Where do poems come from – a given subject

Posted: February 16, 2014 in Home
Tags: , , , , , ,

“Why not let this be a weekend of healing” says Gene Barry at the Elbow Lane Poems group.

We all get wounded by life but what is worse is letting wounds fester, hanging on to our slights and hurts. The last time this happened I was lying in bed brooding and unable to sleep.  So I told myself I had to let this go, and in my head I walked through a beautiful garden carrying  a box of fish – like a picnic box, full of water, sloshing.  (I have always been good at creative visualisation! ) And at the river bank I threw the fish in,  one by one, and let them swim away. One was a great fat dark puffer fish with a hideous  face,  and another looked back  at me over its shoulder as it swam away. Really disturbing!

I looked up “ugly fish” on the internet and found a list on chicago now. com as I am inordinately fond of lists of names  – paint colours, wild flowers, butterfly species – and I love to add them to poems.

So here is my – genuine – healing poem. It works for me.


So: This is a poem
for recovery.
From the thoughts that
contaminate days and nights.
They swim about in heads
like hurt and sorrow,
darkest resentment.

Now: Close your eyes. Here is a gate.
Here is a garden sealed with hedges,
Italianate, with a pool at its centre
where a fountain scintillates.
But not for you.
You have another destination.

Next: At the other end the hedges
part to a river groaning past
with a blurred momentum.

And: Those fish go in,
thought fish, one by one, arcing,
taking the sickness with them.

What: A puffer fish,
inflated with spiny malice,
swims away deflated.
with the ugly list in tow*.
Goblin Shark
Angler Fish
the  tiny Oreo Dory
and of course
the Grouper.

Then: You can go back.
Then you can look at the fountain.
A thousand rainbows, splintering.

*10 Ugliest Species of Fish: Ugly Week Continues



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