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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Here I would Live! -- and "Haiku" #317

I heard once of a woman who was having a recurring dream in which she would see a house. It was her dream house and it looked so real that she would try to buy it. She came to know it, every detail of it, inside and out. The occupant, however, would not sell.

One day, touring with her husband, they passed the house, the very same house, exactly as it had been, night after night in her dream. She stopped. Could not resist. She knocked. The door was opened by a woman who, taking one look at her, screamed for her to go away. I know you, who you are! she screamed. I've dreamed of you, you are my enemy. You want to take my house from me!

I was reminded of this story when I discovered that our friend Dana at Bug'e Eye View is driving The Poetry Bus and has given a choice of three destinations. Difficult to choose between them, but I have gone for my dream place place in which to live. I trust it will give no one a disturbance like that suffered by the poor ladies in the story above.

The house stands     all but hangs
on    from    above    among unpromising
uncompromising rocks. In front,
a wide expanse of water, a
dance floor for the later sunbeams
on a summer's evening    or
a playground for them, let us say.
Behind it, hills rise up with pinnacles
and overtones of racks of lamb.

The house itself is low and featureless,
reluctant to intrude above the rocks
with anything more solid than its colours
or strong texture. These it flaunts in sympathy
or contrast, challenging the granite
with its quartz    feldspars    its serpentine
in friendly rivalry.

Inside, the walls are plain, in neutral colours
as befits the ground on which the works will hang.
Prints mainly, reproductions, some of mine
and others I've acquired. Some flotsam here and there
the sea has spewed upon the beach.
One sculpture stands outside, alone.
A rock now riddled through with holes,
an instrument the sea and tides
and they alone can play.

One other must: an attic or an out house,
a studio-cum-study, one end lined with books,
the other, one unholy mess.

Outside again, perhaps a tiny bunny,
its source high in the hills that back the house.
It runs not far from here.



We all can write scripts
Tim Burton wants our talents -
tweet his next few lines.

26 comments:

Lucas said...

I feel the spirit of the "tale of the unexpected" with its scary ending does not enter your poem. Your poem is much more like a painting, I think than a dream, and all the better for it. I love "challanging the granite/ with its quartz". The line spacing really helps especially in the beginning stanza ...all but hangs/ on from above....

Tabor said...

Your dream home is like a nightmare in my minds eye. Funny how we are so different in our view of shelter. Yours is strong and exposed and part of rough nature.

Derrick said...

I love the idea of the expanse of water being a dance floor for sunbeams! Very dramatic setting your ideal home has, Dave. And, as for your comment at my place this morning, Rowan is correct!

The Bug said...

I think I could live here - think of the photo ops! My favorite part is the unholy mess - I can see Dr. M's study in just that way :)

Theodore Daniel Richards said...

Some of the best settings of stories emerge from dreams. The key is to get up early and catch them before they get away.

TechnoBabe said...

I like the absolute necessity of a studio.

Dave King said...

Lucas
Welcome to my blog and many thenks for the comments. No, you are right about the tale of the unexpected. I did consider something along those lines, but decided against. And yes, I agree, it is a very visual poem. My thanks especially for the comment on the spacing. That is the sort of feedback I find very useful.

Tabor
I fully understand that my dream will be another's nightmare. It is, as you say, part of rough nature. Part of me gravitates towards that - though there are other parts of me!

Derrick
Thanks for the sunbeam comment. As for my comment on yours, it is what I expected. My first thought was Berlin, but then I thought: not likely, you have had Berlin quite recently.

The Bug
A person after my own heart, perhaps!

Theodore
Absolutely, that is the trick. However quick I am off the mark, though, I find that even in the act of writing down the first line or so, the subsequent lines are fading.

TechnoBabe
Absolutely.

Titus said...

Dave, the urban legend dream tale is going to keep me awake tonight. Yikes!

