Archives for posts with tag: rain
Street gutter in Old Town Stockholm

By Bengt Nyman (originally posted to Flickr as IMG_2356-1) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Tight red-green leaves sprout on
the curbside trees. Drizzle taps the
flattened Strongbow cans
stomped down with an empty pizza box

American hot
pepperoni and chilli.
Baronsmere’s pink petals
line the gutters;

blown down in April rains.
I even spied a spider.

12 and 13/4/2015

In rhythm and feel, this poem bears a resemblance to ‘Ninja Turtles Strike Again!’. They both hint at melancholy and contain a tone of nostalgia for things past. In each, things of the gutter and underground animal world are referenced. Plus there’s mention of pizza.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to Australia, the European Union and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years. Contributor: Voyager.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

I have written a number of poems inspired by London commuting, including this surreal scene posted last year.

Here are some others:
On the Way to Westminster (a personal favourite)
Trapped Items
Tunnel Days
Tube Sketch

A Blow-fly (Calliphora, probably Calliphora vomitória). Photo by Jens Buurgaard Nielsen via Wikimedia Commons.

Soft to the thumb,
the pear I sliced
was gone.
It was rotten inside.

In a wither of ruffles
the rose-heads have browned
dry in the heat.
They sodden after it’s stormed.

Even the blowflies ferocious
have stopped their wings,
landed their green torpedoes
for the last time.

Something from lunch
churns in my stomach –

the rice, three days old?
the dhal, two days defrosted?
the sliver of cheese, too sweaty?
the coffee, a cup too many?

Now I, too, struggle 
to hold down this summer.

25/7/2014


At the moment in London, it is exceedingly warm during the day. Not that it doesn’t get hotter in other places, but here nothing is equipped for the heat. Flowers wilt, flies buzz themselves out, food perspires and no sooner have you laid it in the bowl, the fruit ripens. Even the broadband at the house has conked out.

So I shall have to venture to the library to post this poem and a few scheduled archive items. It was my plan to do so early, when the day was still cool from the night rains and the school holiday crowds hadn’t descended. But I went dancing last night… I too am not quite sure what to do with myself. This is not so much because of the heat. I am a born-and-bred Cape Town girl, after all. (In truth though, I – and my Medea hair – do struggle with the humidity.) My muse seems to be awol once again.

Perhaps my muse has also surrendered to this overdose of summer.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys 
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

On the fringe of grey
bring some blue
set above white and petal disks.
Green is a good addition.
Lay down black as tarmac.
Square everything in
Your life and love and happiness
A tree!
No less

Grey like silver
grey like gold
grey like suits
tales of old
grey like hats
grey, like pointer hounds
grey without you
or £100.


I have written before about my habit of dating drafts and ramblings in my notebooks. The above are dated 1 August 2013. Grey, together with blue, is a colour that has featured much in my poetry. Grey is an ambiguous colour for beyond its melancholic associations, it is also an elegant colour with an aura of detachment and timelessness. In the urban and suburban environment it is the colour of utilitarian buildings, paving, transport shelters and waiting platforms. Since I was a child, it has fascinated me that the colour can be written with either an ‘e’ or an ‘a’. Like clouds, the word itself can change its internal dimensions. So many London mornings start with a sky cloaked in grey, so it has become a colour of origin for me and often features alongside blue to bring atmospheric or location transition into a poem.

Here are some other poems with grey in them:

On a rock amongst rocks – about the melancholy of a transient moment alongside grey sea

An Artist Works – the painter Constable captures clouds

Another Summer’s Day – also from 1 August 2013 (note subject matter and thematic resonances)

I was born of poetry – the grey of a cardboard box

Pavement Walker – commuters return home on a grey evening

Look At  – documents a walk on a suburban London High Street

Conscripted – about rain


Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill

Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness 

 
Rain slaps against the windowpane.
Wee! Wee! It jests and jeers. 
Look at our ease of water-dash
and drip and fall
while you – Haha! –
neith’ eight nor sixteen lines have wrought
on that page. It’s all for nought,
despite your ink-filled fountain pen.

Yes, I see
the sky makes way its blue for grey
              carriers of short-lived sport. The assent
shows far more grace than any 
of those regiments of pressed attention 

marching in my head. Daily it is
to their silver – buttons, medals, lining;
to their praise, rigour and filing, 
my polishing by draft’s employed.


As @BeadedQuill, I tweet regularly about writing and the creative life, but infrequently about English rain.
BeadedQuill also has a Facebook page. Please visit and give us a ‘Like’.

In 2013, I compiled two books of collected poetry online. Click on the titles below:

Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys bundles together twenty poems offering insightson life, love and work for the Modern Boy.

In addition to presenting poetry written by BeadedQuill from 1999 to 2012, Shining in Brightness includes two essays on creative process.

Over the hills 
in this fulsome of seasons,
the rains trigger migration
of hartebeests in cravats.

With dress suits and readings
of love  patient, love kind,
they sniff over the morning 
for griddle-pan scones,

white-veiled receptions, 
soft hands at their temples. Ah, 
all those summers a-toiling 
they bring back to the valleys

as rings in their pockets
in snapped shut hinged boxes
to find all brides
have left for the sea.

As hinted at last week, here is the poem about grooms flocking to the valleys.  It was spurred by a dictionary explanation of fiancée that read “He went back to the valley to marry his fiancée.” In my accompanying essay to last Thursday’s post, “I do. Do you?”, I explain my wonder at such a contextualising mini-narrative. I also predicted a sprouting poem.

As a companion read, I recommend Liz Berry’s wonderful poem “The Year We Married Birds”. Hereunder my favourite line, no less because of the colon.

“My own groom was a kingfisher:
enigmatic, bright.”

It’s a busy marriage market out there with hartebeests in the valleys and magpies, Trafalgar pigeons and snow buntings in the cities. Too bad the brides have left for the sea.

P.S. The hartebeest is species of antelope.

Still looking for a completely original Christmas gift for a bibliophile? Preview my books of poetry.

Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys – Fresh off the press! 25 poems on life, love and work derived from the field-notes of an observant poetess.

Shining in Brightness – 20 selected poems chronicle twelve years of travel, relationships and growing up. Praised as “jewel-like droplets in a grey, urban landscape”.

Find Beaded Quill on Twitter (as @BeadedQuill) and Facebook.

Black coats, black pavements, black umbrellas, the rain
Nights black by 20:00. Achoos in the office.
Splutters on the train. Time to switch on the heating and
buy doughnuts in the morning. There has sprung the winter hunger
and it will only grow

On the 19th September 1819, John Keats wrote this lilting ode ‘To Autumn.‘ Images of his autumn’s fruitful harvest jarred with my Thursday of cold snap, rain and ubiquitous black umbrellas.

Follow me on Twitter where I tweet as @BeadedQuill.

Preview my first volume, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS, here, It includes poems selected from twelve years’ worth of writing in South America, the USA, South Africa and Europe.