I know this is hard to read, but it was hard to write the heart out of my original poem.
Monthly Archives: November 2013
c_a_t spells TERROR
I loved staying with a friend in Boston
she acquired a cat.
I love animals but
I’m both afraid of and allergic to
To save my sanity
and prevent asthma attacks
we decided he would be shut
in one half of the house,
allowing me to relax in the other
– but –
at least once a day
some bastard would forget to close a door.
(otherwise known as the furry stealth bomber)
would entertain himself by
hiding and waiting
until I was reading quietly,
then silently launch himself.
Before one could say
black flying fur-ball
he’d land on my head,
book and coffee
would fly through the air.
The bloody cat would hiss
as if he were the injured party
before nonchalantly heading off.
Tail held high
with a final smirking backward glance
His Royal Pussness
would return to his half of the house.
It took lots of wine, antihistamines, ventolin
even the occasional valium,
to save the friendship,
and the cat.
It’s 2 years today since my friend and fellow Freefall writer, Fran, set my blog up for me. I’ve met so many caring people in the past 2 years. Thank you to each of you for sharing your words with me and for reading and commenting on my words. I’ve learnt a lot and my life is richer because of the friends I’ve made in the blogging community.
Big hugs to you all
She reads a poem
A mother bathing her three year old son
Fun filled baths before leukaemia (JMML)
Become a loving ritual of hospital bed baths
As he battles the illness that eventually
Ends his precious young life
As she reads she remembers
Bathing her own son
Timing the bath so that his Dad
Was there for the hair washing
Her son hated the water on his face
But Dad knew how to turn fear into fun
She remembers the last time
She bathed her son
He was twenty six years old
Battling depression and drug withdrawal
She’d poured soothing oils into the water
Massaged them into his aching trembling body
This time she washed his hair
While his dad changed
The perspiration soaked sheets
On the makeshift bed in the study
Then together they lifted their broken boy
Out of the bath and laid him on the bed
One either side they dried him
Gently because his skin screamed
As the poison seeped from his frail body
He wept and told them how much he loved them
How sorry he was for the pain he could see
In their loving eyes
It was a pain filled precious month
They spoke to no one except doctors
Told family and friends they were away
Pared down to their essence
Bonded by shared suffering
And bottomless love
In four weeks
Sharing frustration fears
Guilt and gratitude
Each finding forgiveness
For mistakes and misunderstandings
Six months later her son was dead
Ended his life
Because he couldn’t bear the pain
There wasn’t enough love in the world
To make him want to live
That’s the horror of depression and addiction
She’s so glad they had that month
Although they didn’t realise
They were saying their goodbyes
A lifetime was lived
In four short weeks
She’s grateful for the bathing of him
Inspired by a poem on cisforcrocodile
This is the original poem
My blogging friend, Pooky, wrote a poem titled, Failure. This poem lit a fuse, made me think. Below is the link to Pooky’s poem followed by where my thoughts took me.
Who measures success and failure? So often it’s ourself, and we can be harsh taskmasters. So many high achievers are driven by fear of failure and sadly many fail to find joy in their everyday small successes.
I’ve had a few poems published but in reality my words do not go down well with the mainstream ‘poetry police’ – my little swipe at them. 🙂 I know I can do it their way, but I don’t want to. I write ‘Freefall’, a stream of consciousness form of writing taught by Barbara Turner-Vesselago, that takes me deeper and deeper into my place of truth. Freefall is meant to be a beginning but for me it’s the beginning, middle and end. I don’t edit, other than for spelling mistakes and I sometimes miss those. I write raw because that’s how I live.
I wrote the guts out of a poem of mine that my son was in the process of animating when he died. We wanted to turn it into a short film that my son would narrate by reading my poem. Ken had a beautiful speaking voice. He’d almost completed the story boards when he died. I rewrote the poem because I wanted it published, or at least a facsimile. I wanted a part of our dream of working together, to live on. And so a remnant of the original poem lives in the State Library of Victoria.
Incredibly, the book was launched at St Paul’s Cathedral, the last place we had been as a family. We went there to see the Cancer Council Arts Awards exhibition the day before, Ken, died. I’d been earlier in the week and had been talking to him about one of the paintings, a heart wrenching painting of a child’s empty jacket, and he wanted to see the painting. Sadly that day he was deeply depressed but still wanted to go to the exhibition.
I was one of only 10 poets, some quite well known, chosen to read my poem at the launch. The launch was just a couple of months after my husband’s death, and was one of the most moving moments of my life. Only my close family and a few friends knew of the loving synchronicity that day held for me.
The book itself is a thing of beauty. A combination of poetry, artwork and photography, all about my home town, Melbourne. I’ll try to include a photo of the books cover here and post the two poems separately.