Friday, 17 April 2015

twig on a string



          he put so little into most moments, it seemed as though he didn’t see
the point of anything . . . much

          almost, as if, he was . . . . . . angrily . . . . . . impatiently . . . . . .
waiting for the end of the world . . . and she wondered, as she walked, 
in slipper-steps, up the front stairs of the house, that fumed in phantom smoulders, if guzzling the joy out of a day, with unrestrained, wild gusto, helped kill time, or if he was gearing up for doomsday.
~ ~ ~
she entered the family home hoping, hoping . . . always hoping,
that he would be passed out.
~ ~ ~  
          the living room that stretched before her, was as still as a battlefield
when the shelling had ceased . . . temporarily.

          and then, like a volley of stray gunfire – the amber-eyed cat hissed a disdainful meow in her direction . . . the sound:  as jarring as a telephone r-r-r-ing
                                  in the black abyss of night.

          startled and on edge (though compelled to attempt to appease the animal) she picked up the crude toy she had made for him that afternoon in the backyard
- a twig tied to a string - 
                 and began moving the thing
                                        in mindless flips and jerks
                                                             over
                                                                      and over and over
                    again and again and again

                                                  until, at last . . . fed up . . . she tossed it away . . .
                                 having decided
~ ~ ~ 
it was a ridiculous way to spend another second of her life.

notes:  This poem is linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry http://poetryblogroll.blogspot.com/ .  The piece is a wee bit of a departure for me.  On a recent walk, as I passed by many doors, I began thinking about all the disparate realities going on behind all those doors.  My ruminations took me in a rather dark direction.

 In a totally different vein (for those poets who are interested) I have found http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/pbonline.html - Poetry Publishers Willing to Receive Submissions Electronically - an excellent resource; the best I've come across thus far.  Just thought I'd pass along the info.

photo:  Entrance to the Irving House, New Westminster, BC – W. Bourke  (The Irving House is the oldest standing home in British Columbia.  The home being the iconic symbol of shelter, love and security,  I chose to morph the picket fence in the photo - with Picasa photo shop software - as white picket fences are often used to convey marital bliss.  Sadly, the reality of what goes on in many “homes” is far from the symbolic connotation.)

© 2015 Wendy Bourke

24 comments:

  1. There are so many things indeed going on behind those closed doors and everyone is tangled in his or her own emotions.

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  2. Whew, Wendy, this is indeed a bleak situation. Her life sounds like torture. It seems the man is drunk and abusive, the cat unpleasant, and she herself sounds a little bit crazy with her twig tied to a string.....but so true that we don't know what is going on behind even the finest of doors.

    Glad you found such a resource as you posted, Wendy. I wish I were interested in submitting...but I guess the truth is that I don't seek anything with my poetry except enjoyment & maybe a self published book (or 4) to leave behind. Smiles.

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  3. I am always amazed that such strong stories can be told with so few words ... it's been a while since I've visited, Wendy. This post did not disappoint.

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  4. Ah.. I always spend time to imagine what a life could be.. to me understanding what goes on somewhere else is something that is truly important.. The portrait you paint is one of dread. Not even the cat is good.. at one point it's time to pack and leave...

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  5. You have depicted magnificently in your poem how it can be for one in such a relationship. The twig on the string, trying to keep the cat quiet, happy, is just so perfect an illustration of that "walking on eggshells" experience one can suffer around the angry, addicted individual. Fabulously told, Wendy.

    And thanks for the heads up on the electronic submissions!

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  6. I like the 'frozen in the moment' quality of your poem. It would make an excellent movie scene thanks to your powerful and evocative details. I enjoyed the photo too.

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  7. such things taking place in life is wretchedly miserable until one is compelled to let go of the whole thing...this is quite an engaging and intriguing read....

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  8. Behind closed doors are those who treasure privacy as opposed to those who had committed some sins. One need not bother on such things not of one's concern. Would prefer it that way! Great lines Wendy!

    Hank

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  9. I am glad she has come to that realisation...perhaps that is the most courageous step out of that door

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  10. How many of us have done exactly as you did in imagining what went of behind those doors. Easier for those with imagination but a game we must play in order to be good writers!

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  11. You have depicted the horrors of her miserable life in vivid tone!
    Beautifully executed :D
    xoxo

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  12. Oh, man, that cat standing in for humans is brilliant. I wonder if we try to divert drunkenness with home-made toys too?

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  13. Expresses very well the fear of being around someone abusive and careless. The way the lines weave shows she moves with such caution and then at the end decides well to just leave him. Repeated "hoping" and the word "again" shows that she has endured it and come to this level many times, now she's finally decided. Very much enjoyed reading this.

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  14. this hit me personally. well penned and significant.

    gracias

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  15. You just bought some of my thoughts to life. I have thought about what goes on in homes that I pass by on my way to my own home and some of those thoughts of mine make me shiver because I watch too many horror films and investigative TV shows. yes, I too have thoughts like yours with the inspiration for this one. Good read!

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  16. Wendy, I always conjecture about the various lives going on behind those doors and windows. I have all my life, peoples' stories fascinate me. The story you told in this poem is a familiar one. I love the empowering ending with her realizing life can be so much better than it is. Yay!

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  17. Wendy,

    Indeed, I often wonder what goes on behind closed doors. Sometimes the evidence is only revealed when we see emergency vehicles arrive; then it's too late. I had that experience many years ago in Belfast, with a neighbour who hid the truth of her terrible domestic life..
    Eileen

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  18. This is so very descriptive..."guzzling the joy of the day" and "fumed in phantom smoulders" are my favorites.....absolutely stunning word pictures.

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  19. Such a scary picture you have painted here. The screams of help is very loud and hope it can be heard.

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  20. How enticing it is to imagine the stories behind those doors....

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  21. I sometimes wonder what's happening behind other people's doors too. An intense, powerful story.

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  22. This was so powerful to read. What an amazing poem.

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  23. Powerful poem. I like the story-telling style and the way you tell it is excellent. Love the end too.

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