Monday, May 14, 2012

Tuesday Poem - a little early! (When is she going to get it exactly right?)

Meditations on Light                       

The squirrel night lamp                                                                                   
which kept all my  familiars where they should be,
the dressing gown on its hook
the gaped slippers waiting under the bed                                 
the rag clown folded in sleep.                          

The kitchen fluro, the lamp in the window
the hearth fire carried to the new country.

Candles - once a whole room full,  dancing
the girls miming pop songs and a spill of pink roses.

The accidental fire, which blazed so suddenly
we all stood there, mouths open
until someone’s shout, the curtains!
jerked us into slow motion.

And this light - call it comfort or home
call it that of god I seek in you
and in me
or a collection of valves and tubes,
a pump secured within bone arches.
This light -
in all its illuminations
the beginning
with all its shadows
the beginning.

Catherine Bateson. 

I wrote this years ago when I was living in Central Victoria and my children were small. 

Step across and enjoy the light of other poems, starting with the Tuesday Poem hub.  And, if you missed last Tuesday's (8th May) poem, Brian Turner's magnificent 'VA Hospital Confession', please don't. Read it. It's a powerful and haunting contemporary war poem chosen by guest editor, Helen Lowe.


Helen McKinlay said...

This is a beautiful poem Catherine. I really enjoyed the way you used light to progress though from your own childhood to that of your children and the way it builds up to the sudden change in language 'a collection of valves and tubes, a pump secured within bone' arches..lovely language!

AJ Ponder said...

Scary poem.
Light and darkness = great themes,
nice work.