Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Always Chair

When we were kids, eh?
I remember Mum
Rubbing the white burn from the polished table top
With ash and a potato
The smell of polish and boiling clothes
In the copper
And buttered toast
The chatter in the kitchen
Behind every door an adventure

Now Mum sits
In her always chair
Bills and documents to hand
In an awkward cardboard box
The conservatory cuts the light with dust
But there’s nothing to see anymore
The orchard’s gone
Just the blank end wall
Of the town house
Shadowing the ruin
Of Dad’s shed
The smell of cats
Rust

I remember those houses going up
Us and all the neighbours
In our gardens complaining
And rightly so

Dad’s chair is empty, of course
Although Mum still chats to his ghost
She has troubling getting about now
And her memory’s no longer a scythe

So…
She sits and knits
And chats to Dad
From her always chair
When we were kids, eh?
Always sunny, never raining
Behind every adventure
A door

8 comments:

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Wow what a poem, so packed with emotions, I can smell and taste this poem.

I expect you're ready for a rest Has everything gone well? Which window did you go through? We're making a sensory garden at school, which is absolutly great fun and is going to be beautiful. The kids are all involved in planning and building it, and they don't realise what a lot of things they're learning whilst doing it.

michael said...

Very poignant and sad. Nice to see you back again Roger after your busy May and even busier June. Will you have time to blog in July I wonder? I hope so. The summer is going faster than I thought it would! Hazel bought a new car today ( well new to us that is ) so she's very excited. Trying to sort out the tax and insurance which is a minefield. Glad it's cooler. Phew! I was wilting in the heat.

Roger Stevens said...

Yes, looking forward to a bit more blogging time. Tomorrow I'm reading some poems at a children's party - a seven year old friend of ours. It has a Narnia theme. I have to go as the Professor apparently - and when the children arrive I have to say - I've been waiting years for you. Or so the birthday girl tells me.

The sensory garden sounds like a lovely idea.

Oh, and Michael - the new picture of you - you've hardly changed a bit.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Wonderful Roger! So tactile. You made us be there. You used all our senses and then some! I love this. Welcome back.

Pat Paulk said...

Excellent poem.

Cocaine Jesus said...

i often get visitors to my site who ask me was i inspired by ts elliot or has pablo nuerada ot cc cummings had an impact on me or influenced me.
truth is i am not that well read which either makes me sound like i am thick or someone who has stepped out of void and gone onto write what i write without any influences at all. neither is true.
most of my inspiration comes from either musical influences that i steal and mutate into some kind of word scheme or from the comic book authors (alan moore, neil gaiman etc)that i enjoy.
whats my point you may ask?

i really have little knowledge about billy collins apart from what you have told me and a little bit of investigating that i did based on your advise.

he is very good but i couldn't tell you if he has lost his way though.

you certainly haven't.

this poem is excellent.

i like the way you somehow (and forgive my naivety and lack of knowledge here) seem to write words that leave huge spaces that resonate with unsaid emotions so that the silent space seems to mirror/highlight the written word and reflect the emotional content.

it is an ability that i would like to ape. less is more i guess.

i found this poem so very moving and in a way that touches upon my life and my mum also. very, very good. wish i could write as well.
shit. i wish i could write poetryat all.
but then you have already told me i don't haven't you?
;)

Haiku.
i like the original haiku format and cetainly little onion does it better than most. there is also that Taoist geezer that does a damn fine haiku too.
however, as much as i like the format, it reminds me of a quote george melly once made about what he called 'classical' music. he was refering in fact to ALL composed orchestral music, baroque, classical, romantic and modern. he said it was like a work of math. very structured and therefore limited and not at all like jazz with, although composed, allows freedom of expression.
i think haiku is a bit like 'classical' music, both of which i love, in that it is, by design, very structured and formal.
great.
love it.
but surely a new form of haiku, independent and slightly different but still with that simple, paired down, natural beauty can evolve from it and still be called haiku?
yes?
no?

whew!
a bit long winded eh?
sorry.
good to have you back though and yes, it is all sven's fault. no passion. no fire. and as much as i was dissappointed by rooneys foolishness ii still admire his get up and go. sadly i suspect that steve maclaren is much the same as sven. i think we need a ferguson or benietez or better still the bolton manager. someone who roars and bristles with the desire to win.

nuff said!

michael said...

I seem to get a feeling of deja vu whenever i read your comments Roger!

Steven Crisp said...

Fantastic poem -- hit chords of truth for many I'm sure. In my case, my mother had the 'command' chair, but I love your mothers 'always' chair.

I don't know what it takes to be a writer or a poet, but in the immortal words of Justice Potter Steward "I know it when I see it". Thanks for sharing such great stuff.