Tonight you are spare - on the threshold
of being old and new. Two walls
stripped bare, blue paper giving way
to yellow paint beneath.

The room’s split in half. Where I’ve been
too heavy with the scraper I hit concrete,
gouge it, leave it dull, grey. Tonight,
in the electric light, it glisters, winks

becomes a map of continents surrounded
by a yellow sea. Somewhere across the room
I’m bobbing on a buoy too far out.

I step round huddled furniture so I can run
my hands down the world on my walls,
feel life beneath my fingers. They graze Greece -
draw the heat from our nights there, freeze


when they reach Scotland. It snowed five days
on the trot and when I sank in a white ditch,

you peed yourself laughing.

And then there was the time you died
and I moved rooms, tore the paper from these walls,
emptied the chest of drawers. The wardrobe’s slack,
hangers clanked when I closed the door.

Everything in this room is spare,
now you’re not here to claim it.

◄ Circumnavigate

Hoad Hill ►


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Abegail Morley

Mon 28th May 2012 08:45

Thanks Harry; it's always interesting to see your own work through someone else's eyes.

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Harry O'Neill

Sun 27th May 2012 22:58

Like your previous `I learn this...` I
can`t quite locate the `heart` of this one.

I like the `set up` of the first nine and a bit lines until the `bobbing` `too far out`and the over careful `step around` make me a bit wary.

The hot and cold `touch` of the geographical reminiscence is well done and the `peed` bit makes it seem like a happy but sad memory thing till we find that (he?) died.

The vehement `tore` sets up an expectancy that the following `emptied` `slack` `clanked` and `spare` disappoint...the final effect - for me - is one of an emotional `done with`.

Somehow it made me think again of the effect of novels on poetry.

I hope my (very personal) reading might be useful to you.

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