Sadayo wrote about a place in Japan called Tone that was flooded half a century ago. She talks about ‘water loving irises’ planted on the swamp and which flower in June. Since the flooding, the locals have managed to live with the ‘changing landscape’, and now:
They cellabrate with lantern lit punts
Navigating through the water
Among the yellow and purple flags
With visitors onboard
[and now] they call the place the Floating Land.
Always a nose ahead
With a grille smirking
Like a row of metal teeth.
At the end of the poems, she wryly comments: ‘sometimes size is important.’
Another interesting poem, which Tina wrote was called Riverbank. The poem deals with somebody taking an overdose of tablets on the riverbank – meanwhile, the emergency forces are trying to get down there to save the person’s life. In the last stanza, she says sadly:
And when you fell silent,
And I questioned the “reasonable force”
I had to turn my back
Wishing that I could get away too.
Only Word Distillery poet, Nigel, could fit the word Welwitschias into a poem! The word, in case you’re wondering is the ‘official’ ugliest flower in the world!!! Well, you learn something new everyday. I’ll quote the offending couplets, which are rather graphic and powerful depictions of his talents:
They are grisly welwitschias from a desert
Fanned inside out like bomb blast victims,
or giant flesh-rot stinking Corpse Flowers
the seed of their virtuosity forming within.
Marc wrote a touching poem about his father – the ‘reluctant gardener.’ The poem is told from a sequence of memories, which are triggered by his father's old watch. To quote Marc:
Hillaire’s poem: Bearings was a powerful rendition of Celtic femininity and strength, with strong images of wintry landscapes to reinforce the mood. She says:
A whitened room is a balm to pain.
The lake is icy, its face is grey;
seldom heard is the sound of footfalls;
sleep like snow comforts the mind.
The sleeping hawk has no easy task,
A sleeping land protects its prey.
The narrator tells us that she prowls her land, protecting her domain like a sacred huntress, though as the refrain states powerfully:
‘a woman’s strength is not in her arms.’
The hotel grid dissects grey peoples buildings,
… pipe arteries hum…
[where the foreign receptionists are] polite, quick, connecting, not noticing.
… black lines hurry, each person a function…
clothed in symbols, saying nothing speaking volumes.
Hey, it just reminds me of my sonnet about a colony of Silver Sahara Ants – Cataglyphis. Yep, that’s the London we love (to hate): the soulless capital of England and all that she stands for, God Bless her!