Tuesday, 20 May 2008


Well, new pup can't go out yet so I am in the house more than ever. So... I'm breaking off from proofreading (best typo for that is always poofreading...how I love that one..) to put a little pup of a poem up on here.

I'm not one for communal poetry writing exercises like that poem a day business but I do quite like daft exercises of my own. Someone gave me one of those fridge magnet poetry calendars for Xmas and I have been quite enjoying coming up with a little something every month. I do cheat...if there's a word I really want I spell it out with small girl's alphabet magnets which are still hanging around (at what age do those get put away..?). I do like reading fridges anyway...one of my most widely approved-of poems is 'Let me be your fridge magnet' (on website, under 'love'). Hell, even poetry editors and them there poetic poets like that one! It is shallow and deep...my favourite combination.

So here's the pup. I cheated with 'baby' and 'feed'. I did have a rhyming last line but then I dropped that...still, not sure whether to put it back or not...

It's a baby

A baby is a beautiful machine
When it works
All fluff and light and sleep
Feed it moon's milk
And sing it the seasons
From blossom to snow

RF 2008


Marion McCready said...

nice, kind of haiku-ish, I keep wanting to read 'spoon' in front of 'feed'. I had already read your fridge-magnet poem and really like it!

Rachel Fox said...

I've never tried a haiku...just never fancied yet...maybe some time...

As for the 'spoon'...probably less painful and messy than the baby feeding I remember!

Glad you like the other fridge magnet poem...I even considered using its title ('Let me be your fridge magnet') for my book but decided against it this time. There is an old rave song called 'Let me be your fantasy' (very cheesey) - I do like to use bits of song title when I can. Sometimes I use them consciously and other times they sneak in. That one was a sneak-in I think.

Jim Murdoch said...

I once heard a baby described as a padded alimentary canal and I guess that's true with a burp at one end and a fart at the other and possibly a gurgle somewhere in the middle. I like this little poem but I'm so grateful you dropped the rhyme. They're so hard to do well and could turn cute into cheesy so easily. My main observation is the use of 'machine' – it's a wonderful picture but all the other imagery in the piece is nature related. You don't think of feeding a machine, a furnace perhaps, a printer even. It's a mixed metaphor and, although I get it, I'm not sure it does the poem justice. But I still like it.

Rachel Fox said...

I think the 'machine' comes from that whole idea of wishing we knew how it worked when we have that first baby (and you're left alone with it...agh!). People joke about wanting a manual but of course none of the books that try to be that ever really manage it. Babies seem like machines...crying machines, poo machines, worry machines...but they're not of course.
That's where I think it came from but there might be other stuff too. I don't really see it as a mixed metaphor (and in fact I don't really mind them anyway...not in poems...they can be more interesting than obedient well-matched details). I just see it as a word that seems to fit in its place in the poem. Sometimes the stand-out-as-out-of-place words are the ones that are doing the best job. For me...

Ken Armstrong said...

The last (not rhyming) line works brilliantly.

For me it echoes Chrisopher Plummer singing 'Edelweiss' in 'Sound of Music'... "blossom of snow may you bloom and grow..."

But then, as we know, I am a bit mad!

Rachel Fox said...

What a fantastic link...not something I had thought of at all. I do like 'The Sound of Music'...I always love the way you know it is just so ridiculous (the nuns, the Nazis, the songs) but it gets you every time. I defy any adult not to cry as the father walks back into the room and sees/hears the children singing in the house (palace!) again. I loved it as a kid and I still do. Our daughter has the cd so it is on in the car sometimes even (better than some kids' music...).
I also have a 'Sound of Music' poem...kind of...called 'Second to nun' (under 'songs and singing' on website).
You don't seem mad to me, by the way. Not from here.