displaced and out of place for years I was lost in the rush hour crowd of King’s Cross Station tongue-tied with words in the same language but a dialect whose defences I never could break through
the same but different separated by an ocean my people fought to cross
death by a thousand cuts on the edge of a paper my people fought to sign
the red coat didn’t fit me but I tried to finess my way into normal over cups of tea, pints, and long vodkas
I embraced everything willing to accept a hug with two kisses, mother tongue in cheek
in the end I was still the sore thumb, betrayed by a colloquial I didn’t want to leave behind well-loved, kindly regarded but forever and always a homesick stranger
I wrote this poem recently for a magazine submission. . . . and was soundly rejected but hey that means now I can share it with you! Once upon a time, I moved to England. In my own way, I was an immigrant, albeit temporarily. It wasn’t easy. Thank you for reading!
(I would have shared a photo from my time in the UK but all those negative scans are still locked in my defunct hard drive. So instead I used a phone photo of travel in other times, other places.)
Faulkner is a heavy weight of old grievances unresolved, the fester of years burning an indignant hole in a pocket full of rusty nails the bitter smell left upon the fingers that reach inside a taste like blood on the tongue
It’s my Mother’s words about the family how her Daddy was the twin born last separated by mere moments from the seat of glory always coming in second army, not navy bearing the first ancestral name but not the badge of recognition always falling short and never quite good enough
It’s Grand-mere recounting childhood memories at midnight the thunderstorm raging but forgotten under the smothering blanket of the past her voice like slow honey eyes lit and heart full of old thunder from the days before the market crash when Mother and Daddy were still in the same sentence long before Pass Christian was swallowed by the raging sea, not for the first time, long before she was sent away to trusted friends who could afford her and even longer before the infidelity and inevitable divorce
Faulkner is the silk of twilight the seduction of the big house beaconing with warm windows cradled by the mythology built within it, board by board the old glory still visible out of the corner of the eye like a meteor that blazes between moments so quickly that although you can’t prove it, you still know it was there
Hi friends! Sorry I have been away from here for a while. Back to school coupled with a whole bunch of pressing projects have had me busy with just about everything but writing. Oh yeah and also I’ve been devouring a book by Faulkner – my first of his. Thanks for reading!
Brave branches gracefully attending the daily flux mingling with the grasses that dance atop the salty cliffs
Hear your fronds sing when you come up for air: gentle daughter, feed me in my time of need guide this traveler into the beautiful shoes that enliven my path
The research for this last poem in my series based on Anna Atkins’ cyanotypestook me down an interesting rabbit hole, including learning about the Dúlamán. Thank you for joining me on this journey; thank you for reading! (PS World Cyanotype Day is the last Saturday of September, every year. . . . got a question about it? Ask me! )
Little lemons full of air rafts pulling delicate life from the depth of pools, branches floating toward the light white berries in a wash of blue still firing connections, still holding tightly to the common thread
This is the third poem in my series based on Cyanotypes by Anna Atkins. Thank you for reading!
How you chase the daylight as it departs at the end of the year shooting out among the rocks to leave your mark before the moon pulls you, gathering deep piles in great sandy knots worthy of our efforts to untie
Foodie beach delight, noodle-heaped upon a plate
This poem is the second in my series of ekphrastic writing on cyanotypes by Anna Atkins. For details about why I did this etc, please see yesterday’s post! Thank you for reading!