Thursday, 10 July 2008

First residency poem.

It wasn't part of the plan for me to write poems this residency, but there's nothing like saying you won't for making you want to. This one came out of a writing exercise at Commonword based on Kona McPhee's poem 'My People'.

My People

I would know them at first by the way they know cloth,
speak the language of selvage and warp and weft,
their way of holding the fabric and letting it fall
to check that the weave was true. And each would have
their own body’s measure – the turn of the head that gave
them a yard from nose to thumb’s end. Their eye are sharp
but the world fades away - beyond the street the edges
are muted, birds disappear as they land in trees and trees
themselves have no leaves until seen from beneath.
I could walk amongst them, they’d be somewhere else,
they would clutch at their chests at the sound of my words
and even then they would look without seeing for a breath
of two, always in aprons, interrupted, wiping their hands.
But up close I’d see their hands are like mine, restless birds
in a roomful of voice and wishes, finding their roost
on the cloth, on the paper, on the wood, or the keys

No comments: