Archives for posts with tag: email

“Auspicious Cranes,” a hand scroll on silk attributed to Song emperor Huizong (r. 1101 – 1126). Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Regular followers will know that I have a fond relationship with my Dad. Or had, as he passed away in 2009. But every now and then I feel as though he sends greetings. Of course, rationally this is nonsensical, but the part of me that is sympathetic to the metaphysical and symbolic finds these resonances appealing.

Consider the following email correspondence my Mum and I shared the day after my birthday.

My mum wrote, “Was this not your ‘Hobbit coming-of-age’ birthday? Robin [i.e. my Dad] used to speak about his but I was never sure when it was as I had never read the book!”

“That is rather uncanny!” I replied, “It was indeed. I never recall Dad talking about the Hobbit, or this milestone. A number of die-hard Lord of the Rings fans mentioned it to me (I have also not read the book). I shall take that as Dad’s birthday salutation.”

From the archive, a poem about an auspicious and uncanny coincidence that happened on the day after my birthday last year.

I called in once:

Please confirm.
I called again:

No email yet.

I came in-store to sign your forms

You took the card and swiped it then.

I called in once:

Please confirm, the booking’s through.

Yes, yes, of course. Someone will be in touch.

I wait a day,

No news, no word.

This is absurd! It’s not my job

to chase, when it is yours.

I was making a travel booking, but through a series of miscommunications and delayed replies the whole thing descended into chaos. For a long time I have been reluctant to share this poem online because I thought it was inappropriate to rehash the negativity of this scenario. However, I have come to realise this is poem captures an interaction which many of us who have had the pleasure of travelling or booking anything have experienced. The poem captures that unfortunate moment when you end up running around after your booking to such a degree that you wonder, am if perhaps working for the business rather than receiving service as a customer? It was out of such frustration that the above poem wrote itself.

Out of some sense of free market courtesy, I have removed the name of the business that originally featured in the title. In all fairness, some of the staff offered a very genial, professional service on this occasion and have done so in past instances.

Nonetheless, here is the poem. Perhaps it can stand as a trace of a contemporary interaction.

If you enjoyed the above, please enjoy a preview of selected work from my first volume of poetry: SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS

On Twitter, I am @BeadedQuill. Follow me as I muse on creative process, writing, muesli.