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Sunday 2 December 2012

A Little Bit of Bread and No Cheese

Good evening, Evening Sunshine!
Have you wondered how my day was going,
alone and in a place we know so well?
I thought I'd mail you, tell you what
a strange experience I had.
Ghost of a place, I'd say. I could not
come to terms with it --
how nothing clicked the way it used to click.

I saw the waterfall where we first met
and walked where we have often walked before.
I thought I knew each blade of grass,
the sound that feet make on the boards
that oversail the wetland strip. You taught
me names of reeds and rushes there,
and how to tell the summer song
the robin sings from that he sings
when winter comes. I thought I knew
the pinetum's most distinctive  smell,
the sound of wind high in the trees --
do you remember how we once agreed
it sounded like a brook? You taught 
me how to recognise the song -- what bird
was it? the name eludes -- that sounded like
a little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese.
I had not thought until that day
how birdsong might have lyrics...

All this I had expected to be there
as ever was. Alas, I did not recognise the place.
How sad and boring rushes are! How colourless
are reeds! The planks across the wetlands
merely groaned from missing you.
I heard the robin in the usual place,
but could not tell without your high
accompaniment to paint the notes
which of his songs he sang.

And in the pinetum's highest trees
the wind this morning sounded like... 
the wind once more! I think 
the little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese bird
had gorged on Gorgonzola late last night.
(It's coming back -- the yellow hammer, yes?)
The pinetum had no smell at all --
how could that possibly be so?

Next time I go I will not go alone. XXX
Poems of hate and Hope at dVerse Poets (Poetics)have set Missing You as theme for today.


Elephant's Child said...

But who will he go with? The one who taught him to savour the delights of nature, or another to drown them out?

John (@bookdreamer) said...

Very evocative

Anonymous said...

Very pretty poem. I know exactly this feeling of traveling or visiting a desired place that just doesn't have that desirability if you cannot share it. The magic goes out! Very well described. k.

PS -Hi Dave! k.

Claudia said...

oh birdsongs sure have lyrics...a little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese...love it dave...and next time you have to take someone with you and teach them all the things he taught you...and i'm sure you will be able to paint the notes again...

kelvin s.m. said...

..i love the notion of 'how to tell the summer song..' so rich to bring many many things in mind... and how you ended this piece with that line is so brilliant... and promising... thanks for the poem.. genuinely enjoyed it..

Good day!

kaykuala said...

Sometimes we forget the obvious with so many things running. But good to reflect of what's at hand. Even a little Robin can tell us many things. Nicely Dave!


Anonymous said...

so beautiful how you lead the reader in...
"I had not thought until that day
how birdsong might have lyrics..."
this is brilliant... whenever i hear a bird from now on, i'll think of this.
thank you!

Mary said...

This one was very touching, Dave!

Brian Miller said...

feel you man...someplaces its just not the same alone...but also just not the same if you are not sharing it with the one you last went there with as well...lots of emotion in this piece...happy sunday....

Daydreamertoo said...

Awww... they sure taught you a lot. I hope you do take them next time you go.
I love the way you associated different imagery for different bird sounds.
Good writing once more Dave.

Carl said...

Loss and loneliness make such a powerful theme to this story against. I amazed at hyper reality of your description from memory compared to the description with of the same place without his companion. Very sad.

Ygraine said...

A much-loved place does have the unfortunate tendency feel bland and unfamiliar when visited without someone close, doesn't it?

Think I've been here too!!

Tabor said...

Very sad, this thought that nature enjoyed with someone I love would not be the same when they were gone.

Sabio Lantz said...

Brilliant, extremely touching and a great honor to whomever you wrote or to whomever the speaker wrote. I hope it is not fiction -- it would be so much more beautiful if it were true.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jabblog said...

Aww - the absence of a loved one makes all the difference and makes a once-cherished memory bittersweet.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I agree with John - this is very evocative. What an amazing poem.

hedgewitch said...

The opening here is instantly involving, and I especially loved the descriptive middle which brings your location to life...the saddest part is how the poem feels so much more alive in recounting the memory than in the present it actually lives in. Great job with this, Dave.

A Cuban In London said...

What a sensorial poem! It was one of those pieces that opened up each and every pore in my body. Beautiful with very vivid descriptions. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully descriptive and nostalgic piece...very difficult to revisit those places without the one to share it with...they just don't look the same, but as the birds in this, always have little messengers to pull at the heartstrings...great poem..got completely wrapped up in it

Cloudia said...

your work is often more complex than my simple bear brain. But I do enjoy the shiny jingling things you plant:

"gorged on Gorgonzola"
Hmmm, now to look for some cheese. . .

Wishing YOU a sweet week,
with Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

~ > < } } ( ° >

> < 3 3 3 ( ' >

><}}(°> ~

Mary said...

Hey Dave, I suggest you delete all those links from "Anonymous." They look suspicious to me.

Anonymous said...

This is sublime--beauty without someone to share it with becomes burdensome to the beholder. :)

haricot said...

Your lines remind me of definitely something...but not exactly someone...I just have experienced such feeling some day and in some place, I think so.

Dave King said...

To All

Again I am somewhat up against the time factor, but wish to thank you all so much for a really moving set of responses. Sufficient perhaps to say that I have read through them all more than once and have found them all totally delightful. Some pertinent questions and some light hearted remarks, but all very much valued and taken note of. Thank you all, it is comments like these that remind me why we do this strange thing called blogging!

Unknown said...

Oh, Dave, you got me with the last two lines. The scenery and building mood are both vivid and detailed. The melancholy, palpable.