Real or contrived? I cannot tell. Questioning all that I now see.
Metaphors dangle overhead – like a child’s mobile. My pen reaches up to hook one – drag it onto the page.
The soft one, sewn of felt and love, which shares its yellow glow upon my face? The tough and weathered one that will survive, no matter how roughly it is held? Or, The brightest one? Which even if I snipped it free, will always feel its roots, as it holds a thousand tiny shields of beating hearts.
Linking this to The Sunday Muse Blogspot. Carrie has offered an enticing array of sunflower images and reminds us that ‘The sunflower is more than Ukraine’s national flower it has quickly become an international symbol of peace and solidarity for the Ukrainian people since the Russian invasion began.’ Visit the Sunday Muse site: http://thesundaymuse.blogspot.com/to enjoy the responses.
Hovering hands Long to clutch, Feel the fragile, The heat and throb, The flutter beneath.
The eyes that lead to the heart know, The ears that lead there, they know too. Beauty needs a gentle touch And The breathless cannot sing.
Too long – Wonder and doubt blinked And she flit. Leaving A red throat branded on the retina.
Every month, the lovely people at Visual Verse post an image and ask for submissions written in response that take one hour or less to write, with these words: :The picture is the starting point, the text is up to you’.This is my response, which appears on their site (p. 18), at :https://visualverse.org/
The image is by Susan Fenimore Cooper, (1813-1894) who, Kristen on the VV Team tells us, ‘was a writer, artist, naturalist and humanitarian. Cooper was the first woman to be recognised for nature writing’.
I washed my hat. As the muggy fumes of soggy wool drifted up from the bathroom sink, I wondered, Had it ever been washed before? It didn’t resist – as I plunged it again and again into the greying eddy. It became a slimy rag. It surrendered to the soap and warm water and gave up its claim to being a hat. Perhaps I have ruined it? Perhaps I should have left it? I treated it to a blue rinse of fabric conditioner. It is an old hat. It’s the least I can do. It has kept my head warm for many years. It is me. I am identifiable by it. Its black and white stripes are often seen around our local streets. It drips onto the shower bowl, hanging from the hose, like a massive striped tongue, drooling saliva. Hangdog. Waiting. Waiting to dry.
I’d been away for a few years, its true. So what had I expected on my return? To pick up where I had left off? To see my old haunts unchanged? The burger bar near the station where I first met you, still serving flat, greasy baps of squashed meat and limp lettuce? Or Mr Wilson from the hardware store waving to me from the doorway, his ginger wig askew? I saw nothing and no-one I recognised – it was as if my past had never happened. I wandered lonely as. A cloud picked up pace in the March winds and I watched as it scudded in front of the pink foam of sunset, over the rooftops of a new housing estate. Then, in the distance I caught sight of a figure waving, and I heard a voice calling my name. Your voice.
March tugs and pushes, impatient child, howling at will, tearing at shreds of brown wrapping, shaking free gifts of green, flailing its fattening arms against the reins, soothed only by a sweet lullaby, that chatters and trickles in golden song.
My husband and I were listening to a series of brief lessons on recognising common birdsong earlier this week. I haven’t seen a goldfinch yet this year, but when I do I hope, now, I’ll also recognise its beautiful tinkling gold song.