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A Press of Towels

Posted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 2:40 pm
by Mike Daniels
A Press of Towels

There's washing to be done...

The day drags
from cloud to cloud
on a burden of numb
and listless.
Apathy runs riot

and there's washing to be done...

I have to grieve,
to bury the dead
to find a quiet place
and sleep off
the thoughts of inadequacy

and there's washing to be done.

Every image turns
in my head
to pictures of him
when I last saw him -
blue lipped, gasping,
trimmed beard and dull eyed

And there's washing to be done.

The day is insistent,
a bleak grey and white frame
rich in sighs
and this intolerable loss.
I gather up
an armful of towels.

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 10:39 am
by Catherine Edmunds
Superb title. Intriguing, before one's read the poem, and then afterwards, multi-layered in its meaning.

First stanza; I love the way you use 'numb' and 'listless' as if they were nouns. Very effective. 'numbness' and 'listlessness' wouldn't have worked nearly as well, mostly because 'numb' has an onomatopoeic quality that 'numbness' lacks, and 'listlessness' is simply too sibiliant; giving it a brilliance you don't need.

The refrain is highly effective, punctuating the poem with the prosaic chore.

The rest of the poem continues to build the picture, displaying your trademark skill in depicting melancholy in its many forms.

I like the way you've used colour in this poem. "blue lipped, gasping" and then later on, when the colour's all gone in: "a bleak grey and white frame".

Wonderful writing.

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2006 8:03 am
by Mike Daniels
Hi Delph

an elderly uncle passed away. Last time I saw him, he couldn't move beyond the reach of his oxygen bottle and his lips had a permanently blue cast to them. This was written shortly before his funeral.

Its always satisfying when an important piece (I use important in the sense of personally important, rather than artistically important) works - and one seems to.

Thanks for commenting at length.


Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:14 pm
by Louis P. Burns aka Lugh
Hi Mike. Like I've said elsewhere on Sensitize, you have the ability to create poetry that has a filmlike quality to it. I make no bones about this. I'm a fan of your work and will gladly buy any book of your poetry that's out there on the market 8) ...

Simply wonderful...