Monday, May 17, 2010

Monday's Poetry Bus Poem

This week's Poetry Bus is being driven by poet Barbara Smith.
Barbara gave us the first line: 'I got down on my knees and smelt the new linoleum,' and bus passengers were asked to take it from there, continuing with the theme of nice long lines.

The thing was, this line kept making me want to write a story - something about a houseproud wife kept under the thumb of her controlling husband, who focuses all her energies on maintaining the spotless cleanliness of her house and is finally tipped over the edge one day when her husband tells her the mashed potatoes are too salty and throws the plate, potatoes and all, against her pristine almond white wall. 

But this is The Poetry Bus and Poems are what's called for!
I eventually came up with this.

Virgin territory

I get down on my knees and smell the new linoleum.
Outside the day shakes off the dawn and settles in.
There is coffee in the pot. The cat sits by the door.
Beyond the kitchen window the mountains stretch and spread.

The table is set: mugs, plates, bread, and bowls of air.
Later today people will come, to eat and drink and talk.
Children will run back and forth across the grass outside.
The floor will breathe, take in the dirt, listen to what’s being said.


  1. This is great, like the characterisation of the floor, and there's some great images

  2. Cor, that's a nice 'un! Some really nice lines and images - " ...the day shakes off the dawn and settles in" "...mugs, plates, bread, and bowls of air." "The floor will breathe, take in the dirt, listen to what’s being said." Luvverly. Real 'spirit of the house' vibe.

  3. I loved the "bowls of air" and listening floor. Really soft, pleasant piece.


  4. Preparation for the day ahead and the floor becomes a living breathing entity. I enjoyed the simplicity of this piece

  5. Yip,bowls of air and listening floor does it for me too!

    Also I know I'm no longer driving the bus but I think the ethos of ANYTHING goes still holds so should the fancy take ya go for prose or a song or a sculpture or...whatever the bus is a safe environment to let yourself go!

  6. What a wonderful tale! I loved your language, your scenes, and oh! that last line. Beautiful!

  7. Not the first to say so, but I thought "bowls of air" was a really clever touch.

  8. Nice, very nice. I like the cat being ready for the day!

  9. Niamh, thank you kindly - twas a hard one to get to grips with at first, what with thoughts of messy murders and controlling husbands.

    Padhraig, thanks so much - delighted ye liked it!

    Kat, thanks - gentle is good.

  10. Peter, lots of preparations going on here for a family party this weekend, so I'm glad the poem captured the spirit of that.

    TFE, you're right - next week I'll just let fly ;)

    Enchanted Oak, thanks for those really kind words!

    Bill, thanks for visiting and having a read - and glad you liked the bowls of air.

    NanU, thanks - I dunno if the cat is ready for the day, or if he's just waiting to be fed!

  11. Ah, so I'm not the only one tempted by prose -- but I succumbed. You, on the other hand, made a beautiful poem. I loved "the day shakes off the dawn" especially. Thank you.

  12. I'm another "bowls of air" fan, and that breathtaking last line.
    Love the overall tone of the poem - there is a physicality and ease to it that creates a very organic whole. Oh, that's wittering... - basically, good one!

  13. How you turned that line into this -- well, only a true gift of thought and words can do that! Excellent. Absolutely excellent work!

  14. Sandra, for visiting - really appreciate your comment :)

    Titus, tnks - organic whole,eh? Nice one!

    Karen, You're too generous - Mwah, as poets these days apparently say ;)

  15. From your words, I can visualize a lovely and loving family, spreading this piece of linoleum flooring with love as jam on bread.

  16. Hello there, you may recall that I included your blog as one to learn from in an e-booklet "blogging for newbies" that I published about a year ago.

    I am doing a 1 year followup on my proteges and am delighted to find that you are still hard at it, albeit with development of style and content. It's your blog, go for it and KUTGW

    My followup post will be next week, hopefully!

  17. I really liked the line "the mountains stretch and spread." You can really paint a picture in my head, with what you said. I really enjoyed what I read. I can't stop!

    In all seriousness, you really have talent. Nice work.

  18. Dave Hambridge, thanks for calling back!

    Dr Heckle, thank you!