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Friday 6 April 2012

my escapology

(for The Thursday Think Tank #91 at Poets United by Ella)

From earliest days
like a practised burglar
first thoughts
in all new situations were:
secure a viable
way out.

I drew a map once of my life:
a crooked Christmas tree
zig-zaggy trunk to represent
my subtly changing aims.
Its drooping branches my
skedaddle routes.

The first of these was bed.
Illness. Making sure
I'd toys. Whatever else
I needed to transform
the sheets to mountains. Caves.
Great ocean waves.

Next in line came books.
Not plots, but scenes in sequence,
episodes to mould
to my own purposes, create
a hassle-free environment and
refuge from the boredom of the world.

Much later there was cycling.
Imagination optional.
Escape roads now
were roads in the real world
to secret places far away.
Real dangers, real encounters.

And now it's poetry
the writing and the reading it.
Verse, the new bed linen,
provides the wherewithall
to keep the exits open
and the place of safety safe.


Anonymous said...

I can relate to your poem...Mr. King; very nice ways to escape; I believe I have shared some with you. Thanks for sharing.

Janine Bollée said...

Funny how things that go around come around, [or some such nonsensical statement]:
from burglars' exits to bed linen: I have found to my cost that before they plot their exit route, they take your newly ironed pillow cases to put the loot in.
I can't see poetry remaining my place of safety for long though.
Hope yours will for you.

Elephant's Child said...

Perhaps someday I will catch up.

Daydreamertoo said...

This all shows as we age, we slow down and accept smaller, less dangerous things to do which fulfill us in place of the speed and unsafe things when we thought ourselves invincible.
At 17 I knew someone who was 34 and was totally convinced, I'd never live to be that old! Youth, is wasted on the young!
Loved it Dave :)

Brian Miller said...

nice...similar trail for me...toys to books...but then it was hiking and the great outdoors...still blend that with poetry as well...

Mary said...

Beautifully stated. So many reasons to write poetry, but 'escape' is definitely one of them!

Anonymous said...

Ah. So interesting. A wonderfully honest way of looking at all of this. K.

Unknown said...

You are a true artist. This piece is just right- sparse where it ought to be, detailed where needed. One of my favs of the week, based on the quality of writing, the poetic and story-telling skills.

Ella said...

Wow,this is so well done! I love it, I love the sketches of your imagination, showing us the freedom of your thoughts! Wonderful~
I have to read it again!

Grace said...

Beautiful words...I would feign illness too to stay home and read all day. I specially like the last verse...its my escape and my world in a world ~

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Dave! What a STELLAR poem. I so love it......love the always needing to scope out an escape route. As a poet/hermit myself, I so relate! Also the bike and book escapes......and now words, that take us far while we stay, nice and comfy, at home. Love this poem.

Dulcina said...

From Christmas tree to Poetry - the poet tree -, what a wonderful personal journey, Dave!
Your poem is full of attractive images shown in a magical way: the map, the bed, the books, cycling and writing/reading poetry.
Which child has not transformed his sheets into mountains? And then "caves" and "great ocean waves", great!
My favourite lines:
a hassle-free environment and
refuge from the boredom of the world.

(I must confess I have always done the same)

Escape roads now
were roads in the real world
to secret places far away.

(Me too)

Verse, the new bed linen,
provides the wherewithall
to keep the exits open
and the place of safety safe.

(Me too again)

A question, was yours escapism, escapology or maybe both at the same time?
Just curiosity, Dave, because when I think of escapology I think of the great Houdini
and his magic tricks, but when I think of escapism I think of people who dream awake to escape from the constraints of everyday boring reality. I can do the latter; I cannot perform the former, of course.

I must admit your Escapology is one of your best poems to me.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Superb Dave, superb. One of your best. I perfectly enjoyed this concise and determined biography.
The title in itself a masterpiece.
The last stanza the sincere, triumphant end of an odyssey. An end and a beginning.
In my life I have tried manifold escapologies, hardly successful, but I haven't given up.
I think I'll put various poems in my blog, past and future poems connected with this of yours.

Windsmoke. said...

Very enjoyable indeed especially the last stanza as i've never though much about poetry until recently :-).

Adura Ojo said...

Escape from the boredom of the world...definitely. I like the idea of verse as new bed linen too. Poetry is a great escape. There is something truly magical about the making of poetry and I hope (like you)I never tire of it.

haricot said...

Thank you for suggesting many effective ways for escape.
Not totaly from reality but from just boredom. Yours is sublimed, truely.

Dave King said...

Welcome and good to have you visiting. Many thanks for your kind words.

So sorry to hear of your experience with the burglars. That really was adding insult to injury. Hope it did not leave too lasting an impression on you. I think poetry will remain a place of safety for me for as Long as I will need it, though there's little enough we can be certain of in this life. Thank you for your response.

The Elephant's Child
I must be having one of my senior moments - not sure what you are catching up. Sorry.

Daydreamer too
I absolutely agree. We had a very young (looking) man who came monthly to collect the instalments (coppers mostly, I think) for our various insurances. I was totally convinced that "insurance men" never died.

Thanks for the kind comment.

Yes, all sounds very familiar. Much thanks.

Poetry offers escape, certainly, but for me escape is not a motive for writing or reading poetry. I write (or I read) poetry for a range of other reasons, but in the process find escape from other concerns. It is the same with painting.

Thank you so much for this.

Hi, and a warm welcome to you. Thank you for visiting the blog and for your kind and helpful response. Good to have you aboard.

Hi, Good to have you visiting. Thank you so much, first for the prompt and then for your visit and very kind comments. All three are very much appreciated.

Sherry Blue Sky
Thank you for this response which is very much appreciated. I do love the hermit/poet concept. I have a feeling that all poets have something of the hermit about them, even if it is not clearly apparent on the oyside.

I'm not sure where - or how - to begin to thank you for this too kind response. Your mention of a Poet tree has set cogs moving in the old grey matter. Maybe something will come of it, maybe not, but much thanks anyway.

Your comments deserve a time of quiet reflection, I think, which they will get. Thanks again.

Thank you once again for a thoughtful and helpful response. The prompt was itself very suggestive, I felt. I shall look forward to your assemblage of poems. Thanks for taking the trouble.

Your last remark comes as a slight surprise. I would not have guessed it from some of your responses. Much thanks.

Many thanks for the encouragement here. It is much appreciated.

Not from reality, no, but maybe from some of the supposed attributes of what often - too often - passes for reality.

Ygraine said...

Writing poetry is my escape route too.
Without it I'd have become insane long ago!!
Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone :)

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...


I love the various methods of escapism through life...
I particularly enjoy catching your moments of being occupied, by writing!!!

Happy Easter,