A Return to Bleak
I described the weather
as miserably drawn;
a flabby gentlemen
with a moist surface.
and in short, not at all
an ecstasy of days, and
I sat for a length of time,
taking in the fog’s
Found and remixed, “The Bleak House” – page 374-6, Bell Yard, by Charles Dickens
Into the Eyes of Plenty and Splendour
Mother made all of our clothes,
so I’ve never been a caricature
of high fashion. I was cloaked
from an early age in good sense,
courage, and honour. But just
for that one day, she and I
turned from such mighty virtues,
our noses sharp as an autumn
evening as we poked them
into long-necked scented bottles,
and cherished tints and powders
in faint colours of fleshy dust.
We stopped for lunch, paused
for the sake of good digestion,
and watched as the hands
of the clock coveted our day.
Found and Remixed text from my personal journal and “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens, pages 293-295. “Bleak House” is in public domain at Project Gutenberg. Image from Unsplash: CC-00
One More River to Cross
I’m just trying to find my way home,
gritted into gracious severity,
and deportments of a straggling mind.
Conflicted. I tell myself,
just one more river to cross,
but I’m in all the wrong places,
and looking at all the wrong
things, not a care for the rightness
of things, clutching gaping ideas
better left to rest, and I tell myself
just one more river to cross.
Does it shows, that I’m
an exhibit of profound
dispiritedness. Better that you lock
me up before successive distractions
take their toll. You see, I once stood
upright as houses, but now look
at me – a flounderer in nooks,
drooping, and listening
for conversations that require
my silence. And I tell myself that
I’m just trying to find my way home,
the way light finds its way
though shutter slats, the way time
ignores graves. And this journey,
which I hoped to be short,
seems inconsolably long.
But there’s just one more river to cross.
inspired by Bleak House
Dancing with a Curiosity
The day is all alive – like a fair, and the windows have something new to stare at — summoning their gaze inward for a time, their skittling eyes tracking me like white gloves across dustiness. And I am dancing with a curiosity. Dancing, dancing, sweeping moments of love and loss under cover of night, and I belong to no one — and everyone. I dance to remnants of music, whispers at every turn. Everyone dances to their own tune; that song that keeps playing in your head.
Found and remixed text From: Dickens, Charles. “Bleak House, of 265-267” iBooks Store: https://itun.es/gb/BnmVD.l
This week’s assignment for How Writers Write Poems is the Turn: Write a poem featuring a major turn in logic, situation, or voice.
The brick wall
by the milking shed is old.
Older than anyone’s
And ferns sprout
between the gnawed bricks,
like ledges of wild eyebrows,
all that green growing
without direction or restriction.
And the sun rises over
that wall in the morning.
as the neighbour’s
when its name is called.
moves at its own pace here.
inspired and remixed from “Bleak House,” by Charles Dickens.
The Scent of Light
The power is gone. Again.
I’m muttering after candles,
scented, too many
Candlelight is a gauze
in this spectral darkness,
and the air stiff
enough to snuff-out a flame.
Scents, breathless rose
and beige wilderness,
a perishing smell,
greasy, ropey with ash
from the hearth with its low
glowing coals strangling red
like a famine’s ache, and I sit
in a tall-back chair
with patches on its cushion,
and its stripe ticking leaking
like a stuffed trout,
and how did people sit
in such gloom
and foul air, and spend
their eyes reading by candlelight.
The scent from the candles
grows sickly – my head aches.
I rattle windows open
to darkness and light rain
and faint wind, and watch
as one flame after
the other flickers,
droops to darkness, and then
the room is blind again.
Remixed from Charles Dickens “Bleak House” and my diary from March 1991
Well Stuck in a Mood
I’ve yet to see that man smile, a face
set like thick-sawn wood, and he moves
only rarely so as to not appear dead.
Everything in this portmanteau town
is one of two things – either alive or dead,
and yet it’s said he’s never happier in life
than when he’s well stuck in a mood.
But I believe it’s a universal feeling
among us all, although none look worse
for knowing it. This slight village, this
country-errand is a cobbled secret way
when you’re found so newly arrived.
Inspired by Charles Dickens, Three Ghost Stories
A Bird’s View
I’m listening to footsteps,
your limp in midst of pain,
paced weariness, on and on.
Obliged to walk, you dwellers
of narrows. Booted. Heeled.
But I fly – an exquisite outcast
from your gimping path.
And I am forever passing
and repassing your bridges,
never stopping on a fine
evening. You toil listless
steps, as I look down,
as my world grows wider
and wider, beyond seas,
as vast as rest to come.
