Skip to main content

Blow

the silence of rain
through double-glazing
the tick of a clock

‘It doesn’t matter anymore,’ he says with his back to me.

He was looking out of the bay window when I got out of the car and waved and I thought he hadn’t seen me. ‘Dad, I thought about calling you back,’ I say, ‘but it was late when I got in and I didn’t want to wake you.’

He parts the net curtain as if something in the street has caught his attention.

‘Look, I’m sorry. If I’d known it was such a big thing I would have called.’

He turns round at this. ‘A big thing? I’m not “a big thing”…’ and his voice breaks.

When did my dad get so old? He walks in small tight steps, wears two cardigans to keep warm. He calls me if his newspaper is late.

I walk over to him and put my arm around his shoulders. ‘Dad, c’mon,’ I say, ‘you know I love you. You know that.’ He trembles like a child caught in the rain.

When I was little he always had a hankie for me. He’d press the smooth cotton to my nose and say, ‘Blow’. I search in my bag and hand him what he needs for now.

dad’s slippers
shuffle along the path
windfalls

Blue Tattoo November 2007

Popular posts from this blog

haiku: a poetry of absence or an absence of poetry?

The following paper was presented at the PALA (Poetics and Linguistics Association) 2015 Conference at Canterbury University, Kent, UK on 16th July 2015. 
Abstract: HAIKU: A POETRY OF ABSENCE OR AN ABSENCE OF POETRY? Minimalism in Contemporary English Language Haiku
The popular perception of haiku as three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables persists in the mainstream poetry world and beyond as if nothing has changed since the first Western translators counted the onji, or sounds, in traditional Japanese haiku and created that misconstrued but enduring template fleshy enough to support a traditional English syntax.
And while putting flesh on bones might be a useful metaphor for the construction of formal and free verse, contemporary English language haiku practice is often more akin to the trimming and polishing of bones to create a form where point of view, adjectives and even verbs may be dispensed with entirely. 
This 30 minute presentation will analyse examples of minimal, micro and monostich…

haiku commentary ~ Annette Makino

Sometimes life and poetry intersect naturally. I had a brutal wardrobe clear-out yesterday, as witnessed by the pile of clothes hangers in the centre of the bed and a bulging large carrier bag destined for the charity shop.  And then, through one of those random extended internet excavations, I came across this haiku by Annette Makino, published by tinywords a few years ago which I'd commented on briefly. 

hanging in my closet the person I used to be

Reading it again still elicited a similar variety of responses: laughter, recognition, resignation and sadness. And this time part of ‘the person I used to be’ was neatly folded at my feet! 
Most of us keep clothes that no longer fit us, or suit us. I still have an ostentatious, ostrich feather bolero that I bought in the early 1980s and will never wear again but hold onto from a sense of nostalgia. But the haiku also propels me towards imagining clothes that belonged to someone else, a husband, wife or partner who may have left, or died…
sunset fishing the flood tide catching the light

tinywords 10 January 2018