I Sing Of Bricks
A Scottish Patchwork Poem for National Poetry Day 2010
Sometimes, when a person asks my place of birth,
I’m looking at my watch, planning my exit
with every beat in my step,
just waiting for the right time,
until eventually it’s now, and here I am again,
where love lies, where I feel safe,
a building where I explore within myself,
created out of homelessness.
A place to go when I need to rest my head,
where my dreams float,
my happiness glows like an ember,
my door at the twist of its key falls open.
Tonight the wind gnaws and stabs with icy daggers,
grinding us the same relentless grey.
The wardrobe yawns shut, the blinds droop heavy lids.
You’re behind me in the room, busy with music,
a masterpiece waiting to be born,
the melody in a score. You linger in backgrounds,
happy, mostly; open, always,
your voice merry at the necessity of sheltering.
Sometimes, in the corner of my eye, I see it, still,
a cupboard under the stairs and one locked drawer,
an alchemy of yellowed photographs, family in a freckled time-lapse,
the room that came alive when a coal fire was lit,
a glowing oil lamp, a warming hearth, a spacious kitchen,
a spoon that pirouettes gracefully across a non-stick dance floor.
Bath, bubbles, book and a glass of wine,
the night our skins finally touched
where hats were laid on grandma’s feather mattress,
my love’s hands, cool as wood.
A snapshot of paradise,
the tree of life, embroidered by me,
a discovery, whose beauty is ingrained forever
and, through its grace, I am welcomed home
My thoughts now shape what once shaped me,
fingers pointing to the coming, the going,
the all-embracing hug of it, the lights-down-low relax of it,
such beauty by day and peace by night.
It remains elusive as a falling star,
defiant as weeds between the paving.
Here I’ve bidden, aa these years
I will never be here bodily again.
The van? Packed. The house? Empty,
but if you return you’ve never left.
This poem was created by taking a single line from contributions by the following writers :-
Hazel Buchan Cameron
Alissa Jones Nelson
Wendy Jane Muzlanova
Elizabeth F Sinclair
Poem collated by Andy Jackson