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Monday 14 November 2011

Three poems without Titles

Imagine a plant
something like a sweet pea
but much more delicate
sending out feelers
to grasp at things
(all manner of things)
to hold on to...

His poetry was like that.
Intricate. Fragile.
And with so many reference points
you'd need a machete
to loosen its grip.

Beyond my understanding,
I nevertheless
could feel the weight
of what I was missing.

Our favourite restaurant
we've called in for lunch
purely on impulse.

Sitting in the bar area
having a pre-lunch drink
we look over the menus.

There are two:
the one the waitress brings
and a blackboard on the wall.

The blackboard on the wall
shows today's specials.
There are quite a few.

A waitress comes
climbs up to the board
and rubs out the beef dish.

Except she doesn't
the beef dish is obstinate.
Beef remains on the menu.

The waitress climbs down
and disappears
returns with a bottle of solvent.

She climbs up
pours solvent over her duster
and rubs and scrubs again.

Soon the beef dish is reduced
to a pale shadow
of its former self.

She climbs down
looks at her handiwork
and disappears.

Would it not have been easier
when bringing the other menu
to tell diners the beef is off?

(Just an idle thought,
no occasion for great art.
Sorry to have misled you.)

The rose bushes,
that in summer bore blooms
large as a tea plate,
now in November
are covered in netsukes.

Here for Netsukes


Cait O'Connor said...

Number one is my favourite, I loved it. Luckily I had a dictionary on my lap when I read the last poem as I could look up 'netsukes'. You learn something every day.....

Cloudia said...

seemingly casual
yet carved in marble.


Moved me, Dave

Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >


< ° ) } } > <

Rose said...

We are being spoiled today! Delightful little trio!

The Unknowngnome said...

Gadzooks!!! All a treat, but I'm with Cait, the first is my fav.

haricot said...

Oh, you write so many poems in a week. I almost cannot catch up with them,,,
Lovely simple poems without titles but with a lot of imagination.(I have dictionary on my PC but I couldn't find "netsukes", though.

Dave King said...

Sorry, I should have explained netsukes - I have now added a link. They are miniature Japanese sculptures of hard wood or ivory, originally toggles to fasten a garment, but now works of art in their own right.

Jim Murdoch said...

I think I actually prefer the second piece. The first one left me wondering who the poet was which is where a title would have provided the missing piece. I am curious though: why no titles? I have written 1059 poems and only two, my one and only haiku and my one and only visual poem, sit there without titles. I feel it’s a lost opportunity; a title can add so much to a piece. Incidentally I do have a poem entitled ‘Untitled’.

Brian Miller said...

i have certainly felt number 1...i often feel the poem even if i dont understand it...

Jingle Poetry At Olive Garden said...

love the 3rd poem better.

the last stanza of the first poem is cool.

Happy Monday.

ArtistUnplugged said...

Ha, they are all great but my fave is the "beef" menu, though the roses are dear.

Windsmoke. said...

Bonza poems, i especially like the Netsukes after reading the link you provided they are most certainly delicate and intricate :-).

ds said...

Enjoyed them all (smiling over the poor waitress); love the first and third. Brilliant use of "netsuke." Thank you.

MianTariq said...

nice little poem.
you have been following the waitress a little bit of too much and she has been playing with menu too much on the black board.
On the whole, interesting piece.

Mary said...

I enjoyed all three slices of life. Makes for good poetry indeed.

Misterio Vida said...

man...this was probably the only thing left on which you didnt say any thing in poetry but now you did poetry without topics!!! bravo.....

sunny said...

Beautiful, Mr Dave

Dave King said...

Thanks for this. Sorry about not linking netsuke.

Wonderful comment! Thanks for it.

I also am being spoiled, I think. Thanks.

The Unknowinggnome
Thanks. Yes, the first one definitely started out as the the main one. Afterwards I wasn't sure.

No, mine doesn't give netsuke either. Apologies.

Not sure about this, Jim. I can see where you're coming from, but I think there are times when no title is the best option, when the poet wants to leave the situation ambiguous, maybe. Here, for example, the poet is a fiction. The who is irrelevent.

Yes, sometimes feeling comes first and it may be years later that I begin to understand it. Sometimes I think we miss too much be insisting on a fast track meaning.

The Gooseberry Garden
Thanks for that. I'm really pleased someone picked the 3rd poem.

Thank you for that. I was afraid the last verse might lose the beef menu supporters. Too flippant? It's really good to hear contrasting views.

Thanks for this. Interesting observation.

Very satisfying response, this. Thank you very much for it.

Oh, how right you are! How did you twig?

Thank you for these kind words.

Thatis very insightful of you. I almost called the post "3Poems without subjects", but thought that might be a step too far. You spotted it. Thank you for saying.

much thanks

JeannetteLS said...

For me? well, I simply am walking down a street, thinking of that piece I red that the poet XYZ passed. I stop into a restaurant and wind up wondering why it is people do things the hard way? I go home and see that the roses are gone, replaced with those strange little thingies they have on Japanese clothes. What are they? Netsocks? No...

But basically, I just read and put myself in the poem, instead of you. (I HAVE some netsukes from WWII, by the way.)

I think what I enjoy the most about your poetry, Dave, is that on one day it can grip me at the throat and MAKE me think of things uncomfortable. Another it squeezes my heart the way sharp poignancy does. Sometimes I don't get it at all, and that's fine. Others I laugh outright.

And here? I just go for a walk with you. I'm not a poet, but I write poetry occasionally, when no other form will do. But that's not being a poet. I do not see the poetry in erasing beef from a blackboard. But you do... and then, through you, I can, too.

That is all I want from poetry, ultimately. Isn't it fun that poetry is the writing form, like modern art, perhaps, that offers the reader to get from it whatever we choose, even when it is far removed from the poet's intent?

Dave King said...

Thank you so much for a rally absorbing response. The rose bush was (is) covered with these miniature blooms, tight and perfectly formed, but very small - the exact opposite in every way to the blooms it had in summer. It just struck me that they were as beautifully carved as a netsuke.

Sometimes I don't see the poetry until much later - as was the case with the beef.