Friday, May 14, 2010

The Poetry Bus Dishes a Magpie

I decided to combine the two prompts again this week – I just couldn't resist because they immediately seemed to be quite related in my mind. Barbara from Barbara's Bleeuugh! Is driving the poetry bus this week & has told each of us to start our poems with the same phrase. I can't wait to see what all the other bus riders do with it! Here's my take.

I got down on my knees and smelled the new linoleum.
Its scent is un weary and miles away from the tension in the air.
I appreciate its blue & white pattern and unmarred surface briefly
before I sweep the shards into the bin, before I sink into that chair.

What are these shards, exactly? I peer into their jumble
as if to read the leaves or perhaps only to read your mind.
Blue & white, they match the floor and I wonder if I got them
all or if I left a jagged edge for an unsuspecting foot to find.

Is it cruel to wish it were your foot, the flinger of innocent dishware?
The linoleum isn't weary, but I am weary of this battle waged
in a pretty kitchen with heirloom china and heirloom tempers –
And no, don't smile at me – my fury will not be assuaged

by love and laughter and sorry and I'll get the vacuum.
Or maybe it will – I hate to vacuum and love watching the bent
arm of my lover cleaning the anger from the new linoleum,
now baptized with fire and impulse and the heat of the moment.

To participate in Magpie Tales, or to read other entries (you won't be sorry!), just click here.


  1. with heirloom china and heirloom tempers...great much is broken when we give in to anger...great magpie!

  2. The correlation between the raw emotion and the "jagged edge" really is wonderful. Beautifully written.

  3. Dear The Bug,
    Yes indeed this works. I am with Brian on the heirloom. What a great word choice.

    you've also done a sneaky job of getting people into thinking about a bad situation, i.e. the domestic disturbance. No preaching required.

    Excellent, excellent,
    Ann T.

  4. " the anger from the linoleum." is such a great line. I love it.

  5. Gosh, "heirloom temper" is brilliant, Bug. This is very different from your usual style and I LIKE!!

  6. Oh ... those jagged edges we tend to leave behind ... great Magpie!

  7. An amazing interpretation and words that leave me wanting.
    Some truely magnificent lines of contrast. And a pretty plate with star crossed lovers becomes such a battle and waiting for a lovers arm to clean.

  8. What a good one. It starts off simple and then gets emotionally complicated, which I like. Shades of grey.

  9. Amazing ... you brought back the scent of linoleum!! this was precious .... you found the perfect words!!!

  10. I'm with the "in a pretty kitchen with heirloom china and heirloom tempers" crowd too - beautifully structured poem.

  11. 'cleaning the anger from the new linoleum,
    now baptized with fire' - excellent imagery.

  12. I love the baptism by fire metaphor in the last stanza. Excellent writing. You engaged reader me.

  13. oh yes the anger from the linoleum.

  14. Like Barry, I love the line
    " the anger from the linoleum."

    It says it just right. I enjoyed this.

  15. This was quite nice
    and a very good take on the phot
    intereting and image filled poem

  16. A powerful emotive piece -- well done!


  17. A very interesting and evocative read, I'd say I'll have to return and reread again!!

  18. Baptising the linoleum with fire is a great image. Domestic strife very well poeticised.

  19. "don't smile at me – my fury will not be assuaged"

    I have a poem called, "Intactile" that says almost the exact thing.

    You did a great job of blending the two tasks seamlessly. I really liked the use of the broken plate and the "is it cruel...?" line.

    Well done!


  20. Wow, dear. This is a wonderful work. Raw and controlled too. You're a fine poet.

  21. Really like that final verse - the bent arm of my lover cleaning the anger from the new linoleum.
    Perfectly put.

  22. Walk away from shards...once is too much..very good poetry and hopefully no more jagged edges..

  23. Funny, I've just come from Bill's Bug's Eye View.

    I liked this as soon as I got to the unweary scent and the tension in the air. And "heirloom tempers" is brilliant, and the final five lines take it to another level again. Really enjoyed this one, bravo!

  24. the parallel of the broken dish and the breaking 'heirloom tempers,' was really a strong image. Great Magpie!

  25. I love the idea of heirloom tempers.. and the image of the bent arm of a lover cleaning away the remains of ire.. beautiful bit of writing :-)

  26. Willow, I love the last line!
    This reminds me of a friend who moved into an old home, and every time he dug into the garden, he'd run into pieces of blue willow china.

  27. Vivid writing all the way through. And isn't it great when a man likes to vacuum?

  28. Great work, haven't we all witnessed the scene? I loved the baptism of fire and ..'with heirloom china and heirloom tempers'


  29. heirloom tempers indeed! I like the way you combined the two projects. Wonderful!


Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear what you have to say!

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