And the house poem is a tour-de-force. Beautifully structured poem, all the complexity of you in architecture and design, and I loved the racks of lamb and bunny touches. Definitely keeping it real!

Windsmoke. said...

I can just imagine this haunted house clinging to the side of a cliff overlooking the sea ready to tumble into it. Great nightmare.

Helen said...

I fell in love with your dream study ... one end an unholy mess, the other stacked full of books! As always, your work never disappoints.

Dave King said...

Hi Everyone
I had intended a footnote explaining that a bunny is a stream or rivulet without tributaries or distributaries, which flows directly into the sea and not into another stream or river.

Sorry, I forgot - as I forgot the haiku on... Friday, was it? I forget!

Peter Goulding said...

Every home should have an unholy mess. The dance floor for sunbeams is wonderful - not sure you need the playgriound as well. A tour de force!

Jim Murdoch said...

How poets choose to structure their poems has always fascinated me although ‘frustrated’ would be closer to the truth. I’ve looked at this piece for quite a while, hence the delay in commenting, and I don’t get why the extra spaces in the opening two lines of the piece and in the penultimate line of the second stanza. Am I supposed to read these differently, to pause when reading? What am I missing?

SouthLakesMom said...

I see your dream house as a gallery for other works, not allowing itself to be anything other than a tool for them to be featured...which is why it is low built into the landscape, and its walls are neutral. It is humble.

But its occupant has such inspiration all around in the dramatic scenery, and what a wonderfully familiar bit of home in the unholy mess.

Simply . . . excellent.

Enchanted Oak said...

I laughed out loud at "overtones of racks of lamb."

That's really saying something, Dave, because I don't laugh out loud often, not even at my favorite comics.

Makes me think of "North by Northwest" with its finale taking place at the house on the rocky cliff. I agree with another commentor who felt nervous at the idea of your dream house. For me, it's the idea of all that clinging to the rocks, the precarious sense of it. But then I read SLM's comment above about the house's humility, and I smiled. Your poem really does work well, so evocative...

David Cranmer said...

The dream tale is very interesting. Kinda like Weird Tales or Twilight Zone.

Dave King said...

Peter
Thanks. Upon reflection I think I agree with you about the playground. Writing ot now, I would junk it.

Jim
I do sympathise. I, too, have had my moments of frustration when faced with fragmentation - though carried somewhat further than mine, I hasten to add! There's no theory behind this. I initially used commas, but, trying to put myself in the place of a reader, felt I maybe wouldn't have been comfortable with it that way. When I tried the spaces, I thought it made the reading, if not clearer, more instantly accessible. Obviously I was not totally correct in that! And, yes; although I only with great reluctance suggest how others should read my poems, my instinct would be to pause. A valuable response to think about, so much thanks for it.

SouthLakesMom
A very warm welcome to you and my thanks for such a considered comment.
The poem is me - as usual - trying to have it both ways, of course! Thanks again.

Enchanted Oak
I am being really spoilt with so much excellent feedback. Thank you so much for yours - especially the laughing. That really bucked me up.

David
There should always be a built-in possibility for such, I believe.

Lucy Westenra said...

The double dream idea in your opening story is really great. Difficult to find anything new in the "then I woke up" story, but you did it magnificently!

Dave King said...

Lucy
Hi and welcome to the blog. Thanks for taking time out to comment.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Sounds good Dave, in every way! Why do you not have it?

Dave King said...

Totalfeckineejit
Thanks, but the shutters have come down - have what, exactly?

Totalfeckineejit said...

Your dream house!

MuseSwings said...

Thank you for the wonderful and viaual tour of your dream home. I see it fitting snuggely into the palm of land between the sea and mountains. Racks of lamb is a great surprise!

MuseSwings said...

visual. did't want you to think I said victual. Although the lamb and the bunny...

Cad said...

One other must: an attic or an out house,
a studio-cum-study, one end lined with books,
the other, one unholy mess.

My kind of place!

Jim Swindle said...

This is a fine poetic description.