.

I've had a wild five months!
Old friends ill or troubled,
my marriage uncertain,
my cousin dead. And all that
trouble with my son. I'm glad when
this dog pops up on my desktop.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

27/4/08

The Pleasures of the Elderly

April Challenge 23: A poem about getting older.

The Prodigal Son and the Second Stepson
have both done their holiday visits and gone.
Finally it's just we two again,
enjoying indulgences they never saw
though they could have done.
"Behind closed doors," accused the Prodigal.
But no, it's just that each slept late
and the guestroom door was the one kept shut.

At breakfast time we feed the cats
then bring our own meal back to bed.
We lean on layers of pillows
and read to each other from "Conversations With God".
The bedroom door's wide open.
The cats come in and jump on the bed.
They snuggle up and smooch, they purr and settle.
When you're 40, this probably isn't exciting.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

27/4/08

26 April 2008

From Tamar to Tweed

April Challenge 22 (for Earth Day): 1. Write a nature poem. 2. Write an industrial poem. I'm combining them.

Note: The Tamar and Ben Lomond in this poem are in Tasmania, and this Tweed is in northern NSW – namesakes of the originals in England and Scotland.


Looking through pale new willow leaves
lettuce-green, at the silver river,
Ben Lomond purple on the skyline behind,
she never dreamed a future
so far north of there,
with still a mountain,
a strange-shaped mountain,
three peaks: two humped, one pointed
and another silver river
wide to the tropical sky.

News comes from the island
home of her childhood,
about a mill to be built
on that swift silver river
to turn the tall trees
to pulp for paper.
It will taint the sweet water,
small creatures will die.
She remembers swimming
there in a time that's over.

Now she swims in one of the coastal creeks
and walks the beach to gaze at the ocean.
There's a mill here too, built long ago.
It processes sugar.
Gradually over the years
the operation has become cleaner.
The smoke nowadays is white
that used to be black.
She likes sugar
and paper. But.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

23-6/4/08

25 April 2008

Sunlight suddenly: haiku and things for April 2008

4/4/08:

On the empty beach
a single line of footprints.
Now the sky darkens.


11/4/08:

Morning is sudden.
Floods of sunshine fill the room.
There's no sound of rain.


18/4/08:

After the rain-storm
a forest of tiny birds
singing and singing.


25/4/08:

The sea eagle dives
repeatedly after prey
straight, swift and sudden.

**************************

Through forests and crags
we drive and drive the steep bends
to the mountain top.

From Mt Tamborine
the Gold Coast is just a line
of tall, spindly sticks.

Sunlight suddenly
breaks through the trees on the hill
just for a moment.


© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

23 April 2008

A Conversation

April Challenge 21: A "snooping" poem that incorporates a bit of overheard dialogue (can be in real life or off the television) or even a quote taken from a news story online (if you happen to be a hermit).

It's a library. Voices are low.
We set up in the children's section.
Andrew has his briefcase of books
and his funny storytelling hat.
I'm in my purple Goddess gown,
a fairy costume on this occasion.
Our chairs face a bunch of beanbags
pushed together, brightly patched.

We're early, no audience yet,
but in one beanbag two boys
cluster together. One's little,
maybe five. His brother, about 11,
reads to him very quietly
from a big flat book they both hold.
I can see from here it's mostly pictures,
colours sprawling all over the pages.

This conversation is not in words,
though words are being spoken.
It's in the older boy's tenderness,
cradling the little brother who cuddles up
into his curved side under the sheltering arm.
It's in the younger one's trust
as he wriggles himself into place
then rests in the warm, safe moment.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

23/4/08

22 April 2008

A Day for Love Poems, But

April Challenge 20: Write a love poem with capital-L. Not the greatest timing for me!

It was a day for writing love poems, but
I was too busy
praying for peace and weeping

asking the Great Mother
to take and resolve my dilemmas
with husband and son

defending family members
one from another
and keeping my own place with all

a day for being romantic but
I was helping one rehearse a talk for tomorrow
listening to another's daily dreams

and looking at a photo of my dead cousin
smiling as only she could
radiant in spite of pain

and somewhere behind my mind
I was asking how one might journey
to become pure spirit, an orb of light.


© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

22/4/08

21 April 2008

Familiars

Small and high and white,
the moon tonight
is full and very bright.

I stand outside in my garden
late and alone,
drawing Her down.

Where my frangipanni blooms,
reality melts. It seems
there is desert; a cave forms.

Shadows in the far corner
take shape, grow darker.
A wolf's nose. A man's tall figure.

Across the world
between the worlds
our gazes meet and hold.


21/4/08

The Accident (April Challenge 19)

For today's prompt you need to write a poem about a moment (or moments) you can't remember yourself that are about yourself. I think everyone has these stories about when you were a child, or when you were drunk, or when you were talking in your sleep, or when you were in a coma (hopefully not too many fall into this category actually).


I think I remember it
while knowing I could not.
At least …
Or could I …
What if …

It's an old joke,
dropped on her head
as a baby.
Explains a lot!
'Her' being me of course.

My mother carrying me
up the stony path
to visit friends,
hurrying a little.
She used to live there.

Her skirt fluttered
round stockinged legs,
the path was steep and narrow –
views I never had,
held in her arms.

I feel as if
I felt the thump,
see myself looking up
at her face white and wide-eyed
filling the sky.

I hear her soft cry.
She is helpless
and I'm on the ground.
My head hurts
and my back.


© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

20-21/4/08

20 April 2008

Hmph!

April Challenge 18: Include the line, 'There is no connection'

How she laughed!
For her there is no connection
between this old chick, her stepmother,
and sexuality.

She has never witnessed me
as dazzling performance poet
or High Priestess of a coven.

Hell, she's never even
seen me dance. Well,
not since the wedding,
and that was fifteen years ago.

I'm married to her Dad,
quite a bit older than me
and getting older. She equates us.

So when I confessed I fancied a man
23 years younger, she collapsed in hilarity.
I don't see what the problem is.
Doesn't every

red-blooded heterosexual woman
aged between nine and ninety
adore Captain Jack Sparrow?

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

20/4/08

18 April 2008

New Departure of the Prodigal Son (April Challenge 16)

Gone again! Another five years
or more, before the next time.
Or maybe there won't be a next time.
He goes, I stay; who knows?

He has taken his big body
made fat by booze and chocolate
and sedentary living,
eagerly off after one last hug.

He has taken his white laptop
and the slim black mobile phone.
No more calls to America at 2 am
and we get back our dining table.

He has taken both old sleeping-bags,
patched and heavy, 30-year relics
of him and his brother as kids.
I didn't say no, but now I wish he'd left one.

He fixed the things around the house
that weren't working: electrical items,
carpentry jobs, the way we do the budget,
the irritating noise from the back of the fridge.

And he pointed out the lies
with which I've surrounded myself
and those that I've been telling; left me
with many questions and a new desire to ask.

I'm weepy. My head spins and jangles
after the car drives off with a cheery toot.
'We need a smudge stick,' his stepfather says,
'To get all that crap out of the house!'

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008
18/4/08
Oh, and what was the prompt? The "Alfred Hitchcock" poem: a poem that has a twist near the end.

Each Time He Leaves

(April Challenge 17: Write a poem in the third person.)

Each time he leaves again
she can't help but notice
weeks of heavy rain set in.

She wonders if he knows
he sets the sky to weeping
every time he goes.




17 April 2008

The Insult Poem

April PAD Challenge 15: insult. (A bit of a cop-out; it was supposed to BE an insulting poem, not be ABOUT insults, but ...)
My first husband, Don,

was a master of invective.
Not once did he utter
obscenity or blasphemy,
no swear words at all,
but I stood open-mouthed
at the stream of creative insults
pouring non-stop
from his twisted lips.

"You poxy, mole-faced, yellow-bellied,
flea-bitten …" on and on it went.
You'd think he'd run out of steam,
his invention dwindle, but no.
I can't even remember half the words.
I doubt if he could either,
if anyone had asked later.
It was pure, spontaneous improv.
It was poetry!

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008
16-17/4/08

15 April 2008

Tears

April PAD Challenge 14. Today's prompt is actually inspired by a song by Feist. The song is called "How My Heart Behaves," and the prompt for today is to write a poem with the title "How (fill in the blank) behaves"— with the poem inspired by whatever you put in that blank.

