Thursday, April 30, 2015

Poems from an ordinary life

On a recent Poetry School course called Defining a Style, run by Tim Dooley, we had to write our poetry manifesto for the final seminar. I chose to give my contribution the title  Ordinary Poetry    - maybe I'll post it here one day. 

Before then here's two poems that show why that title was a good choice. The first was inspired by something my very talented son said yesterday as he was moving pipes to fit the framework that will hold our new kitchen - it all looked very smart and polished and, yes, will soon not be seen. 

And the second was inspired by being out and about at home ... and by the way the flies keep arriving.

A toast to the hidden 
            for Paul

Before we ate this meal, the cook
sliced potatoes, parsnips and carrots,
filleted fish with knives from the drawer,
mixed salad in a bowl kept in the cupboard

- well cooked, we say, raising our glasses

and before the carpenter chose the oak,
measured, cut, mitered plinths and doors,  
before the electrician wired the oven,
the spots that light up their work

- wow, we say, who made the units

behind the scenes the plumber angled
drains so our waste will run away,
cut copper, cleaned and soldered joints
in pipes that carry water from well to tap  

- great taste, we say, raising our glasses.

Minor domestics

I sweep last night's dead flies
onto yesterday's front page,
their resting place awaits
under a lavender bush.

At the touch of the hand brush
mrs spider smalls to a ball,
she escapes from the glass
with expanding ease.

From stones, logs, buckets
working orders of ants make
column and row journeys
across concrete, plank and grass.


  1. I like the subject material & the handling of both these poems. Speaks to me of gratitude, caring & careful awareness of the small and/or hidden details. I enjoy insects & I like how so much life & death activity occurs in the second poem -- and that the flies get delivered to a lavender bush & that the spider & ants carry on - and so the cycle of nature continues. :-)