Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The love of small things - part 3 (Wednesday)

Here's Wednesday's little 'un (bit sad – sorry about that...Wednesday's child is full of woe and all that). I'm just back from folk club Tuesday night so I'm posting it up now because tomorrow morning will be a rush...undoubtedly. The guest tonight was  David Olney – a whole lotta everything, lots of guitar action – and seeing as it's short poem week I read a few short ones in the open mic tonight too (not the one below, as it happens). I wrote this one a while back and it's about all the files of bits of poetry that my Dad left behind when he died. I was given them about ten years ago and had high hopes for them...at first. Somehow a limerick just didn't seem quite right for this subject. Maybe another time...

Some words in lines

Handfuls of paper
Some written, some typed
Poems and articles
Notes and the like
Bits that fell out
Of a man full of holes
Meant nothing to no one
But proof of his woes

RF 2005



Dominic Rivron said...

I might be right or wrong, as I didn't write it, but this reminds me of what Tolstoy said: "One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one's flesh in the ink pot each time one dips one's pen."

Rachel Fox said...

I've never come across that quotation, Dominic, but it's a good one. It's almost a little poem on its own.

Liz said...

Enjoying these small ones, Rachel,...it's something I'm working on as always go ramble-about somewhat with my poetry! ; )

Rachel Fox said...

Thanks Liz. I too can ramble on...even in poetry. My longest poem is one I've never published anywhere called 'If only I was a catholic, I have so much to confess' (an old poem, very free with the grammar...). It's pages and pages!

But yes I love writing the short poems. They can be surprisingly satisfying...plus I find writing them fun, like a task I set myself called 'what's the shortest poem you can write about such-and-such a subject and still say something worth saying in an interesting way?'...Who needs crosswords?


The Weaver of Grass said...

I find the poem very sad Rachel.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, Weaver, sad it is. Sad he was. At the end of his life anyway. He was already in his late 40s when I was born and he died in his early 50s. Other family members say he was lovely when he was younger. I'll never know.


I do hope that you continue posting many of your shorts after this week. I am loving these visits so much. (Not that I didn't enjoy myself here before, mind you.)

This little poem tells us so much about the man. It is heartbreaking.

Rachel Fox said...

Susan - I'm glad you're enjoying the short poems - they are particularly suited to blogs I think. I am planning to post some short poems by other poets some time soon (maybe next week...maybe the one after). There are lots that I like...found one only yesterday by Stevie Smith.

As for this one being heartbreaking...you're not wrong there! I don't dwell on this subject all the time (does it seem like it? hope not) but even this morning, rereading the little poem from this post...there I was in tears. There's a reason suicide is never the happy ending to a film! But as I say, according to other family members, there were plenty of happy times in his life earlier on too. He was a very popular village GP (family doctor). He loved comedy. He liked sausages and football and normal stuff (so I'm told).

Thanks for reading and commenting though. Being left alone on these open sore posts is not really good for the health, I don't think...so I do really a lot appreciate it (that's another 'Broadcast News' quote...I use that one all the time...)


hope said...

Sharing is part of the healing process, isn't it? This one was sad but oddly enough I felt sadder still that he couldn't find a way to fill himself up...instead of leaving holes in the lives of his family.

On a brighter note, I like the short poems because as a fellow rambler [born on a Wednesday, so that woe is me is familiar!]it is fun to challenge yourself with "how can I make the point in fewer words?"

I'll shut up now. I think I used up my words and someone else's too. ;)

Rachel Fox said...

I think most families have holes somewhere around, don't they? I'm sure Tolstoy has a quote about that too...can't recall it right now...

And yes, writing short poems can be fun. And fun is a much overlooked feature...


McGuire said...

I know what you mean about the blurbs. It's always something ridiculous like 'The greatest writer in the world' or 'He must be Jesus incarnate.'

Thankfully, being of modest poetic capacity, when I produced my wee book of poems and stories, I wrote my own blurbs, all scathing and realistic. i.e. 'Sincere dross' 'Feral Poetry'. I like an honest blurb, one that is critical and one that is 'intriguing'.

Rachel Fox said...

I think you've hit the wrong post again, McGuire! But good point anyway..

McGuire said...

That poem about your Father is quite the brutal and honest. I think, despite striving for something more, all we have as evidence of our life turn out to be those notes and failed poems we try to construct. Perhaps then, we are the failed poets, the poets of 'failure'.

Still that poem really is worth keeping. You can carry on your Fathers poetic sensibility. As you undoubtedly will. Aim low and shoot continually.

Rachel Fox said...

Yes, I've failed at quite a few things now...if my aim were to fail I would be succeeding quite spectacularly.
Glad you think the poem's worth its weight.

Kat Mortensen said...

Oh, that's sad. I do like the way you articulate it though.
I have reams of paper of my dad's - typed letters to politicians and newspaper folk and religious leaders (ha!) I wonder if I can glean anything poetic from those? Certainly not to fit this "small things" category.

By the way, the haiku was an absolute coincidence. I had seen your title in passing through quickly (had mom-stuff to take care of this week) and did not make the connection. You're right, however it does deserve a "look in". Yours are all very clever and thought-provoking.