Sunday, November 26, 2006

love poem

tree.JPG

The last time I wrote a poem I was thin for the only time in my life because I didn’t eat for a year. All I could do was drink cheap Bulgarian wine and gaze at the remaining fragments of a smashed affair. Turning it's shards round in my hand, remembering what it was like to my touch and recalling the perfume and the stench of it was all it took for thirty five poems to pour out of me. Then I met Julian and, thinking I could only write poetry when suicidal with unrequited passion, I stopped.

Six years later, at Arvon, John asked us to pick ten objects, to feel our feet on the ground as we sat with them, to turn them around in our hands, recall the smell, the sound and the touch of them, and to write an ode to each. He reminded us, just as I remind myself when I play the cello, to feel something stir inside us, allow it to rise up and, without articulating it in speech, let it flow down our arms, through our hands and our pens and on to the page.

‘Every poem I write is a love poem’ he said later, and I realised that to give something my attention is to be in love, whether it be with the bastard that broke my heart or a pair of trousers.

So here, fresh from Devon, is my love poem to Julian's 501s.

501s

Stiff with dried oil paint
Like obedient eggwhites
Whipped into shape
Your painty trousers stand to attention
Waiting for the muse.

At four, when it is getting dark,
Your ballet legs
Tiptoe off and step into them.
An ochre bum,
A spot of poppy on your groin.
All the odours of Provence
Stroked down your thigh
And your bare kneee,
Quivering.

clouds.JPG

8 Comments:

Blogger MB said...

Ruth, these are wonderful photos. I especially enjoy the first one. The poem is beautiful and hot. Thanks for sharing these! I hope to hear more about (or from) your Arvon experience.

8:05 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

thank you mb. From you, one of my fave poetesses, that means the world!

8:36 PM  
Blogger Zinnia Cyclamen said...

So glad it went well. BTW your 'John' link doesn't seem to be working...

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

That's a lovely poem Ruth, and kind of groovy too!

1:08 PM  
Blogger ruth said...

thanks kate, and from one to whom I owe many emails! i always wanted to be groovey. better late than never, i guess!

6:47 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

Lovely to have you back - I missed you, despite what I emailed the other week about regular postings...
Sounds as if you have danced 5 rhythms with your pen. xxx

1:41 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Julia said...

(I only deleted that because my comment appeared twice. I feel as though I've spilt ink over your beautiful, tidy page. xxx)

1:45 AM  

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