Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I'll keep the rock of anger that you threw at me, although
it's in the way and ugly now, and I'm still stubbing my toe
and grazing my skin on its hard weight and rough edges.

I'll put it on the shore here and let these waves
wash over it, rubbing in salt and grit, until it turns
to a smooth and lovely pebble of bitterness, just
the size of a thumbstone perhaps, to carry about
in my pocket and touch now and then,
or put aside on the shelf and look at rarely.

Or maybe it will hollow down to form
a neat polished bowl, which I can hold
in my cupped hands, small and irregular,
but still quite suitable to contain
things best served cold.


Rosie said...

was it something I said?

Lucy said...

Heheh, that's what poor old Tom said! Answer's no in both cases.

Barrett Bonden said...

Normally I'd talk about scansion 'n' metre 'n' compression 'n' imagery but all those things go straight to the backburner and I have to know (though I'm not entitled and something tells me I'll never get the answer) who it is you've got targeted, in your Palin gunsights, for revenge.

Also, how long has the "smooth and lovely pebble of bitterness" being going on? It's no use Lucy, you haven't written a poem you've half-drawn a curtain.

Fire Bird said...


Lucy said...

BB dear, now there's no reason it has necessarily to be directed at anyone, is there? Unlike you, I am incapable of creating fiction in any sustained way, so writing poems is the only opportunity I have to inhabit states of mind and personality which are perhaps not safe or possible in real life. The 'you', (the second person blogular, I've heard it called) of this kind of writing, be they love object or hate object, doesn't necessarily have to be altogether real of specific either.

Having said that, note the weasel words '[not] necessarily'. But be assured, none of my nearest and dearest, or anyone who reads here, to my knowledge, is the target. Neither do I harbour many gallstones! But not for nothing is the cliche protestation '...but I'm not bitter', an ironic joke. I reckon most of us carry a few well smoothed over bits of rancour about our person.

Look at it perhaps as a cautionary tale; lobbing anger at someone may get it out of your system, but it puts it into theirs, likely in a far more obdurate form, which may well rebound on you. Story of the world really, from which, try as I might, I cannot remove myself.

FB - thanks. And I do recall what you said, that it only works in fantasies. Call it a fantasy.

Plutarch said...

You could be describing an object in Neil MacGregor's History of the World in 100 Object. The last four lines are memorable for their precision and their irony. I like them very much and believe in the possibilty of this bowl, more even than a real bowl in the British Museum. But bitterness and revenge? I have detected neither in Box Elder to date. Is there a poem tucked away somewhere to explain their roots, unreal or unspecific though they may be? .

herhimnbryn said...

Oh, I like this! Now, I am going to take my 'pebble' out of my pocket and hide it on the bookcase.

Anne said...

Yes, yes. So satisfying.

Barrett Bonden said...

But have you got an unshakeable alibi?

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent - as much as anything else I like the shape of this poem,

Dale said...

Oh, that's excellent! I'm not surprised that people wanted to make sure they're not the antecedent of this particular pronoun :-)

christopher said...

Bitter Display

The beauty of the game
is when you can't tell me off
without making him
nervous alongside
and she pipes up, is it me?
and all the rest nod
in time, in tune, nod
and open up rich red wounds
no longer hidden.

I didn't mean to.
I'm an innocent fellow,
so sorry, so sad.

Lucy said...

Thanks again.

Problem with revenge is, you can end up cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or else letting'em off the hook. The cross-fire and fall-out can hurt others, including one's self, more than the intended object. We'll see. Dwelling on and enumerating the particulars would be petty.

CGP - thanks, I was hoping someone might notice that!

Christopher - bloody hell, that's a bit close for comfort... I consider myself topped!

christopher said...

Did not mean to top you darlin'. I thought I was dancing with you. You know how second thoughts work...they are actually useless, far too late.

Lucy said...

No, really, I'm dancing! Thanks dear one!

marlyat2 said...

Clever proverbial closure. Like the thumbstone too!

Comments: interesting how people no longer link the idea of poetry with the idea of making things up. So naturally people are alarmed--whether truly or in play.

We need to jettison that particular historical shift brought to us by those children of the Modernists, the confessional poets. Making it up is so joyful!

christopher said...

Boy do I ever second marlyat2. I make this stuff up all the time. Of course I draw on my own experience all the time too. So it is difficult, no? People are far better off to assume poetry is fiction in my case. Or else not. But then I am both far darker and brighter and smarter and dumber and foolish and wise than I am, ever in my waking life. I can think up impossible things. My latest post reprises a conversation I once had with Kipling. :D

Dick said...

I love the way you sustain the metaphor throughout and gradually bear down on that killer last line.