Sunday, July 22, 2007


So, today, when I was preparing to update, I dutifully whipped out my little haiku pad. Imagine my shock and horror when I found that there were only three haiku in it! Three! For an entire week! Then I realized that this was not the case. One of them was from two weeks ago.

Woe! What's a poet to do?

I suppose I shall have to go off into the wilds of Modern Poetry Land and see what strange fantastic beast I encounter. If what I'm plotting in my head makes its way down to paper, some of the imagery will have come from the shed at Tanglewood and the Choat's house at Naumkeag.

The haiku:

through the summer window,
the sound of rain
she snores
in time with
the orchestra

Crazy modern stream-of-consciousness prose-poem!

Mood lighting. The paneled ceiling catches it, reflects it, intensifies it. It draws attention. Not screaming, as a brass fanfare, but quiet, seductive. It has all the secrets in the world, if you will just take a moment to look. But the stage is empty. A performance is a bout to begin. Or has it just ended? In the mind, figures dance across it, playing rolls. Acting.

Everyone acts. Even those who despise the Bard, even those who would never pick up a script. We all act. Acting is just lying without words. We turn a face to the world that is happy, serene, okay with everything. It doesn't matter what's inside. We may be crying, bleeding, to ourselves in the dark, but we'll still pretend to the world that we're happy. Acting. In some ways, you may become who you act, but only a part of you, a part that will war with other parts until the pain is too much and the mask falls off completely, allowing a brief window into who we really are. Acting.

An old house, standing on ancient grounds. The rich, the wealthy. This was their home. A guided tour. This, the dining room, set for an elaborate dessert. This the study, where Mister rich-and-famous himself would come to get away from the family. The butler worked here, the maids, there.

You can see them, if you look hard enough. They're still there. Imagine...The old lady, sitting in that chair--that chair!--reading to her two youngest grandchildren, who crouched there and there--those two spots on the carpet--that carpet!-- on either side of the chair--that chair!. Picture them! Sitting there. Nineteen fifty-seven: The president visiting. Not some idealized portrait, sitting on the wall in the social studies classroom, but a real man. A real man, about yea high, who stood in this very hall, perhaps even where you are standing now. Just that. An important man, but nothing more than a man. Just as frail and fragile as you or I.

The clock in the room ticks. An old grandfather clock, taller than the old lady who sits in a nearby chair. Bedecked in black, the picture of Victorian mourning. The clock doesn't know that someone just died. I just tells time. The endless well-wishers, the doctors, the nurses, shuffling about. They didn't notice the clock, and it didn't notice them.

The room is finally empty, save the old lady, finally left alone with her own grief. Tension leaves it, and it sags, no longer high-strung. She sags, tired of holding here ageing frame erect. Does she cry? Is she stolid, too wrapped up in other things to care for the passing of one so dear? Is the stage set for some eerie modern drama, a confrontation with more unsaid than scripted? Everything waits. It stands on the point of a pin, perfectly balanced, as we slowly fade to grey.

1 comment:

Shayna said...

hey, it's shayna. megly just showed me your blog and your writing is really amazing. i just read the most recent few posts, but i'll definitely be back!