Saturday, 23 February 2013

Bus note 42

Lose work face on the bus.
        Drop down to distance somewhere.
All my strangers here:
some go to own-shaped houses;
        others hold late work faces
        in those hands steadied up.
Go small as can be. Little animal
with sleep's softness creeping.


  1. interesting metaphors...

  2. I like how
    this poem goes

    small as can be, like
    little animal with

    sleep's softness creeping.

  3. Thank you Vassilis and Sandra,

    It was something of a relief to shrink down into that small animal warmth. The first notes stopped for a moment at the steady hands and, Lord, that felt cold.

  4. Terrific, this. In, of course, a small way.

    I've been obsessed lately with the idea of shrinking, as it happens. But were one actually to be able to dwindle and shrink so that one could no longer be held in any way accountable, could one count on the world shrinking correspondingly, at the same time?

    And if it did, what then?

  5. Thank you, TC.

    You never know, there could be a future in this diminishing business.

  6. Unless of course a cat schooled in the art of thinking out of the box gobbled your business up.

  7. W.B.
    This is finely done. There is an element of angelic guardianship here - of protected space - of lullaby.

    The poem is book-ended with gentle imperatives - lose/drop down/go small - these could be just sparsely stated descriptions, but the grammar leaves open the possibility of cooing.

    Like very much the 3-D in line 2 (Drop/down/distance) and the (quasi)rhymes/harmonies strewn strategically throughout: bus/up, somewhere/here, houses/faces, go/own/hold/those, small/animal, sleep's/creeping, These draw the poem - especially when read aloud - into a finely knitted scarf.

    The line break in line 7 is superb - It can be read as a vocative direct address, not unlike "Go west, young man."

    And, the poem subtly worries the whole notion of "losing face" - which is a supposed horror to be avoided at all costs. Here, putting on the hard game face gives way to "sleep's softness."


  8. B.R.

    Thank you for your careful reading of this. I like the thought of the poem as a "finely knitted scarf".


    Now is the hour of that particular feline breed, I reckon.

  9. Thank you, Susan. I'm glad you liked it.