Maureen

Maureen


They came upon her at a corner table

And she, drinking hot coffee and looking at the rain.

The rain swirling at the edge of the doorway

Sent a lone leaf to reconnoitre entry.

Wet tiles. And the warmth within barred it admission.

They stood there in their dripping coats and shook

Themselves and their damp hats at her.



I sat beside her in the public gardens

And she told me of her loves;

Gazing afar off and turning a golden rose

Between her fingers. The bridge and

The old houses clinging to the hill.


A watery place, half golden in its memory.

And the span of steel caught in majestic glory

In her mind. Turning in her mind, a knife.

And then we walked beside the river and the ancient

Stone withstood the waves.


Winter came upon us

On a summer’s afternoon. And sent its memories of rain.

Drip! And over the stone it ran in milky lines;

And in bold relief against the ashen sky,

A seagull hanging there and the waves beneath it.


Palms sweeping the sand at their feet.

Clean and clean. Drip! And the sky held back

Its feeling from us and sent short breaths

To show that life still was. Drip!

And she; gazing past me and turning a golden rose in her fingers.

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Comments 55 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Wow!

Mysterious and beautiful.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Will. From a wordsmith such as your good self, a double thank you. I have been thinking all day about that book of short stories that you are going to bring out. It is a book, isn't it? I am a bit of a Luddite and don't like the idea of not holding a book in my hand.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Ian..simply beautiful! One of those precious memories? I just love the way you are able to put words down in such a mystical and beautiful way.

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for coming to read it, Sunnie. It's half past two, and I just thought that I would wait up for a little bit of feedback, and now you and Will have given me cause to go to bed and sleep well.

Please tell me; did your lovely mother get emotional when she read your hub. I think that was so precious, and I can imagine her being overwhelmed. And I am sure she would love the comments everyone has made, too.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Ian, one of the things I love about your poetry is it helps me feel like I did when I first discovered literature. At times in my life, I've felt so excited about the possibilities of language. Thanks for reminding me of that.


queenpoetica profile image

queenpoetica 5 years ago from England

You have some lovely lines in this piece that capture a moment and give it atmosphere. Quite subtle understated lines such as

The rain swirling at the edge of the doorway

and

Winter came upon us

On a summer’s afternoon. And sent its memories of rain.

I think that when poems carry atmosphere, they become more real to the reader and help your audience place themselves in your writing. I think you've done this well. But then I am a person who loves using the seasons and weather in a poem.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

What a great comment, Shogan. (I nearly always start to use you first name, but wonder if I should). I really feel vindicated, happy, worthwhile, all the things that make my writing life really satisfying.

Thank you, I appreciate that... and I appreciate that you have waited so patiently for an explanation of that "situation" I will write it out today or tomorrow, and you will see why I couldn't use it... and bugger me (as they say) it would make the basis for a good Novelette. But a lot of my life is!!!

Ian


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dear Ma'am (that is the correct form of address for the Queen, I believe. Thank you for your comments.. I like atmosphere also, as you have mentioned. I'm also a "texture" man.

Maybe, as with you, there's a little recorder inside, which takes a picture or feeling and it stays in the memory banks, fresh and almost palpable. Then when we want to, we can take them out, and they are as fresh as the day they appeared before us.

Thanks for visiting, Ma'am.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

This was a sensual delight! Thank you TL. I loved the turning of the golden rose in her fingers.... so meloncholy.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I am always thrilled (yes, thrilled) when I read your comments; you never fail to choose the bits I like best, and to get the absolutely exact feelings I get out of my stuff.


Truckstop Sally profile image

Truckstop Sally 5 years ago

Loved your poem, and the pictures were wonderful too.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Ian, I appreciate your discretion...thank you for that. As for the e-mail, I look forward to hearing from you when you're ready.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

In short poetic stanzas you conjure up images in my mind that make reading your beautiful writing all the more worthwhile.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks Sally. It was quite a lovely journey for me; back into another time. I appreciate your visit. You know you are always welcome. Thanks again.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Hi Shogan, I sent the e-mail this afternoon. Sorry if it's a trifle long, but you will see why it is such a tangled skein of a story, that it would be best to leave sleeping dogs to lie... (I'm sure I got that wrong, but you know what I mean).


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

TKI, I have read your comment several times, and each time it makes me think that I must constantly strive to do my best by you. I would hate to imagine that you found my writing wanting.

Thank you. You make me feel great.

Ian


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Ian,

She sure did! You made her day! She actually blushed and she said she cried when she read it..Thank you for making us both feel special. Have a restful night. Again beautiful poem.

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm going to bed now, you sleep well when you do.

Good night and God bless you.

Ian


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I read your poem yesterday, Ian, and the only place it took me was a poem by Alexander Blok "Unknown Woman". To say why... I don't know - maybe it is my block. I read also on how to write critiques and reviews and it turned out to be the most difficult genre of all.

