THE RETURN OF DUM MAARO DUM
( for Driftwood )

She dances
upon her tippy toes

upon my toes
whirling 'bout the room

to DUM MAARO DUM
she my little Bollywood queen.

"Again...again....again!" she squeals
mad with childish delight.

Asha sings to us
and we...dance!

Sunlight throws itself
at our feet.

We dance upon it.

Summer gasps
holds its breath.

There is nothing but
the music....and us!

She is all
of three

screaming: "Bollywood me...Bollywood me!"

"This...won't....get the dinner done!"
screams Mum above the fun.

The record screeches
and scratches ...ouch...off!

I cut cucumbers
into tiny tiny pieces.

Tilly washes spinach and lettuce.

But when Mum
goes to answer the phone

it's her best chum
she will be hours

we sneak Asha
back into the kitchen.

The return of. . .

"Dum maaro dum
Mit jaaye gham
Bolo subaha shaam
Hare Krishna hare Krishna hare Krishna Hare Ram!"
Such a superb composition by RD Burman. Asha Boshle voice that perfect creature that it is and matched to Zeenat Aman. Back then we had no idea what it was about only that big father and little daughter couldn't help but compulsively dance anytime the song came on...it was such a joy and we never tired of it.

Piya Tu Ab To Aaja (Monica, Oh My Darling!) was another favourite with all that sung panting and the call of Monica, Oh my Darling! We couldn't get enough of it.
WALKING AWAY

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

Who Shall Deliver Me? - Christina Rossetti




I wander through
the landscape

of my so called self
my life left upon a shelf.

The world locked out
my self locked in.

How do I begin
to construct a human being

from this nothingness
I am.

Only my name remains
the same.

My baby throws
her rattle from the pram

talks to me in a language
I can not understand.

"ma...Ma. . .MA
MAM!"

I know how she feels
I too want my Mam.

I clutch my child
tightly 'til she squeals

laughs...then..wails
screams.

I tell myself my name
to convince me who I am.

Pirandello falls upon the ground
the wind speed reading its pages.

A dog wants me
to throw a stick.

I give it a kick.
Walk away.

The baby's crying
getting farther

and farther
away.
Who Shall Deliver Me?

*** strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out,
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!

*** harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease, and rest, and joys:

Myself, arch-traitor to myself;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me,
Break off the yoke and set me free.

—Christina Rossetti

***

Engaging and entertaining with enthusiastic jumping off points from Rossetti's life and texts that transported us from poem to poem and finally into a poem of our own. A totally enjoyable experience with Tamar encouraging us to see Rossetti in a new light & as a catalyst for us.

The workshop was wonderful...rich in writing and ideas as Tamar lead us through the Rossetti mind and times. Thoroughly enjoyed Tamar's teaching as she got us to press our own buttons and lead us into words  that wanted to be poems. Indeed the poems that came up were powerful and of such a high standard. It was a great delight to see them come into being..I was so impressed by the level achieved. The other people in the class were fantastic and their poems are still walking about in my head many hours later. Such a relaxed group with everyone eager to participate and make interesting and helpful comments and insights. The surroundings of course were wonderful just to be in. Tamar's deft and subtle teaching stitching us all together in a wonderful patchwork quilt of bright ideas.

And then there was of course  the Christina Rossetti exhibition itself.

Watts Gallery - Artists' Village casts its magic spell on all who come there and used it as a creative space.

This was my attempt at the day inspired by seeing the epigram writ large as one came into the exhibition.
DEAREST DIARY

Every year
she asks for

a diary
always a different colour

'86  - pale pink
'87  - saffron

etc., etc., etc.

They line her shelves
in full view

a rainbow
of years gone by

"...they just flew..."

I admit I could never
keep a diary.

"Me too!"
she smiles.

"But what of these?"

"What of 'em!"
she girns

"Look...empty as
empty!"

I take down '86
and it's..true!

Blank as blank
could be.

"I like to read 'em
every now and then

pitt myself
against the date

talk to
the page

see what
it provokes

evoke the day
whatever a past it may be

for whatever
year.

Each diary doused
in a different perfume

'86
Chanel No. 5

the scent unleashing the what was
conjuring up the what was once.

One dog-eared day
in 1990

a blue year
4711 Eau de Cologne

the only mark
in all the days.

"Oh that was when Dillie died!
She was such a loving cat!"

Now that she has died
-July 3rd -

the empty diaries
are thrown out

all the invisible thoughts
falling out

date by date
by date.
THE ME I AM

I laugh
with a dead man’s laugh

(a man I never knew)  

my grandfather’s laughter

flowering like Springtime

blossoming in my mouth

not listening to the years.

Time joins the dots.
Painting by Numbers.

I see
with my mother’s eyes

the world
stealing into my mind

become music

anything it
chooses.

Time joins the dots.
Painting by numbers.

This gesture
is my big sisters

gathering me
up into her

nearness

tenderness.

Time joins the dots.
Painting by Numbers.

My father’s love
beats in my heart

sings in everything
it touches

amuses

me to see

how I

am

all those others
as well as me.

Time joins
the dots.

Painting by Numbers.
Two childish things to do back in the early days of the 60's so they tie into the memories ...painting by nos. I wanted to represent the traits and characteristics of people who I knew in my time...7 say would always be blue and something June would do, Join the dots was for people I didn't meet like my father's Da who was merely a story or certain tellings and re-tellings..."the slight disconnect" of a history I could never know except through my father's memory and being told "he laughed just like you."
!WAKEY WAKEY!
( for Maureen )

Every morning I
delighted in her

jumping into her skin
eager to begin

being her
all over again.

New to her self
as if she had only been

minted that very minute
her own self invented.

Touching the world
with here sense of self

chasing after dust motes
trying to clutch sunlight

creeping up on a honeysuckle's
scent

snatching at music
in the air

begging the world
to come out to play.
NOBODY HOME. . .


I'm afraid I
am not

myself
today.

I'm
someone else

entirely
a stranger unknown to me.

My reflection
steps out of the mirror.

"Well, there you are..."
it grins

"...in you go!"

The mirror
closes behind me.

A world of glass
freckled with time.

My shadow
abandons me.

Now that it has become
a person

in its own right
struts about

on the sunny side of the street
pretends not to know me when we meet.

Even my imaginary friend
refuses to talk me

acts as if
I don't exist.
"...IN THE DEPTHS OF ETERNITY..."

the sea was trees
as if trees had awoken
from a dream that they were sea

great waves of trees
rose up...rose up
like forests walking

they the sea trees
"thousands deep on every hand"
the poet holding them in his mind

the clouds too
were a sea in storm
the moon drowned

Edward Thomas
H.D. and me
trying to contain the sea

in words
ha ha
mere words
***

Hilda Doolittle's fabulous OREAD much much loved by me from childhood...I have often quoted it to the sea itself in Malta or Ireland in an attempt the calm the frightened sea...it usually succeeded and just as usually did not! Some seas were pleased to hear the poem...others wanted to maintain their mystery.

The title  and quote comes from letters by Edward Thomas in THE ANNOTATED COLLECTED POEMS.

"I fell into a deep sleep; and in my sleep I had a dream...a great forest hung round about. The might of its infinite silence and repose, indeed, never ceased to weigh upon me in my dream. I could hear sounds: they were leagues away. The trees...must be thousands deep on every hand."

Edward Thomas

OREAD

by  H. D.

Whirl up, sea—
whirl your pointed pines,
splash your great pines
on our rocks,
hurl your green over us,
cover us with your pools of fir.
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