25th May 2012

An Indiscriminate Moonlight

Being a bit short of blogability time this week, I thought I’d post one of my poems, and a picture of me in my new funky writing specs… just because they’re new and they’re funky (aubergine with turquoise over the ear bits) and the words would be a lump of grey without them! I can also now see the words without them being segmented by the thousand and one scratches that were on my old specs… pure joy!

On to the poem – this wee thing started life as a four stanza poem two or three years ago, then I dug it out again towards the end of last year and played about with it.  A lot of my poems are written this way.  The first, shorter, poem, had no characters and was more about the light on objects.  I like this new one a lot more as it has a sense of languor about it and the feeling that this is a perfect end to a perfect evening… I hope so anyway.  Hope you like it!

An Indiscriminate Moonlight

As firelight fades
and clumps of coal cough
their cradle-song into the air,

his long shape shifts,
surrenders to cushions dappled
by an orange glimmer,
the echo of a glow.

He reaches down,
lights a cigarette,
smoke trails searching out a path
among yellowed corners.

Her foot drips over the edge,
silver sandal hanging
from painted toes,
eyelids droooping heavy,
spilling over a casual glance,

a slither of skin laid bare
beyond a straining of the seam
and an opal trembling
at her throat.

On an oval table,
dry -cracked with time,
a book lies open.
A well-worn triangle marks the page
and crumbs of cake
cosy up the spine.

the light draws back into darkness,
hides itself among folds of night
while slender wheft of moon
unravels a strip of white into the room
as embers sleep,

and the half-burned cigarette
comes to rest.

About Abi Burlingham

I write children's books and paint pictures inspired by nature, animals, trees etc, mostly in acrylics. I am a crisp addict.
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17 Responses to 25th May 2012

  1. Jo Carroll says:

    Great poem, Abi – love the contradiction of reading about firelight when we’ll all sweltering. Please write a hot summer poem and post it in January …

  2. Ha ha ha! Hadn’t thought about that, Jo! I’ll make sure I do that next time. Thanks, Jo!

  3. Jo’s got a point, could really feel the heat…literally! Lovely imagery in this. And I love the specs…just got a new pair myself and glass without scratches is heaven!

  4. Hee hee! Glad you liked it! Oh new scratch-free glasses are fab aren’t they? Let’s hope they stay that way! 🙂

  5. Nadine says:

    That was hilarious, about the scratches, lol. Those colours sound like a rich mix, and turquoise is one of my favourites.

    This poem is such a delight, yet with a haunting sadness. The words cast up the corresponding visuals so easily in my mind. For me, it’s as if the moon transforms herself into a woman who appears at the man’s house. I love that part. And at the end, when she leaves, it’s as if he dies, the final rest. Did she come for him? Was it his time? Were the smoke trails symbolic of his soul’s seeking? These were some of my thoughts.

    My favourite parts — the cushions dappled by the orange glow, smoke trails seeking out a path, and the opal trembling at her throat.

    I love ALL your poems, Abi. This one is now a new fave. 🙂

  6. Nadine says:

    P.S. Oh, and the crumbs cosying up the spine. 🙂

  7. Thanks so much, Nadine. I’m really pleased you enjoyed it and that the symbolism and visuals came across. I hadn’t written it with that idea in mind, with the moon transforming herself into a woman, but I do love that idea. I think that’s the wonderful thing about poems – they are so open to interpretation and can work on so many levels. So glad you enjoy reading my wee poems! Yes, the scratches – ha ha! These new glasses are sooooooo much better 😀

    • Nadine says:

      That’s what I love about literary pieces — the diverse interpretations. It’s not like 2 + 2 must = 4. I disliked math anyway, lol.

  8. Emma Pass says:

    Fantastic poem, Abi. My favourite verse is the one about the book where “crumbs of cake cosy up the spine” – that could describe most of my books! 😀

    Love the new glasses too!

  9. Thanks Em! That’s one of my fave bits too – that was in the original poem. Yes, could probably describe most of mine too.. what does that say about us, eh? *nom nom* Glad you like the spectaculars too!

  10. Martin Shone says:

    Love that first stanza…. and then the next…. and then the next …. oh nice specs too 🙂

  11. Awwww! Thanks, Martin 🙂

  12. Love the poem AND the glasses!! Great post!

  13. Thank you, Julia :o)

  14. Lovely, lovely poem, Abi. I felt like I was there. And you’re rocking the specs!

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