An off-white speckled egg
The shell complete
Heavy in the hand.
The first crack on the bench
The satisfying crunch of shell
Like feeling the marriage cup shatter under-foot
Reminding me of all relationships
Where tough people can be vulnerable;
Where to be resistant to forces from
Sudden piercing emotions
Makes it easier for cracks to grow
I dig at the crack and scatter the
Lightning traces, the fragmentation of the shell.
Some bits drop to the bench
A scattering of off-white lies and half-truths
Shared secrets that bind us together
The soft white cushion
Bounces robustly in the hand
I look for the opaque lining of denial
Around the white surface, roughly
Tug so that the protective shell that has caged the egg
Can be lifted off
bits of egg-white cling to the fragments
Elements of trust and belief that
Permanently attach to the armour
I tear like a hungry animal
Careless in my greed
And end up with an imperfect shape
The egg-white pocked like a moon.
The honey golden glow of yolk
True love’s fertile centre
I devour it to strengthen my love
Like a cannibal absorbing the strength
Of his enemy.
Last Saturday I went with my family to Castle Hill library. It is one of the best librarys in Sydney. There’s a lovely cafe off to one side, easy to read signs on the bookshelves, books sorted by genre and classification (of course), really comfortable seats, and an innovative children’s area with a wooden castle and a great wooden dragon hanging from the ceiling.
While we were there, we met a lovely woman. Wendy chatted with her about back pain and the like. She was going to a meeting. It turns out it was a meeting of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Hills Chapter) and they were having a one off workshop at the library, which was not their usual meeting place. They invited me to join them for the poetry workshop.
The poetry workshop was hosted by a Canberra poet. Her theme was the use of colour in poetry. One of the exercises was to write a six-line poem using words and colours provided. The colour was in the form of a paint sample sheet, the word was written on a small piece of paper. This was an exciting idea. I received “Arctic Crossing” as a colour, a kind of muted off-white and the word “Cloud”. It was almost too easy. I conjured images of clouds swirling like penguins over a frosted landscape, and hence the poem. I now suddenly realise that the act of penguins swarming like that belongs in the Antarctic and not the Arctic. But I’m not going to change the poem for that. Call it artistic license.
This was posted on a facebook page I follow. Here is my response.
Something silly, something sexy, something safe and something scary. Some scrumptious sauce for some spaghetti, several small bags of silver confetti. Some silly string for silly boys. And saxophones for silky noise. Stacks of secrets for secret spies. Several silly kites to fly the skies and lastly when my stash is gone, several sycophants to say “well done”.
My challenge – can you respond in the style of a poem? Post your response in reply. Let’s have some fun!