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Poetry Magnum Opus

snow globe


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The cloud turbaned moon winds away, twilight's broom sweeps dreams away, the day unravels like a bandage, my eyes are like broken umbrellas as I try to open them the morning after my eightieth birthday. The bedroom window has cataracts or it might be the frost, I see a magpie moving through the garden with snow on his back, he does not wait for my offering, I only have my deceased wife’s pearls and a wedding ring, I wonder if the magpie can detect the trajectory of time's arrow take a gold band and let it pass through.

I was a train driver for forty years, time and journeys were linear, my memory is not as clear as it used to be-the streets are now like untied shoelaces. I dream about places my day-time memory will not take me too. I have difficulty traveling which is why the arrival of different nationalities in Hull is so positive; they arrived like the magi bringing culture and a different perspective. Hull is a snow globe that needs shaking constantly, finding this unique town is like finding the last ship in a bottle in a ship of bottles.

I always find my way to this special place, the morning sky is primed for Pearson parks rapturous eye, streaming bands of scarlet that satisfy the senses. Over a lifetime the park has been a co-author providing a narrative. A new dynamic narrative has been cast out of the confluence of locals and different nationalities. The pigeons of Pearson Park always return to the same tree, perhaps they are acting as a monocle. There are some trees the birds will not return too, one memory comes back to me-the time I used to keep pigeons of my own, I would hear my wife talking in the loft to people who had passed away, people I had never met, she would deny doing this until she too passed away.

The magpie arrives attacking the wind chimes outside the bedroom window, but the sounds seem to pacify him, I wonder if the foreign and local winds intermingled they would make the chimes sing with a singular sweetness. Time is now far more tangible in dreams, trying to make the past coherent is like trying to unpeel a tangerine. I had a dream last night in which I was a magician sawing myself in half, I could not remember how to put myself back together until someone drilled a hole in the theater ceiling letting the stars burn through.

Hull's singular appeal is subtle, this town does not surrender it's sensuality easily-it is like holding a shell listening and hearing nothing, the listener has to return several times before receiving the shells insidious sounds. The Humber bridge and the deep are a pair of interchangeable ear-rings attracting attention from both north and south.

The magpie has left two feathers of black and white next to the snowman in the ten-foot my grandchildren built, over the next few days I dream about past events in black and white but I can recall them with brilliant clarity. In the last dream I have this week the snowman tells me he is looking forward to summer before whispering Hull is where the heart is.
I told the grandchildren their grandmother is scattering snow from the heavens, she might have a snow-globe, I cannot make the children understand why snow has to melt.

I hear the wind against the window during the night, it might be my lovely wife trapped inside a snow-globe tapping at the glass. the magpie dismantles a nest through the night scattering twigs. I can hear the faint clank of angelic unrest as they strip a particular track; this train has one destination left.

The morning light arrives touching my eyes like a needle on a record. I dream about my grandchildren having long and fruitful lives through contact with different nationalities. I actually remember to shave this morning shaving myself clean of yesterday's memories; the low hum of the electric shaver reminds me of the air raids during the war, bristles fall like bombs. The grandchildren arrive with a gift, a snow globe containing a snowman and an old lady.

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I applaud your loyal and detailed prose and I like the snow-globe theme. It's never easy to introduce suitable poetic imagery into meaningful lengthy pieces like this; so I sincerely hope that you'll reconsider the word "twilight" e.g. in your opening sentence. It seems somewhat out of context with the subsequent excellent text (for me that is... it conjures up 19th century music hall lyrics). Hull is a modern city: of grit, commerce, "The Deep" and enlightenment, a major gateway for European trade. Though to some outsiders it perhaps remains a psychological, if not geographical appendix sac, that is overlooked unfairly in mentions of our other major cities. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. G.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, Barry. I, too, enjoyed this well-composed work that stays on point. It's hard for me to believe you're in your eighties, and if this isn't autobiographical, it's unbelievably imaginative.



Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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