Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Monday poem – part two...what there's more?

Great reactions to the last post and its poem so thanks very much for all those. I forgot to mention that in fact I wrote two poems in response to this week's task from Totalfeckineejit. The other poem is much quieter and simpler than that great big shouty thing below. It is probably more like the careful, thoughtful poems all the other Monday Poets came up with. It has some stillness and it's no big thing (might not even be finished) but I thought I'd share it with you anyway. It's inspired by the same time in my life (the up all night years) but it's out of the clubs and parties...and just in a car on the way back to...well, anywhere with a kettle and a soft place to sit down usually. Here it is:


Long night

We're in a car
It's daylight
But nothing like morning

Is someone driving?
They must be
How else would we be moving?

The streets are almost empty
And we are somewhere lonely
In London, England
It seems kind of unlikely

Somebody says something
About us being in the east
And there still being miles to go

The car rolls on and on and on
When we get where we're going
We will call it home




RF 2009

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22 comments:

Titus said...

Oh, that's like the come down after the last one. Not chill out.

The two lines,

The streets are almost empty
And we are somewhere lonely

are stunning.

Gonna have to come back for a longer look, but dashing out now.

Rachel Fox said...

There were so many nights/mornings like that but for some reason that one stayed with me. I had one of those 'pow' moments...or maybe 'click' moments. But you know what I mean.
x

Jim Murdoch said...

I like the rythtm of this one very much and the content too but especially the sound. I think space it important in this poem, perhaps more than most. Which is why I think you might look at that last stanza and those two rather long lines. If the poem had been mine - and I would be pleased if it had been - I might have kept the lines short like this:

    The car rolls on and on and on
    When we get where we're going
    We will call it home

    There will be tea
    If we want it
    And sleep, maybe

Just a thought. Please feel free to disagree.

Rachel Fox said...

I've snapped your head off a hundred times I know Jim! But for once I agree and might even change it (I'll have a look and a think and a read-it-out-a-few-times later on). Usually when I put a poem up here it is not a draft and I am pretty sure that it is how I want it (and therefore finished to my senses). With this one I did think it might not be quite right as yet and admitted as much. So thanks for the ideas and I'll put them in the pot!
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The Weaver of Grass said...

I love this one Rachel - it is a gentle sort of poem yet one feels that you, as a passenger, are really only half there in the car.

Totalfeckineejit said...

This is a real (unreal?) calm after the storm and a reflective feeling of collective contentment travelling through the emptied streets heading for somewhere or nowhere.Evoctive and lovely.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Weaver. I think 'half there' may be being generous!

And I've changed the end now...partly to Jim's suggestion, partly not. The last verse used to be
'The car rolls on and on and on/When we get where we're going we will call it home/There will be tea, if we want it, and sleep, maybe'
and I decided to get rid of the last line altogether to leave the version now on the post. I'm writing another poem today about tea. So the tea can move along from this one!

TFE - your comment came in in the middle of this change! Hope you still like it.


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Niamh B said...

I would agree with Jim as well, on the structure of the last few lines. A lovely poem tho - moment successfully captured! Those cups of tea were the best...

Rachel Fox said...

Another comment snuck in mid-change! Maybe you will approve the change then Niamh...though as you see the tea has been sacrificed for the space! You'll just have to wait for the tea poem...
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Red Bird said...

I just like the movement of this- and the non-movement in between... the quietness, perhaps, is a better word... of the still so-far-to-go part.. it's just all-around lovely, Rachel...
x

Jim Murdoch said...

Yes. Shame about the tea. I liked that bit but this flows. Good.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes...miles to go before I sleep...if Hughes and Plath and Larkin were in the last one Frost is in here for sure!
x

Rachel Fox said...

Overlapped with you there, Jim! Glad you like it. Yes, I am missing the tea a little but overall I think it will survive without it.
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Titus said...

Golly, you go out for an afternoon and evening and whilst you're away everything changes.

This is a very beautiful sounding poem.

Rachel Fenton said...

"when we get to where we're going
we will call it home"

really beautiful - such yearning and sadness in this poem - without the caustic edge of your last one - but a universal truth.

Rachel Fox said...

Titus - thanks. Maybe I will record this one read aloud too and see how it goes.

Rachel - funny isn't it...we feel OK and yet we yearn. Never get tired of yearning!
It was a funny old time - very extreme - and it's taken me a while to see some of it with any clarity.

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A Cuban In London said...

I loved the sense of abandon the poem conveyed to me. What I did not like was the 'kind of'. I might be a pedantic linguist but I come across the 'kind of/sort of' as a substitute for 'somewhat/somehow' so often that I am beginning to think the UK is run by US skateboarding teenagers :-).

Good text.

Greetings from London.

Rachel Fox said...

Don't worry Cuban...I am a pedantic linguist too in my own way (probably everyone who visits here is too...in their own way).

I wouldn't often use a 'kind of' but this is a pretty conversational piece plus it is about that time when you have been up for so many hours that you can't remember what sleep feels like. At that point your language does get lazy and simple and, sometimes, teenage. Plus (another plus...) it was a teenage time. Technically I was about 24 or so (at the time of this memory/incident) but I was still involved in a very teenage lifestyle. I probably stopped being a teenager when my daughter was born (I was 33!). And did I even stop then? Jury may be out on that one.

But thanks for your comment. Pedantry is never a sin in our house! Well, almost never.


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Argent said...

I just love the simplicity of this - not a word wasted.

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Argent. Maybe it needs a tune...fancy it?
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Argent said...

Hi Rachel. I'd be delighted to have a go at setting your poem to music - been thinking about it all day.

Rachel Fox said...

Great! Quite a few of my poems have been put to music but the more the merrier for me.

Dominic Rivron did one back here (and the song is currently being rehearsed by a fantastic women's choir in Dundee). Various friends of mine have put other pieces to music too (quite a few are on the songs page of my website). There are others not yet recorded (Andy - are you there??). I've even done a couple myself but they're not the best.

x