Demanding Words

I put the car in for a service
I was sick of hearing it grumble
spluttering, coughing and dripping
anyone would think it was sick the way it carried on
so my dog Isabelle and I went for a walk

we stopped to watch the fish weave through the water lilies
along the way Isabelle sniffed the foundations of each and every
telegraph pole
as I waited…  staring into space…
 I could see yellow tulips
growing amidst the mangroves
swirling upward through the forest
in crazy Vincent strokes

I heard words echoing…over and over
hear me… hear me now…put me on the paper
don’t forget me…don’t forget me…
the whip bird flicked out his call… drawing it back quickly
an elastic band shock through the bush…

you’ve forgotten me haven’t you?
like the DVD movie you’ve had for weeks
that library book collecting dust
the electricity bill
and when the lights go off… and you remember us
what will you do?

I will write you down by candlelight…
C’mon Isabelle, enough with the posts
the words I am haunted by are demanding attention
and we have a long walk ahead of us
the car is sick
and duty calls.



For dverse poetics duty calls


17 thoughts on “Demanding Words

  1. that is why i always have a notebook in my back pocket…or i will forget them…i am still looking for the library books too…ha…nice walk though…i cant stand car troubles though…but you can def get a poem out of it…smiles.

  2. Yes! I have found my iPhone to actually be very useful of late – even better than a notebook because things are typed! (I am lucky that someone has given me such a phone to use.) Wonderful piece. I especially liked the image of you walking along with the dog and the Vincent strokes of the flowers. k.

      • Well, I only started to use it that way recently, when I ready something Claudia wrote. Sometimes I email it to myself and sometimes use the notes thing. Of course, a notebook is wonderful, but lately I type so much, that I’ve found it very handy to have a typing device. I never thought I’d use it in that way because typing kind of weird, but great to have something in pocket. K.

  3. very nice, you incorporated writing with the other thralls of daily responsibility and life. Very nice. thanks

  4. Which is why I’m always jotting things down on scraps of paper. My problem is waking up in the night with the remnants of a dream that I just know would make a good poem but I’m too sleepy to dig for paper and pen. Of course, by morning I can’t remember any of it. Ugh! I hate when that happens.

    You effectively captured the wandering mind of the poet. I enjoyed it!

  5. I had an idea in Kmart this morning, so had to buy a cheap exercise book and pens cos I knew I’d either forget or spend the morning muttering to myself as I walked around the shops. Enough people are convinced of my nuttiness! Good poem. PS. I love the juxtaposition of yellow tulips and mangroves. Must see the painting!!!

  6. nice…i type them into my iPhone to not to forget them.. i like it when they call me..even though they sometimes interrupt real life…and i like that you write em down by candle light…nice…

  7. You have to love the progress of the soul, so to speak, gone from taking the car in for service to finding wealth of poetic inspiration which calls to duty-bound transcription. This has great images, and the rhythm has that insistence to be told to be understood that makes poetry great to read.

  8. P-Cat: You have captured a universal ( well…universal amog writers, anyway) experience and turned it into a very fine piece. Your phrasing is especially good. By the way…don’t you hate the ideas that wake you up in the middle of the night, then don’t have the courtesy to revisit in the morning? VB

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