Poetry Tuesday #1 – Old

The subject today is “Old” – an eventuality I considered at length in my chapbook “On Turning Fifty” – there’s something about a milestone birthday that makes you want to stop, look right, left and right again, before going forward. Today’s poem, however, comes from a divergent thought about reality, about time and by extension, all things existential.

One more bean

The line from me to myself arches across the southern
sky, plummeting through a cloud of stardust, or maybe it

scours the bottom of the ocean, dragged up, wet and
heavy: either way, both lines pause at the threshold of

this argument? On one side, worn, wrinkled fingers shell
hyacinth beans, dropping them into a wire basket —

79, 80, 81… the toothless smile is capitulation and
resigned acceptance. The beans will be skinned and

cooked in powdered spices at dawn. On the other side
is the moon, watching with one eye. Languishing. She

too will be peeled and colourless once the kitchen fires
are lit. See how both parties offer their transience in self-

defence. One more bean. One more hour. One more
meaningless night. As if time is just a farcical construct, a

peg on which to hang our last excuse for being here. As
if every clock face is a pulsing confession of age old guilt.

 

Do share your poems, exploring any aspect of the prompt(age, history, evolution, geology, childhood, yesterday, nostalgia, rust, wisdom – whatever it means to you), using the Mister Linky widget, or leave the link in the comments section below. Even if you don’t have a poem to share, stop and say hello! Next Tuesday’s prompt (12th November) will be “New“!

 

 

The Bridge

Everything is in free fall. There you are — standing on the bridge between life and death, between being something and becoming something else, between anticipation and foreboding, between then and thereafter, between what you were meant to be and what you will be when it is over.

And every word, every breath, every thought, leaves you to flutter downwards into the snaking continuum, not belonging to you before it was yours, not yours after it has belonged to you for that one moment — passing through your presence, changing you, changing itself, drifting rushing, reaching into the ever-moving. Still you wait with hopes and dreams in your sad eyes as if the tumult of the shuddering universe has taught you nothing.

sky or sea or wind –
who owns
this first monsoon cloud?

 

 

Water to Water, my first poetry collection, is now available on Amazon – US, UK and India

 

The Way

And the monk sat, like a cloud, at peace, the way you can
unfurl at a safe distance from people, speaking softly, the

way spring rain writes on leaves, about life and illusion and
the journey of souls that leaves us behind, the way a snake

trades one skin for another. I wanted to ask if I could shed
this skin you touched, memories etched on it like scars that

would never heal. I wanted to ask if I could be washed and
anointed in a sunshine unguent, the way a bride is bathed

before her wedding, healing turmeric running down her
face and neck, the way the old sky is made to masquerade

as a new one each morning. But I am just the moulted life
of a writhing soul, holding on for a flutter, the way a name

is carried in the fist of the wind, for a distance. A sunset drips
yellow, the way time passes, faster when nobody is watching.

 

VV-June-2018-sharon-mccutcheon

Image by Sharon McCutcheon (Picture Prompt provided by Visual Verse)
First published on Visual Verse (Vol 05, Chapter 08)