There are towers, tall and round, no windows and, at the ground, simply one slender doorless entrance where I find wide shallow multicoloured steps girdle the wall, spiral up, up and up. Lens shaped fat floors hover at random heights, can be accessed by leaping across a sweeping chasm. I leapt and slid across the silky slippy surface of a convex floor last night and am still falling down and down, watching the floor rise to devour me. Yet here I stand waiting to ascend once more.
A voice asks: What pecks now at the bleached bones of your ideology and who weighs the sins that you will not repent?
I do not know but must climb anew until I locate an answer in each crying smile of the many small children that gather around each tower, hands pressed to the walls.
This poem is constructed as per the instructions over at Dverse today where everything is about endings:
– take the very last/final line from each of your most recent poems and re-write them as a poem – choose at least 12 poems (for this 12th month!) – keep each line intact, unadulterated – you may add preposition, conjunction or change of tense if it helps the flow – you may use enjambment to break a line – the lines do not have to follow date order
November, and you stand in your mobcap that hated worn black gown look up at the big house, lit and warm your tear-stained face pale as the mist a mist cold as the employer that has told you to leave leave the one job that feeds your family family bereft of a father or sons to work servant work you despised, literate girl that you are work you so needed
Beggars can’t be choosers
But once the son of the house chose to court you and you rebuffed him your days there were numbered have been sent home without a reference on a chill winter morning so you stand in your mobcap, your servant uniform look up at the big house, lit and warm weep for the hungry mouths at home those so small sisters
This poem has been written in response to a prompt at Dverse, where we are asked to respond to one of four paintings. I chose John Atkinson Grimshaws painting entitled A November Morning (1883). I looked at the painting (see below), saw the servant girl looking up and her story just came to me.
The poetry of the BBC Shipping forecast, broadcast late each night, has filled my adult life from my university days using telescopes, via night feeding babies to now, when I often can’t sleep until well past midnight.
A typical forecast for several sea areas might be;
“Dogger, Fisher, German Bight. Southeast veering southwest 4 or 5, occasionally 6 later. Thundery showers. Moderate or good, occasionally poor.”
What this is telling us is that the sea areas Dogger, Fisher and German Bight are forecast to experience a SW wind direction blowing Force 4 or 5, sometimes F6 later. ‘Later’ is specifically at at time over 12 hours from the time the forecast was issued.
For those of you wondering what the first line of this poem refers to, here is a map of the sea areas covered by the forecast……
Sharing this poem in the Open link Night over at Dverse!
Heinz Cream of Tomato, served piping hot with grated Cheddar cheese on top and dry toast to tear up and float in it. My Grampee would not eat it any other way, and neither would I. The delightful bright green soup we were served in a hotel in Germany’s Black Forest, which my broccoli hating young sons scoffed up quickly. Yes, it was Broccoli, we had bribed the waiter not to tell them. My homemade chicken soup, made to a recipe originally from Malta (Grampee’s homeland). One of our now adult sons, realising he was not recovering well from a bad bout of Covid drove for 2 hours to get home and have some. Apparently it’s a magical cure for all ills. On a cold day I love Miso Soup with seaweed – so warming! A find in recent years has been Jamaican Chickpea and Squash soup which is very tasty and filling. Soup is not a huge part of our family diet, but it is important to us and to me .