a poem about letting in some light…

22 Dec


Some days I couldn’t hear it at all.

Some days it was deafening.

Some days it was an undernote

then whisperings in the night.

Tap, tap, scratch, scratch.

Didn’t know if I was hearing right.

Did you hear it?

It was there.

A sound of something growing.

My guts heard it.

My heart would beat to it

even when it was quiet.

“Where are you going with that?” He asked.

“What, this?” I raised it in my hand,

a dragon’s tongue of a blade,

short, curved, bisecting teeth grazing the air.

Did I see him flinch?

“I’m cutting it back. Now I know what it is.

That scratch, scratch, scratch.

Can you hear it?”

Sometimes I thought it wasn’t there.

I would tilt my head to zone-in on where it came from.

Close my eyes

let it amplify behind my lids

and form some kind of image

in the redness,

an animal,

a spirit,

a heart beating,

a soul wanting to fly,

something searching for escape.

Was it me

asking to be let back in

or back out?

It’s a branch!

Just a branch of that tree.

It’s a beautiful thing

it dances

it reaches

it sways

insects adorn it like sequined applique

it draws me in

to lie under that soft canopy

gives off scent from purple spires

but its pollen emanates in waves

which hamper my breathing

slur my thinking

my head is full of heavy purple

I sneeze!

Do you know, once I knew what it was,

knew that I had heard it,

I knew it had to go.

I had to wait for the right day

get the right tool.

And when it was time

I simply went out and cut it down.

This blade cut through the branch

the one that had caused the sound

but then I cut another

then another

and another

as if taking one branch wasn’t enough.

It had got so big

I’d hardly noticed.

It was just that sound of that top branch

it had to get that tall

for it to reach that far

for me to notice

and even then

it was just a tap, tap.

And with it gone, the light comes flooding in.


8 Responses to “a poem about letting in some light…”

  1. Sarah McNIcol December 23, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    Hey Debs
    Soooo delicious to hear your adventures, share your learnings and savour your language. And great to hear about the people and poetry you are experiencing. WOW! You are getting the result you created and it sounds BIG. Well done. X x x Sarah

    • mouthypoets December 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

      Thank you Sarah! There will be more to come!!! Thank you for staying it touch and mentoring me to the max! D x

  2. Mouthypoets December 25, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    Hey Anne,

    I love your words, imagery and dialogue as always!!

    I am intrigued to know what you wanted me to think and feel in this piece and h

    • Mouthypoets December 25, 2011 at 5:24 am #

      Bloody iPhone!!!!! I will continue…

      And how concrete you wanted the story to be behind the imagery if the tree? Because you have kept a lit of the genuine action and emotion of this metaphor back. Is that deliberate?

      I ask because I want to know if I should push you to develop this or treat this as a final product just to be smoothed?

      Debs xx

  3. Georgina Jeronymides-Norie December 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    This is a really interesting piece. Captivating poetic language and imagery. The ‘tap’ and ‘scratch’ provided a lovely, sort of, haunting image. And i love the way it reads aswel.

    The only thing that arose for me is that, i’m not sure if i’m right here, just throwing it out there, but the link between yourself seems a little vague. The line blurs. Perhaps this is something you might want to make more concrete or keep the same. It’s not a problem in the slightest, just perhaps something to think about and the intention. On the other hand though, I like it that way.

    I really like the flip, when she realises it’s simply the tree when the narrator has bred so much depth in her imagination of what hearing the sounds could signify.

    Georgie X

    • mouthypoets December 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

      Thanks. I think I have kept it vague, I do tend to do that in my poems, so that people can read into it whatever they bring from their own experience – but I was hoping to do a dramatic (as in acted) piece for SST3, so perhaps I need to be more concrete. I think I might go back at it and be more direct about the back story behind the imagery.

      • mouthypoets January 2, 2012 at 12:50 am #

        Hi Anne,
        I think there is no harm in creating two poems out of this situations. The more vague and general but beautiful imagery of this one and an intensely concrete character/narrative driven one. The reality is that the end poem will be somewhere between the two but at the moment I think it would be cathartic for you to get it all out in a way so concrete there is no hiding and also will create a piece primed for performance.

        Debs x

  4. mouthypoets December 29, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Anne – some performance thoughts/reactions from me (Jim) to get you thinking and visualising, as it feels like the dramatic aspect to delivering this piece on stage is one you’re keen to develop and incorporate into SSIII:

    – lighting is potentially the most obvious yet important-to-get-right feature you could involve. Could you envelop a darkness on stage around you that is gradually filtered with light (representing the cutting at the tree) as you perform, till the final line unleashes a fully lit stage (maybe a stage full of broken splinters of branch that you pick up, sweep away, before leaving the stage)

    Would that be too distracting from the words, could it be balanced with people being able to still see your actions if you have any when dramatising them?

    (all questions without right or wrong’s, obviously)

    – I’m so interested in how open you are with audience members potentially viewing this poem as the literal chopping down of a tree, others as taking the concept of an indidivual removing the weight of a relationship.

    I think you have a really warm, story-teller way of delivering your pieces and this coupled with the potential ‘acting out’ as you say of chopping down a tree, may leave the deeper layer of the poem (the relationshiop between two and its letting go) harder to grasp – is this something you’re cool with?

    If not, I was thinking slightly grand things involving:

    – an opening short film / sound clip of somebody voicing how weighed down they are by another or within a relationship, then your performance, then even a closing similiar clip of that weight being lifted. (can explain this better in person I think!)

    – this is out there a bit, but I think it could be powerful as hell to maybe represent the ‘cutting away’ of a relationship or aspect of a relationship, by having those little memento’s (anniversary cards, letters, records, flowers) scattered around the stage and you, or somebody else, picking them up slowly during your performance, till in a way, there is nothing left and there is ‘space’ again. (too ott, too distracting, or an effective way of portraying your message?)

    OR have say two toothbrushes, two pyjama sets, two of all the intimate physical objects shared by a couple, and remove one of each during the performance, leaving just your own by the close when the light comes in.

    These are all just things to think about and deliberately underdeveloped by me, purely as it’s your performance. Hope this helps!

    Jim .

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