Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Poetic Timing

Five minute poems keep popping up all over the blogopolis and, because I can't help myself I've done one too, now. I think I might have cheated though, as although I timed myself to the minute I couldn't help adding a comma after my time was up, so it was maybe five minutes and twenty seconds. It's untitled because thinking up a title would really have pushed the limits. But here is a photo of the inspiration which can be a kind of title:

This table has been painted every shade of flag,
now, left to the elements its layers crack
and flake off in little curls like chocolate sundae decoration.

United nations’ disintegration, rusty
patches, like bald earth, spread,
and lichens push out like forests
reclaiming for the natural world
one wonky garden trestle.


The Weaver of Grass said...

Very good stuff for five minutes Eryl - actually I love the photo too with that lovely patina of mixed colours.

Wigeon said...

Just shows what you be inspired by and come up with a poem. A lovely mix of colours on those legs!

Jimmy Bastard said...

I saw a table identical to yours in Bearsden today.

Not such a good looking owner with this one however.

.... nice prose too.

Titus said...

Brilliant image, and the first line is just stunning. Again, (can't remember who I said it to first time) you've got a mood here, and that is hard to achieve in five minutes. I can feel something.
So bravo.

This was a really difficult, yet interesting challenge, wasn't it? Once you commit to do it, I was quite astonished by what instantly came to mind i.e. what my default position is!

Eryl Shields said...

Weaver ~ thank you. Isn't the table fab? I particularly like the green.

Wigeon ~ I am always inspired by decay and the less than perfect.

Jimmy ~ sad to say the table isn't mine, I saw it on my travels and thanked the very heavens I had my camera on me.

Titus ~ it is interesting to find out one's default position, I think mine is something to do with original sin augmented with pudding. Whenever I do any of those 'write non-stop for ten minutes/one hour etc without thinking too much' exercises food and man's demise always figure.

The minute I saw this table I was reminded of those little Italian flags you get in certain types of cafe. So I suspect the material for a poem has been percolating away for a while. It would be interesting to be given a prompt blind and see what I, or anyone, would make of it.

And, thank you for the 'bravo'.

PI said...

I love it all but especially the first paragraph. Is it all the poem?
Poetry is not my forte as you may have guessed but I do enjoy it.

angryparsnip said...

I read your poem five times in a row so I could really get a feeling for it.
I don't read a lot of poetry. . . but I really enjoyed reading this.
Plus any poem that uses the word wonky is fine with me, plus you wrote it in five minutes!
I would like to know how many revisions you did on it before the final poem.

The photo is super !

steven said...

hi eryl, you know there's days i feel like that - paint peeling off from all sorts of past experiences that suddenly show up full-blast. "hey i thought that was done with!!" sort of stuff.
this is a good response given the short time you had!! nice. steven

Brother Tobias said...

That's a fine poem (and I agree with Angryparsnip - you can count the poems which employ 'wonky' on the fingers of...well, on just the one, really). Does raise the question whether you say 'liken' of 'litchen' though. Could be important to the assonance...

Anonymous said...

pretty astounding for five minutes......!
A wonderful picture too.

Derrick said...

Hello Eryl,

Great poem from such an unusual picture and in 5 minutes. I really like:
"chocolate sundae decoration.

United nations’ disintegration"

clever thining.

Eryl Shields said...

Pat ~ it is all of it at the moment, I might try and work it up into something though.

Parsnip ~ the only revision I made is to insert a comma either before or after 'spread', not much time for revision when you only have five minutes. But I will revise it: that second verse is a disgrace punctuation wise. Isn't wonky a great word? I nearly wrote 'wobbly' which isn't nearly as good.

I took about thirty photos of the table and most of them had to be deleted as they were terribly out of focus. This is the sharpest one I have.

Steven ~ as far as I can see, nothing is ever done with entirely.

Bruv ~ unfortunately I say 'liken', I would much prefer to say 'litchen' it has much more presence and it goes well with 'patches' and 'natural'. There are too many likes in that second verse.

Ewix ~ hello, and thank you.

Derrick ~ thank you. What's 'thining'?

The World According To Me said...

You are clever. I don't think I would have been so inspired and captured the essence of the table so well.

willow said...

Fun poem. And I LOVE all that lovely crusty patina on those table legs!

Derrick said...

Hi Eryl,

Sorry, 'thining' should be 'thinking', which obviously, my brain was not doing!

Eryl Shields said...

Nik ~ I think being inspired is the key to capturing, and we're not all inspired by the same things.

Willow ~ the table legs are fabulous aren't they? I really wanted to bring it home with me but it wasn't for sale, sadly.

Derrick ~ I thought it was some technical term for a poetic device!

Kanani said...

A good exersise, don't you think? To sharpen the power of observation, bring in simile and metaphor...all in one fell fury of creativity!
Well done!

Eryl Shields said...

Kanani ~ a very good exercise indeed, I really ought to do such things more often. When I teach kids I always limit their time to ten minutes, the compulsion to haste pushes out all those self doubt demons.

Seth said...

Really like the poem. And that X is X-ceptional!