How Tears Behave

They misbehave:
unpredictable, defying control,
running all over the place,
disobedient children.
You only want
to stop them from falling.

15/4/08

14 April 2008

Poem from a Song

April PAD challenge 13. Today's prompt is to write a poem 'based off your response to a song'.

Ute Lemper sings Lili Marlene

on my friend's MySpace, my friend
who speaks with humour and courage
of her hair falling out and body slowing.

The singing swells and fades, rises again,
deep, soft, sweet notes, crescendos, and then
at the end quietly chilling: "Death is a Master
in Germany," she says. Bill who is dead used to love

that song, Lili Marlene. His father sang it
after the war in Holland; how strange
they all loved that song of Germany, the Allies.

And I love it too, in Ute's perfectly controlled
voice and diction. She plays me like strings
and transcends her own artifice. I am taken beyond

the pain of my breaking marriage, the awkward
rapprochement with my son by the man who is dead,
and my friend's journey of illness and recovery.

Many friends this year are falling seriously ill.
"Doc" who clears entities tells me, until December
we have to stay strong, after that the energy will turn.


13/4/08

13 April 2008

Sorry

April PAD Challenge 12 Prompt: We're going to write an apology poem. You can apologize for ending a relationship, breaking a chair, or maybe you can even apologize for not being apologetic.

Sorry


for loving you
sorry for leaving you

sorry for saying yes
sorry for saying no

sorry for hello
and sorry for goodbye

sorry for all the years
and for these recent days

sorry now
and sorry forever

sorry sorry sorry
sorry

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

13/4/08

The Screen's a Window, Or …

April Challenge 11: The prompt for today is to describe something--only one thing--that is either very interesting to you or something you think is often overlooked and taken for granted.

The screen's a window, or is it an easel?
I see through to you there
on the other side of the country
the opposite edge of the world
and you see me – or do you? –
seeing my words.

The background, which can be
foreground any time I choose,
has many revolving images;
I am the one who chose them
and set them to revolve.

Trees and flowers and fantasies,
a blade of grass, a drop of water,
a certain dog with ears cocked,
a set of drums, a certain man.

Wake in the morning,
open the bed,
turn down the curtains,
switch on the cats,
feed the computer….

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

13/4/08

11 April 2008

Illusions of Permanence

April Challenge 10: Location poem

This is the space we created together,
this house, this room that we filled
with our daily lives. I look around
and see it's full of colour.

Walls of books and pictures, reds and greens,
blues and oranges, the tiled coffee table,
the armchairs and cushions, the winged fairy
atop the TV, the two toy cats ...

The two living cats are curled in the chairs.
The two people are tapping at keyboards
and frowning. Their huge double desk
overflows with papers. They are sipping coffee.

The dining table came from my friend Beth
30-odd years ago. It's teak and I always loved it.
I stained the raw pine chairs to match.
If you look closely, you'll see I missed a few patches.

My Alice in Wonderland oracle I made myself
sits in a big black bowl on the coffee table.
I go and pull some cards, but tonight
all messages are inscrutable.

There's something cosy about a familiar mess.
You feel you could dive right in and get warm.
The lights are bright, and the big old fridge
makes a comforting background hum.

The phone interrupts with a squeal.
The voice on the other end begins to sound pissed off.
It's cold out there and dark, and he's hitching home.
There's a long way to go, and we're all exhausted.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

11/4/08

All In the Interpretation?

April Challenge 9: Today's prompt is to choose a word (any word) and then write a poem either about that word or using that word in different ways.

'You're on crack cocaine!' he accuses,
or, 'What kind of crack are you taking?'
I am offended. He explains:
'Where I live it's a common expression.
It means, "You're in la-la land"
or, "What planet are you on?" '

This he said by way of exposing
the cracks in this edifice I call my life.
'Fair crack of the whip!' I thought,
'It's really not that bad,' but
when I opened my eyes
just a crack wider, I could see them too.

Now my questions are,
should I have a crack
at papering them over,
or let them fall apart with a mighty crack –
and which option
will see me crack up quicker?


© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

11/4/08

9 April 2008

The Little Deer, by Frida Kahlo

April Challenge 8. Prompt: Write a poem inspired by one of two paintings. The one I chose can be seen here.

This forest is full of dead trees.
There's been a fire, you can see
by the blackened trunks.
Even the ground is charred.

The victim stands at bay.
Nine arrows shot hard
have driven into the soft flesh.
The deep wounds run with blood.

There is no escape – facing the hunters,
hemmed in by all that dead wood,
at back a whirlpooling ocean,
storm clouds, forks of lightning.

All that, I notice later. First
what arrests and fills my gaze
is her face: Frida's face, startling,
staring from the animal's head.

Her wide eyes and closed mouth
appear only mildly surprised,
slightly disdainful. She is mute
and will remain so. The little dear!

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008
9/4/08

Rambling

April Challenge, Day 7. 'Today's prompt is to write a "ramble poem." That is, I want you to write a poem where you just start rambling without worrying about where you're headed. Very interesting things can happen in these poems. And don't worry about the interesting things, because they tend to just happen if you let yourself ramble.' – Robert Lee Brewer.

I want to mention how people can be flowers,
and I am led to this thought by the many times I see
the words 'Dalia Lama'. Note the spelling. My mind supplies
an 'h' and there he is, I see him, his bald Buddhist head
sticking out of a circle of bright yellow petals, his spectacles
reflecting their golden light, and of course he is smiling.
Who wouldn't be smiling, at the centre of one's flower self?
And I too am a flower. 'Rambling Rose,' the man sang
on the radio when I was growing up. My name was Rose.
Not really, but everyone called me that, shortening the full name
my mother gave me because it was so beautiful. 'I wish
they wouldn't call you Rose,' she said, but in those days they all did.
Rambling Rose was glamorous, forbidden. This I understood,
though not why. I was young. Tibet hadn't happened yet, nor my life.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

9/4/08

7 April 2008

A Day in the Life

April Challenge, Day 6. Prompt: record the details of your day and generate a poem from that.

We curl close and warm,
talk a while, get up and have coffee
in front of our screens, breakfast
at the dining table, where we read.
He goes back to bed, sleeps,
doesn't wake when I leave the email,
go in and shower. Our grey cat
is curled up with him
at the foot of the bed.

At the other end of the house
my son Steve is silent until
at 11.40 I take him coffee, grab mine
(a new cup) and we talk till lunchtime –
late lunchtime, nearly 1.30.
He says it's exhausting
proving to me that I'm not a poet.
Not, that is, as some fundamental
core of my self, but rather
something programmed in,
a way of winning approval
even now, from my dead father.
This is unpalatable, and I'm hungry.
I go to make lunch and find
Andrew's now up and dressed.
I go in and make the bed.

Afternoon and evening,
between food and work, rain and shine –
between wind and thunder
and walking down to the shops twice
and putting out the rubbish and bringing in
the empty bin – my son forces me to see
unhappiness I live with and pretend
isn't there and refuse to fix. I end
by watching TV with tears leaking.
Then I phone my best friend Linda
to wish her Happy Birthday.
She tells me that her only son
has been in a terrible accident
and is now quadriplegic. He's 38.
I've known him since he was born.
Now my tears overflow.

My son, 39, gives me coffee.
I go on the computer to beg for prayers
and healing for my friend and her son.
My husband and I sit down
in front of the telly again.
We watch Andrew Denton explore
living with madness:
voices of angels and demons
all day, invading your head.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

7-8/4/08

6 April 2008

It's a Bit of a Worry

April Poem-A-Day Challenge, prompt 5: a worry poem.

He's quite a lad,
one of a kind
I'm telling you.
Know what I mean?

You wouldn't read about it –
no, really –
he was all over her like a rash.
She wasn't impressed,
gave him the old heave-ho
quick-smart, that's for sure.

And he was that ropable,
fair dinkum he just went spare,
there was no holding him.
The demon drink,
it'll do that to you.

Well, we calmed him down
after a bit,
just in the nick of time
before he made a right mess
of all and sundry.

All's well that ends well,
that's what I say,
but when all's said and done
it was a near thing there.

