Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Tuesday Poem (on Wednesday and from Tasmania!)

The Prisoner

Moved from one cage to another
no bird or beast but
No one calls me
by any real name
given to a child fondly
by a mother.
They call me
what pleases them
eat, go, here, now.

No one tells me
why or where.
I'm bundled up
moved from place
to place, the outside world
glimpsed from windows
through bars reflected in
their eyes. I walk in walled
gardens which seem seasonless.
I'm taught an assortment of lessons
by tutors who will not look at me.
Their nervous fingers scratch
across the paper as they correct my letters
but they answer no questions
just shove another verse
or skymap into my hands.

Why bother? I hurl maps
and books across the floor.
I want different facts.
am I?

I remember the head-spinning
smell of spice, a woman's hair
blue-black as birdwing
a handful of hummed notes
and warm fingers cupping my chin.
No face. No place.

Only once, one tutor -
his eyes kinder than the rule
that rapped my knuckles -
whispered as he ruffled pages
they'd not bother with this
if you were just anyone
you are

Someone, no one
I'm dumped somewhere new
and the first person I see
is a mountain man
covered with the sea.

Catherine Bateson


Helen Lowe said...

Intriguing poem, Catherine. Is it entirely fictional or is it based on a real person/situation?

Cattyrox said...

Hi Helen - well, that's a good question! I'm thinking of basing the prisoner a little on the prince in the a fictionalised setting and with added fictions....stay posted?