"...[critics] will discern more symbolism in Ibsen than Ibsen thought of." (Willaim Zinsser)

My fear is precisely that - I read what I see and what echoes in my heart and soul and not what you wrote about. In short we all tend to see endless reflections of ourselves, distorted images...

Rain, woman, love, tragedy (for to experience winter in summer)... That is poetry - swirling feelings, where everyone stands on his own...

Your poem is beautiful and sad, maybe it is I who is too sad, I have difficulty saying who and what is sadder today.

*********************************************************

And each night at a certain hour

(Or am I only dreaming it?),

A girl’s figure, swathed in silk,

Moves across the misty window.

[...]

Deep secrets are entrusted to me,

Someone’s sun is in my care,

And at every turn, astringent wine

Pierces my soul.

And drooping ostrich plumes

Waver in my brain,

And fathomless blue eyes

Bloom on the distant shore.

A treasure lies in my soul,

And the key belongs to me alone!

You are correct, you drunken fiend!

I know it: wine brings truth.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for your comments, and your critique. I, personally, find it very difficult to analyse the work of others, and I love your quote: "...[critics] will discern more symbolism in Ibsen than Ibsen thought of."

That is so true. Sometimes I write some words that fit together nicely and have a nice effect, and someone comes along and says, "It's quite obvious that the poet thought blah blah blah" and I think: "Did I?"


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I agree it is hard to know what an author thought of, especially a poet.

When I was little my mother used to read me oriental poetry, I don't remember the names, it was all about gardens, flowers, birds... Even then I kept asking her - "Are you sure you know what it is about?" She thought it was about gardens, flowers, birds... But it was not. It was all code for human drama.

There was one funny story about a dying writer and his final words were "Open the window!" - the reviews and interpretations were numerous and none included that maybe, just maybe - he needed some fresh air. It was all about symbolism, allusions, allegories...

Since most poetry is about feelings only the author can know what made him feel and write the way he felt and wrote. I sometimes even don't know. Some music can make me cry today, but not tomorrow.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

That tale about the writer asking them to open the window made me laugh. it;s true,; some people see so much symbolism in things and I, poor little pedestrian Ian, sees the simplicity of insects and rain storms... Not always, but frequently. And I am surprised when people tell me that what I really meant was, "Blah blah blah " and I thought I had meant something far less . I just love textures and colours and light.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Ian, I just wanted to let you know that I haven't received any e-mail. Did you use the address I sent you?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Shogan, yes, I did. I copied and pasted I shall try again... NOW


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Perhaps I read too much, or too little into poems myself most of the time. I rarely seem to have a clue what anybody was writing about when they put something out for others to read. I honestly thought this one sounded like the memories were sad that were being remembered and shared. I think those thoughts were conveyed to me through the lines about Winter coming upon us on a summer day, sounds like coldness and sadness creeping in to me. Also the line about it turning a knife in her mind...sounds like her thoughts were sharp and sad. Perhaps that is just me. But whatever was meant by it, it was well written, and thought provoking...which means it's good in my book! xo


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Of course you understood the meaning of the poem, Angie. The whole thing is melancholic. I have never known you not to get right through to the soul of what I write. That's why I look for your comments and share my writing with you so willingly. I also know that you are always going to be honest, and tell me is I fall short.

Missed you, Angie!

x


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Reading this poem I thought, "Well, I have known days like that. I know what that feels like." Her name wasn't Maureen, but that's just a detail!

Rain and the sea often make me feel like that - and I'm not always too sure if the rain is outside or inside of me. And the cup of coffee is both pointless and all there is.

Thanks for evoking much feeling and thought.

Love and peace

Tony


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Tony, for dropping by and immersing yourself in my words. I am happier for that.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

You must have worked out by now that this type of wordplay is one asset that i lack. It is another language, a beautiful rich language that is a delight to read. I'm more a nuts and bolts man. Something that would have come in handy whilst erecting the coat hanger.

Cheers Ian this is class of the highest order.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks Keith, that is a very acceptable statement indeed.

Words is words, mate, and I revel in your use of them also. What would be the point of words if no one were to listen and enjoy... that's what they are for. Nothing else.

Thanks again, I really appreciate your comments.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 5 years ago from Minnesota

Your writing stirred many emotions in my soul. Your writing is brilliant. I also enjoyed the pictures to go with the word.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Twin. Thanks for coming and being stirred. Searching for the pictures became quite a sentimental journey for me... Lots of places that I had visited as well. Maureen was lovely. So easy to write about, but so difficult to capture; so enigmatic.

Thank you so much for those lovely appreciative words.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

I've missed you as well my friend. And I'm always happy when I've been "gone" for awhile to return and find you've written new things for me to read. I'm greedy, what can I say?? :)

x


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Well don't stay away too long in future, Angie. Are you ready for another section of 'The XXXXXX'?

