In my mind, the world is flat,
laid out like a tattered Persian rug,
a little singed here and there by embers
jumping from the coals of another well-laid fire.
Our cheeks are rosy, fingers chillblained,
and Puss is semi-supine, small chest rising and falling,
sleepy-breaths long and deep,
sliver-shut eyes adoring the flames, glinting.
She too is reluctant to leave this warm envelope
bounded by the hand-me-down sofa and
twice re-used and re-loved armchairs.
There is the world beyond –
Utility-stamped sideboard hugging the cold back wall,
its teacup-ringed top bedecked with old photos,
the small chest that contains St Paul’s fingernails
(joke-blasphemy courtesy of grandad
who served his God well,
if sometimes with a nod and a wink),
and Mum’s sewing basket, overflowing as it will ever be.
The Anaglypta wallpaper, its lumps and bumps
beating a steady rhythm under my fingers
is Apple White in my mind
and I press yet another piece of pattern to the wall,
This is my safe harbour.
This week, on dVerse Poetics, Abhra has asked us to write about where in the world we would be, if we could choose. Hmmm… this has caught me off-guard, because at this moment, I am feeling very much of a home-body. I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit and there are places I would like to visit, but not at the moment, and not enough to write about them.
Perhaps it is to do with how my life has panned out of late, perhaps it is to do with knowing how quickly someone can be lost to you with no second chance, but nostalgia is pervading my waking moments right now. So really, I would love to be with my family again, as a child. We didn’t have a lot when I was growing up, but we had lots of love. Really, isn’t that all you need? I’m time-travelling this week. It’s still travel, right?
I do like to educate where I can. CC41, my poem’s title is named after the Utility brand that was stamped on furniture and clothing during World War Two until 1952, here in the UK. CC stood for ‘Controlled Commodity, and illustrated that the merchandise met the government’s austerity regulations. It was designed to cope with the shortage of raw materials and ration consumption. We were still using the Utility furniture in our house when I was growing up – it was strong stuff, and I really liked the design!
Please pop over to dVerse to read some excellent poems on the travel theme. Join in – we don’t bite!