October 11, 2007

WHITE INK
(for George Szirtes - il miglior fabbro)


Your white ink settles on my page like snow
My stuttered words are quivering in the creases
Snow settles on my words and smothers them
My white ink clings to margins and to edges
Your white ink glides across this shiny page
My words are stumbling through your drifts of snow
Your snow has frozen all my white ink words
My white ink melts beneath your quiet breath
Your white ink lingers round my wordless mouth

—Hilary Mellon

Posted by dwaber at 01:10 PM

October 10, 2007

MOTH POEM (for Anna Reckin)

 

 

Your words skit

         hover         flit

donít quite

                  sit

across      the     page

      but   s  m  u  d  g  e   its surface

leave soft   s t a i n s 

 

an iridescent dust from fragile wings

is what remains

 

elusive worlds   evoked and caught

      are      s  l  o  w  l  y      stroked

and   c a r e f u l l y   wrought

into   s u c h   brightness

 

cobweb light

 

that Iím left gasping

 

on the    f                                       n  

                  l                   e         i         g

                       u         t         r

                             t

                                                                breath of flight

 

 

—Hilary Mellon

 

Posted by dwaber at 01:13 PM

October 09, 2007

DO SOMETHING WITH THESE WORDS

Here, what's all this then?
I heard you creep into my poem, uninvited, you sly bugger.
I can see where you forced an entry too.
Look, just there between that weak couplet and the spelling mistake.
Decided to squat in my newest stanza, I suppose?
And now you've got the cheek to ignore me,
sitting back on your heels contemplating the structure.
Well sod off, mate.
I've not been polishing rhymes all these years
just for you to come in and finger them.
And what do you think you're doing now?
That's my best metaphor you've got your feet up on.
I sweated blood over that,
sitting up nights putting it together.
And it didn't come in kit form either, I can tell you.
Made it myself, I did,
starting from scratch with a few old similes
cobbled together in various ways till they came out right.
And, believe me, it took a long time.
But it's still not strong enough to take your weight.
There, I told you so.
Strewth, you've bent the bugger now.
I can't mend that, it's useless.
Look, if you really insist on staying,
why don't you sit on something a bit more substantial?
Go on, there's a nice sharp image over there.
Quite comfy really, if you put a cushion on it.
Actually, I borrowed it off someone a few years back
and never got round to using it properly.
Here, now I think about it, it could be one of yours.
I used to really like your stuff in those days.
Still would, probably, if I had a chance to see it.
Haven't brought any with you, I suppose?
No? Oh.
Look, I've got an idea.
If I let you stay for a while, perhaps we could collaborate,
get it together on paper, as it were.
Yes, why not.
Go on, shift up a bit.
I'll get the beer out,
you see if you can do something with these words.

—Hilary Mellon

Posted by dwaber at 01:00 PM