‘Umbel’

A cluster of flowers (inflorescence) that radiates out from a central point, like the ribs or struts, of an umbrella

The idea that there can be dualism between grief and beauty, is the centre of gravity for my creative work at present.  The idea itself, has ‘radiated’ to  reveal new ways of letting the reader in. Of offering an idea, without explanation (none, whatsoever) but at the same time, not drowning them in  oblique language and/or emotional intelligence alone.  The below extract is from a poem that grows from a fixed point; is very  centered in its ideas, but doesn’t provide absolute exactness.

And because of this notion of duality, I’ve avoided words like ‘but’ and ‘therefore’, anything that offers an obvious bridge between something perhaps heart-warming or glorious, and something much darker. Not to say that there isn’t a bridge or crossing, but does it need to be ‘one and then the other’ – can’t they both, simultaneously, be hanging in the air?

(and again, is this where beauty happens?)

 

……

 

I had to prise their leaves apart
to find their purpled necks.
Their long, tender stems,
their gaining forms, were huge and warm
and I had to cut at them with my own fingers and nails,
I had to sink them into the tough wet
and pull away their heads.
My daughter went up and down the path on her bike.
The wheels rattled, while I knelt at the shrine
of growing gods, and killed them.
Their proud hearts came away easily.
I stood holding them a long time
in the burnished, crimson evening,
the high sky hung a salt-wash blue, and our bodies,
two, were dark against all that natural glory,
the smoke continued to rise out of its wound
smelling of love and earth,
and when my daughter asked me for water
and I made a cup from her hands
the sound of her drinking was like nothing else,
it was like a victory after the killing.
We walked away then, our hands dripping.
The long shadows of the cage
pooled low, humming with softness and blood;
but we were going away,
singing and rattling with the wheels on the bike
(their turn, their turn)
our dead things in hand
and the sun over our heads, shining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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