image from here
Today’s prompt was to take a line from an existing poem and just run with it. I chose a line from Pablo Neruda’s The Old Ladies by the Sea (as can be read here) which has my borrowed line translated as ‘the solitude crowded with bonfires’ (variations do exist, though this is the most beautiful)
The poem is a result of an almost freewrite/association type of exercise. It’s had minimal tweaking, but I kind of like that raw energy. And at least I can say I’ve done some exercise today… ; ^)
We had lost keys but nothing
had prepared us for this. The train
was late to deliver us. The platform
squawked. Tourist. Commuter. Elbow.
Utter. Tragedies in lost
luggage. A ruffled ticket. A kiss
forgotten, peck misplaced. Meanwhile
November swooped anaemic
around us and you wished you had
your other jacket –
I knew this
because of the hard angles of your shoulders
and the coldness in your breath.
You barely looked at me. You said
nothing. We were going home,
– yours, not mine – to celebrate.
Boarding the train you found space
in a murder of black umbrellas,
the little grey legs of businessmen
stuck out from nests of newspaper.
You took the window seat
– I wouldn’t have minded
so much but you leant against the glass
and closed your eyes: it was dusk and outside
people in tiny gardens were preparing
dry beds for chaos
locating matches, hatching sparks.
You slept peacefully in the flock
of Teflon feathers. And I sat peaceful
in the solitude crowded with bonfires –
the warm wisps of the landscape
as distant and real as a sequence of events
that really should not have happened.