He was like a wild thing,
all over the place,
a ship without a rudder
until we brought him to heel.

It was a very long day
as it turned out,
I'm sure you'll agree,
and all in all, you know,
at the end of the day
he's a bit of a worry.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

6/4/08

5 April 2008

Thank You, Dear ...


April Poem-A-Day Challenge #4: Today's prompt is to write a thankful poem. Another option is to write a tribute poem. The thankful/tribute poem can be dedicated to a person, an inanimate object, an idea, a day of the week, etc.


Thank you, dear little insects
who, loving me so dearly,
come kissing up from the grass
or down out of evening air.

I am never alone
while, with ecstatic tongues,
you draw my blood
for your sustenance.

I am necessary to you. In reward
you leave decorative marks
on my skin, like imprints:
great red swollen blooms.

I am special. You prefer me
to any other. You crowd to my side
ignoring the rest. My skin
is thinner, my blood sweeter.

You make me notice you.
You are sharp and keep me awake.
I cannot brush you aside;
you're mine, all mine, and I'm yours.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

5/4/08

4 April 2008

April Poem-A-Day # 3

This was well-timed for me! # 3 is to write a haiku - which it happens I do every Friday on MySpace at Haiku on Friday.
So this one appears all over the place today!

On the empty beach
a single line of footprints.
Now the sky darkens.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

Lois Lane

April Poem-A-Day Challenge #2: Put yourself in someone (or something) else's skin and write a poem about the experience. 


Both have good points,
my two boyfriends – as I call them
to myself, though neither's really that.

One who wants me, one
I want. A new slant on the eternal
triangle … as I go round and round in circles.

The 'mild-mannered reporter'
he calls himself. There's a by-line!
For most it would be contradiction-in-terms.

A sweet fellow, and no mistake.
At least he'd always understand my job,
being in the same line of work – my own calling.

As for the other one, he has
his own life of excitement. It leaves
too little room for me. Hell, he'd never be home.

I don't want a man who needs
me to be his mother, one who clings
so tightly that he bruises and breaks my wings.

I don't want a man whom I need
more than I want to; one who keeps me
in my place, applauding from the edge of his life.

They are like two halves of one whole –
shadow-twins. If only I could put them together,
combine their opposite extremes into my perfect man!


Also submitted, 4 Dec. 2011, to dVerse Poetics — going Comic challenge.

2 April 2008

The First-Born: Arrival

(The prompt is "First")

He took a long time coming.

Twelve hours of me panting
trying to find breath,
nothing left to answer with
when the nurses murmured,
'Why isn't she using her breath to push?'
no lung power to say
I had no lung power, I'd caught a cold.

Later I found the power
to yell and swear as the pain hit.
'Oh!' said the nurses, gasping
almost enough to push him out for me,
'What would your husband say,
if he could hear you now?'
They looked all of 16, the pair of them.
I didn't bother to laugh.

Then it no longer mattered.
I thought the next push
would split me apart
from groin to crown
and that was irrelevant.
If I could, I might have shrugged.
All that mattered was getting
that baby born.

Dimly I heard, 'It's a boy'.
They wrapped him round
and laid him on my chest.
I was too exhausted
even to raise my head.
Afraid my weak arms
wouldn't hold him,
'You take him,' I said. 'I'm scared.'

'How can you be scared,' said the midwife,
'Of such a little scrap?'
His skin was very fair,
his few fine hairs almost white.
I dropped little kisses on his forehead
when no-one was looking.
As each kiss alighted, a tiny smile
twitched his lips and his eyes opened.

© Rosemary Nissen-Wade 2008

2/4/08

April Poem-A-Day Challenge

Robert Lee Brewer at Poetic Asides has issued a challenge to all and sundry for April – which is National Poetry Month in USA.

There will be a new prompt each day, and we may consider our responses first drafts, as the month of May will be for revision.

I intend a poem every day!

P.S. As noted in the comments, the link to Poetic Asides isn't working, and I can't make it work, although I see no reason why it shouldn't. Hopefully this is temporary. Otherwise, the full name of the site is "Poetic Asides with Robert Lee Brewer" and Google will still get it for you.