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Friday 11 January 2013

Conundrums come in threes.

I see it now:
exotic jellyfish,
it rode the waves
and rode them with aplomb;
re-shaped itself
for trough and crest, its broad
black brim spread wide
to stabilize it, take
it drifting weight
through every change of shape.
Its lemon crown
collected-in the stares
of sunbathers
and promenaders, both;
its double prow
of sculpted net and lace
had two blue eyes
which as it twirled in wind
and tide were set
to scan the whole wide world.
Below it hung
the lower net of lace
and bits and bobs
where feelers should have been.

Frinton sea front.
My aunt has taken me
to convalesce.

Another image comes
and lays itself
above Aunt Julie's hat.
Best hat. Reserved
for most auspicious times,
not everyday!

Now on the promenade
in contact with
my chunky wooden train.
Red engine -- lodged
against the hat -- green truck,
grey carriages
and guards van midnight blue.

Final image.
Composite. The same two.
Black-and-white. Cut
from a local paper,
but now torn and
incomplete. No wording --
and no me! No
clues to the mysteries.

Victoria C. Slotto for dVerse Poets, Meeting the Bar has been giving us a master class on the Imagists and communication under the title of The Medium is the Message. Please do go and have a read of it.


Elephant's Child said...

Complex, fragmented and surreal - as memories so often are. You have achieved yet another triumph. Thank you.

Brian Miller said...

interesting....the jellyfish, the train and the newspaper clipping that does not include you...while you convolesce...the jelly fish was the more promenant to me and carries a lot of symbolism....nicely done sir...

Ygraine said...

I like the fragmented feel to this poem - it suits the subject matter so well. Memories are like that, aren't they?
And the fact that you are missing from the paper clipping, so it all lives on only in your thoughts...simply amazing!
Yet another masterpiece, Dave!
I love it :)

And my friend with OCD would wholeheartedly approve of the title!! Hehehe:D

Janine Bollée said...

What you did with this prompt is absolutely amazing.
The jellyfish showing its face, so to speak, in the prospective victims' eyes, even on the shore.
So many facets. Impressive.

Frank Watson said...

Interesting weaving of fragmented memories, like scenes from a movie laid side-by-side. Never been stung by a jelly fish, but I have stepped on a sea urchin while snorkeling and it is an SOB...

Mary said...

A unique approach to the prompt...so interesting to see where one's mind travels. And yes, so much is mystery.

Manicddaily said...

Ha! /the way of memories and mementos. Very cool. I love the idea of it a;; being pressed into local, and black and white newspaper clip - probably the idea of the collision of the train and best hat. (Hats pretty important in those days, I guess.) k.

Manicddaily said...

Ha! /the way of memories and mementos. Very cool. I love the idea of it a;; being pressed into local, and black and white newspaper clip - probably the idea of the collision of the train and best hat. (Hats pretty important in those days, I guess.) k.

Scarlet said...

I like how you weaved your memories Dave, clear and crisp as the sea front. This line struck me:

Reserved for most auspicious times, not everyday ~

Gerry Snape said...

having just seen the "Life of Pi"...the jelly fish part is brilliant Dave...i love the weaving in of the childhood memories ...but apart from that this is such a good readable piece...makes you want to read it again.

Laurie Kolp said...

Great images, Dave... I especially like the jellyfish.

Dick said...

A vivid depiction of time past. I very much like the description of the jellyfish. How exotic they seemed to we unsophisticated kids in those pre-Attenborough days!

Victoria said...

Such a trip back into your younger years with great imagery...I love how you morph from jelly fish (beautiful, but dangerous sometimes) into your aunt, her hat etc. yet it blends together so cohesively. Thanks, Dave.

kaykuala said...

No clues at all but the writing is fantastic! The jelly-fish its nature and appearance that can change every which way given the special descriptive treatment. So also the others! Great write, Dave!


kelvin s.m. said...

...a jellyfish could be such a luring creature...at first i could mean a thing of beauty and it was...but then not all beauty are safe...for sometimes it could mean trouble or harm...i couldn't agree more on how you describe the jellyfish.. They're just exactly what you said here...and that hat of your aunt not worn everday speaks of deep memories...i could come back and read this poem again and again sir....until i get there to the very depth of the so called mysteries...smiles...

Dave King said...

The Elephant's Child
Thank you so much. Your three adjectives I take as a great compliment.

Yes, for me the jellyfish was the core of the story - in so far as it was a story. It was certainly the central image. The torn newspaper cutting was and is a mystery. Indeed, I struggle to relate any of the "bits". (The whole "holiday" - as I saw it - was a bit of a disaster!)

The whole episode is fragmented in my mind. As you say, memories are like that, but this one has lost all connectivity! I'm worried now, that I might have O.C.D.

Sincere thanks for this comment. As I mention above, the jellyfish was always central to my memory of this event/these events -- I'm not even sure which!

I have been stungby a jellyfish, but I still find them both beautiful and fascinating. Thanks for your comment.

Thanks, mary. So glad you thought so.

Yes, I guess hats were more important then than now, though I don't remember them being regularly worn by the women of my household.

Yes, that summed up the wearing of hats as I remember it.

Thanks so much. Haven't seen The Life of Pi and hadn't realised that it contained a jellyfish sequence. Your comment is very much appreciated.

Thank you so much.

Yes, it's true, we don't give them the same regard these days... maybe that is down toAttenborough!

Thank you for your helpful thoughts on my piece. I found it a very stimulating challenge. Much appreciated.

Than you for this. I have a feeling that very little of these events would have stuck with me had it not been for the jellyfish.

A really valuable comment, much appreciated. Thank you so much.