At the last moment…

It’s the day I’ve been dreading after a week that has been stressful and made writing difficult.  Today should be for rejoicing really, for it is the day when I go back into the Clinique de Notre Dame for my second new knee – after which there may be jolly dancing, long walks and general enjoyment of mayhem.  However I have not been very good in the build-up.  I have a long list of poems to send. I have tried to keep up with the 52 group of a poem a week though I guess now it will lapse for a bit. I posted my last response at midnight and I’ll add it here at the end of the blog.  I have been trying to write about how important poetry is and then, under the pressure of pain and dislocation, how it disappears and becomes so difficult.  And yet,  like writing a journal (which I have also not done) it actually is the life saver.  

I have been reading a lovely Bloodaxe publication – the poems of Jacques Dupin (in French) translated by Paul Auster and others. I try reading the French aloud, terrible accent probably, and then the translation and then going back to the French again.  It is so much more motivating than the awful ‘courses’ that I have about Airbus, Cafe going and family!  I have to get to grips with the language soon, and also with the culture because that is what I am really interested in.  When I am tired or stressed the French leaks away and I am left with Franglish splutterings, me who cares so much about words – it’s really not good enough.  So Dupin goes with me to l’hopital along with Rankin, Trollope (Anthony) and all the Kindle free downloads I have been saving up.  I hope that when this is all over there will be re-birth and re-generation of ideas and words.  Watch this space! Here is the first draft poem written after our small Quaker meeting in our house last Sunday.

Daisy comes to meeting


greets us as she enters with a throaty wruff,

lifts her big body round to nose each person,

fur softer than silk,

eyes wet  with doggy love.

We sit in our silent circle

Daisy stretches out along the floor

claws click, she harumphs down

towards a kind of sleep.

When looked at, or a foot moves,

her scimitar shaped eyes open,

bead us with its look.

Sighing she licks a paw, likes better

lifting her leg and licking more,

settles.  Now her head

with ears flattened

and nose along the floor

is like a mountains fox,

pinpoints under whisker.

We gather round her silence,

her Zen breathing, in, out.

Undisturbed by stress or speculation

she lets go easily

and we sail into the calm

on the lee of her smooth body,

her furry tail.

With a last, gentle sigh

she breathes us out of the light

into the everyday. 


1 Comment

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One response to “At the last moment…

  1. A gorgeous poem, Brigid – sensory images in the silence. I hope your op goes well. I sympathise with the loss of language under painkillers. Morphine did that to me as well, and I can’t understand why anyone would willingly subject their minds to the woeful effect as a recreational activity. Have a look at this and the poem which is linked in the post. The writing was unbelievably therapeutic.

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