And I listen to footsteps,
dull and slow and sluggish
as a heavy load drowning.
For Margo Tryout (Wings/Birds/Flying)
inspired by Bleak House, Charles Dickens
The Humans’ Race and B-Roads
The sky is flat today, crushed
and beaten boldest blue, and clouds
by spadefuls exquisitely-turned
in chiselled weather. I pick my way
on polished roads, icy transparent
blue veins reflecting direction.
Ethereal maps without origin or end,
and it matters not which way I choose,
not when you live on an island.
Inspired by Martin Chuzzlewit
By Charles Dickens
On a Horse and Rider Passing By
A horse and rider blazing came.
At footpace speed, I stepped aside.
No quick mistake to send that steed
through morning eddy’s mist.
The horse and rider, I both took stock,
covered head to hoof in mired mud.
The rider curtly said, “Ma’am,”
and I nodded a tone, “Sir,”
as we both made best our ways.
Found and remixed from Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities and my 1991 Winter Journal.
The Happenstance of Candlelight
Candlelight can cause the walls to dance,
or so I once observed. Its beauty brought
the world to knees, innocent as fire.
Alone so tender, touching hearts, preparing
happenstance, that flame bright as morning
sun, it lights the universe. Glow deep
in hues of golden hair, softly hum a dance
of candlelight. Attentive hands shall warm,
attentive smiles I see. Shadows blend
surrounded light, ghostly motion caught
my path. Dance on, dance long, perpetual
light, reflecting motions slowing thoughts.
Inspired by Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
She Is Morning
She is the morning,
And the birds mistake her for it,
But this world
Is an indifferent parent
Without a helping heart.
Found poetry, remixed from conversation
by Harold Skimpole of Bleak House
Fell me, your eyes that speak,
lost by glance, my life there caught.
Read my thoughts, and I’ll think
something else. Those mindful
eyes that bring me home.
Remixed: Bleak House by Dickens
and my 1991 Winter Journal
A Daughter Regarded
I was a doomed rebel of great
uneasiness, felt my mother’s
anguish like a shoulder feels
the press of a wheel.
I was contrary,
with no signs of grace,
backsliding, and argued
on any point, and all through
my tendency years, I knew
that my father loved me.
Inspired by Bleak House by Charles Dickens
image is from wikiCommons
A Day in the Base Noise of Living
The morning is a clear bell sounding,
and I am full with its music. I leave
my pretty countryside, fields dotted
with unsheared sheep, scented old hay,
and frosty hedgerows. I set a path
for London. A day in the city. Those
trapping influences. The City. Life.
I miss noise, the rush, the push. I miss
the crush of people who ignore you,
have no wish to know you. I miss
the scent of women rushed and passing,
perfume the only memory left. I miss
the call of newspaper boys, brash
headlines shouting at crowds. I miss
humming pavements as people hurry.
I miss the base noise of living.
Found and remixed text from Bleak House and
my 1991 Winter Journal of Bletchingley, Surrey.
A Magnitude Long Stretch of Stars
The wind’s getting round again, and
they are starkly exposed on this sharp night.
Those poor and tumbled stars, fast falling
into the horizon’s grip, and all their worldly
light dragged and stretched across the sky
like lost children. Do they cry, do they fear,
those stars on solar curtains riding winds.
Found and remixed from “Bleak House”
and my 1991 Winter Journal: the sky’s
bright with stars the Northern Lights.
A Strict Silence of Immigrants
I am new to old cities. New to this land
that’s as subdued as my voice; equally
troubled by a duty to be understood.
I am a gapping colloquialism,
and I am tempted to observe strict
silence until my speech recognises
my voice as complete thought. Truly,
there’s a sweet temper about this place.
Found text remixed from Dickens’s
Martin Chuzzelwit & my 1991 Winter Journal
The Prospects of Good
I set myself into the exaggeration
of this day, gathered here by
offers and pleas: food, clothes,
disposables for those with less.
We gather for prospects of good,
of character, but examples are
perceptions by nature, and I feel
dull and colourless in this cradle
of charitable cunning. I am not
so well born, not so well bred
as these so genteel. My shoes
are bred for misery and ruination
by weather, and I am misplaced.
Those Strange Ways
He had a quick face,
changeable, motion like clouds,
but I can’t recall the colour of his eyes.
Whether respectful or frankness of iron,
he was pleasant, although sudden,
and most would be glad
of this acquaintance. But of his eyes.
Those I could not define, nor his
memorable draw on that day.
Found text: Bleak House by Charles Dickens
and remixed with my 1991 Winter Journal