The picture is purposefully neutral. You don't have to use it, though you can if you wish. The title may be taken literally, where you tell us about a place you know and like, or a place that means something to you. It can also, as ever, be a metaphorical place 'I've been here before.' and thus can be a 'place' of experience. Up to you.
Rules: No rules this week - it is up to you entirely. Will be setting a form next week, so make the most of it.
General Rules: The week's subject will be posted on Sunday. Poets can then post until Thursday evening. Poems must not be already written, or from a longer previously written poem. They must be written off the cuff, to the subject/theme. Unless a particular form/length is specified there will be no restrictions on poetic form, or length.
Voting will take place from Friday morning until Sunday evening, when the week's winners will be announced along with the new subject.
Voting Scores - 3 points for 1st choice, 2 for 2nd and 1 for 3rd.
The village lights they beckon from afar I yearn to be enveloped in their warmth, While shivering in my meagre shelter's walls. They sent me here to contemplate my life, Stern fathers of this hidden cult of pain.
I dared to question deepest held beliefs Of beings conjured from the boundless sky, Those men claim visions that are false. An outcast now 'til I recant my words And whipping wounds have healed upon my back.
This place I know from cruel and fearful scenes And nights of gazing upwards to the stars I see no gods approach, nor fiery words The winged beasts are all too worldly ones. Oh, cursed be those whose gods demand this price.
Post by Richard Maitland on Nov 29, 2017 18:29:57 GMT
This Place I Know
This place I know. I came here as a child After a summer of unexpected sadness and a funeral.
My father and I, easy in unspeaking company, Walked along the ancient cobbled High Street Shrouded, now, in Tarmac for the convenience of grockles.
By silent consent that day we went towards the harbour Where fish was landed in dripping baskets And sold upon the quayside.
Alas, no more. No more tarred rope, or green glass fishing floats, Or little scuttling crabs. Or seaweed. Or salt-encrusted boats. No old men in sea-stained jerseys, plying needles To mend their nets. All gone now.
We strolled along the long stone pontoon, And settled on the banjo’s granite ledge. For hours we sat there, saying nothing, Just watching the shark boats ply in and out With their payload of hopeful tourists.
The sun was never hotter than it was that day When seagulls screamed and mewed, reflected light seared our eyes, And shark boats’ diesel engines throbbed, And the sea relentlessly swished against the place where we sat In companionable silence.
I suppose at some point my father suggested we return Back up the High Street, past the cinema with its notice: “We open only in inclement weather.” Back to the hotel where my mother waited and wondered What we had been doing all day. “Nothing much,” we said. “Just looking at the water.”
Funny how “nothing much” has imprinted itself into my memory. For I know this place. This place I know.
My love is tall and lean with A great black mop of curly hair He wears a sarong: light brown with tiny rosebuds And emerald salamanders. He has aborigine blood mixed with Swiss, which has made him an ardent explorer of heights and depths. When he smiles at me, his black marble eyes turn into a lotus pond, I let myself sink into its silent waters – this place I know we are at home here.
It shines and sparkles of life
Arising to the surface I am washed clean Of pretense I take him for a hike in the wood close by He has covered his upper body with a red tee-shirt,bleached pink by the Aotearoan sun I know that he really is an ancient god He walks like a panther; my cat is crazy about him And follows him
I know where to walk: I came upon this magical place Years ago. I was in the wood,there was a pause, I took one step - And around me circles around circles opened I was at Home with all of me: this place I knew. Spruces. Moss. An opening in the center where sun rays Cut diagonally into the forest floor and creates a space Vibrant with HERE
Here we are now, he takes my hand, we become rooted slowly growing into something new - When a sturdy man suddenly stands right before us, With a low voice, trembling with rage, he tells us we have trespassed, This place is HIS! My love looks at him with calm wonder – knowing that man Does not own nature, and I apologize profusely since I Live a place where we do believe that what we have paid for, We own
He walks us out of the wood and Tells us we are lucky that he will not rapport us for trespassing I apologize again My love says nothing I am burning red My love looks at me and takes my hand And kisses it With a tenderness that makes my knees go weak I close my eyes and notice that the Place has seeped into My bloodstream, surrounding the Lotus Pond The cat throws itself ecstatically into his arms This place we know Our heart and blood claim it
This Place I Know (Grand Canyon near Phantom Ranch)
Lying down exhausted, we try To sleep at last, a mile below the South Rim From which we began our trek. A few feet away a wall goes up and up Higher than any skyscraper, layer upon layer Of rock laid down over eons. Beside us is the oldest rock layer On earth, the black black Vishnu schist, Two billion years old. I marvel that I can touch anything so ancient. As though it were a common rock. Bats fly high above, hunting, silent. I imagine them squeaking too high For human ears. Though they fly Hundreds of feet up the wall, I note One young woman covering her hair. Much higher yet, clouds drop rain But none falls on us. We are assured We need no tents here Where each drop evaporates Before it hits the canyon floor. Tomorrow we shall hike, take pictures, And camp far from Phantom Ranch. But now I try To imagine the two billion years The rock beside me has seen. My father lived eighty years, So I multiply by a million such lives Then multiply eighty million times twelve And I'm almost halfway there. Double that-- And I'm almost asleep.
What a familiar view, this place I know, do you? Early evening silhouetting, orangey-pink sun is setting, Lights sparkling on show, the whole town a warm glow, Coming alive so strong, night time liquor and happy song, Overcrowded bars and laughter, echoing over rippling lake water, Make a trip to that side; on a joyful starlit boat ride. Excursion, you can keep! Not across still dark-water, so deep.
To be under canvas up so high, looking down with all-seeing eye, Over the happening town, watching, waiting, procrastinating.
Mountainous evening gadabout, or holiday trip hereabout, Yet neither account is practicable, comfortable, or reasonable.
With self-admonition and isolation, up cerebral hill and valley location, Offset planted mind above matter, away from reality and chatter, Reclining in a doubting position, of unfocused intention, Left to my own devices, deeper become peaks and crevices. Do they see me? They don't care! I'm better alone here than down there!
We have travelled quite a bit and one thing we did whenever we were leaving anywhere was go on the last night and stand together and say outloud. We'll remember this. It does help to fix it in your mind for later
Fixing the spot
I had to come one time again to this place I know To watch the wavelets whispering on the beach below I had to watch the sparkles, scattered by the sun. The dunes, the strand, the meadow, the places we have run. I had to walk in silence along the tide damp sand To feel again the memory, the shadow of your hand. I had to see the seagulls, wheeling in the sky, To hear the children’s laughter at the park as I passed by. Tomorrow we are going, leaving this behind And I had to make this imprint, embed it on my mind For though there are adventures waiting for us yet I always will remember the special place we met.