Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Tuesday Poem

At the Musée Des Arts Decoratifs

The rooms preserved for us are always
calm and empty – no newspapers
or stained tea cups, not even open bath salts
in Jeanne Lanvin’s opulent salle de bain
where the toilets, hunkered down on the perfect floor,
have leopard print lids.
No telephone rings, no email waits urgently
and the dimmed lights are always on
as though the room has readied itself for us.

We peer through artful windows yearning
for a big bath to drown in or
one slick corner of parquetry
as though that’s all we’d need.
I buy lunch instead, expensive
salad with bresaola,
the best in Paris I’m assured but I know
the closer to art you get
the more it all costs.

Out on the street the hustle never stopped
and young women shop the Sales
for that pair of shoes which will magically
dance them somewhere they can shine
blameless and forever

Catherine Bateson, June 2013 

My writing challenge today was to write an ekphrastic poem, which I didn't quite do, I admit. I did see lots of beautiful things I could have written about but somehow the experience of peering into perfect rooms arranged with such finesse was my inspiration here. 

Why not jump over to the Tuesday Poem hub?  You'll find a fine poem on the hub -  'planchette' by James Norcliff, curated by Keith Westwater, tightly relating an experience that's in strict contrast to my own poetic musings? It's an experience that nonetheless I relate to - we have had wildlife of one kind of another in our ceiling since I moved there nine years ago. You can always tell when the rats dominate as they make quite a different sound from the possums. Curious? Go on, you know you want to read it now!


Keith Westwater said...

Yes, I've had the ekphrastic expectation before and put away a blank sheet (as it were). I like your morphed result though and thanks for the promo for James's poem

Michelle Elvy said...

I like the observations here. Nice details to transport us to Paris and those leopard-patterned toilet seats.