Nobody's reading my stuff, right now, and I'm feeling left out.

x


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

I'll try to behave better in the future Ian. And YES I'm ready, was going to mention it, but didn't know if I was supposed to or not. haha But I have been watching my email hoping to see more in there.

X


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

It's not homework. Angie, it's for fun. What was the last one you received? Section 3? 4?


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

I don't think of it as homework...I love it! I got section 4 last time.


H P Roychoudhury profile image

H P Roychoudhury 5 years ago from Guwahati, India

Sweat word in beautiful style- nice.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, H P I appreciate you dropping by and reading my little efforts.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

You should relate to "Jasmine", a character from the movie we've been discussion lately.

I love this poem. There is something indescribable about it which I've not quite put my finger upon.

How glad I am that I took time away from mundane things this Saturday to refresh my soul by coming to read good words such as yours, Ian. Time literally won't wait for anyone. If we miss living now, there is no "rain check".

Hugs.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie, Nellie, Nellie. I was going to put my back paws up and do nothing this evening, and then I heard you wandering around in my mind, picking up manuscripts and reading them and enjoying them... so I followed you and watched you as you stood at the window and read the poem my mother had written, and watched you take a deep breath.

Then I saw you reading the silly verse about Alpha Deluxe Animal Feed, and I saw your shoulders shaking ever so gently... but when you read Maureen, you became very pensive and I saw you sit gracefully in the chair with the elephants fabric, and you held that poem in your hand and looked at it carefully without moving. Then you raised your eyes and looked into mine, because I was standing in the doorway, and I could see the loveliest little tear in the corner of your eye.

I'm glad you liked it, my friend.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Dear Ian. . . That response should be written in calligraphy on old parchment, framed in the most delicate sculpted silver to be displayed prominently in a hushed and reverent hallway with a single light - right above and shining on the masterpiece. It's just so beautiful. I really WAS there, just as you described! Hugs - and - what's not to like? :-)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

We are very similar, Nellie. We both immerse ourselves in words, and...

It just flowed out, and I knew that you would appreciate the waffle. I waffle so well.

Thank you.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

:-) That, you certainly DO!!


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Well, every good thing has already been said about this poem, so all I've got left to add is: cor, it's a bit good, i'n't it?!

:)

Linda.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Linda. I'm sorry it isn't in Limerick form, but as you are planning to be the Mistress of Limerick (I'm sure that I could have phrased that better), I thought I would leave well alone.

Thanks for dropping by... How's the weather been your way? It's glorious in the South East.

You're well posh, by the way, we spell it Innit, darn 'ere.


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

I know, I am actually quite posh - I was going to write 'innit', but I just couldn't bear to leave out those letters without apostrophising!!! If you heard me speak at home though, you would know that I am definitely not posh actually - broad as owt!

Mistress of Limerick - oh. Well, I think that by the end of this week we will all be sick of my limericks and I will be bombarded with suggestions as to other forms and rhythms I might explore! (To tell you the truth, I'm just chuffed that I can spell 'rhyme' and 'rhythm' without having to stop to think about them first!)

Weather's been smashing up here - in fact if you look here, you can see what it looked like! : http://wwwlindaannerawlinson.blogspot.com/ :D Shameless plug, sorry!

Linda.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Linda, I'm going off to look at your link, but befiore i do, I have to admit (Don't worry; no one looks on my hubs, so it will be our secret) I have to think before I write rhyme and rhythm (although I didn't that time, for some strange reason).

Ian


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Ian, I'm having trouble with my e-mail, but I did get your note. While I hear everything you're saying, I also still think I'm right in what I told you originally.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

It wouldn't be fair to him or to her. I have thought about it a lot, and they have survived without me for the last forty-nine years... I don't want to open several cans of worms.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

I'm sorry I haven't formally gotten back to you, Ian (sorry, too, for using your hub for posts like this). I'm in the same boat you were in: I'm not sure how to best word my response.

To be perfectly direct, though, I think it's your own can of worms you don't want to open. It's very rare that I think the truth is better left unsaid, and this isn't one of those occasions. Living in the dark isn't a gift we should give others. (I say all this with due respect!)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for your concern, Shogan. I think that Anne would most probably murder me if I spilled the beans or opened the can of worms or did anything metaphorically as dangerous as that to her peace of mind.

Remember, she is a pianist, and those dames have strong hands. Or perhaps she would employ someone to travel across the known world and have me terminated... she's quite rich, I believe.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

I'm hearing you. If this weren't an issue that has affected my own family, I probably wouldn't feel so strongly about it.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I realise'd that there was something behind your comments, my friend. I keep on starting to write the "S" word (at the beginning of Shogan).

I really think that this is best... it's not who you are but who you think you are, don't you think?

My last girlfriend when I was in Australia was also an Anne, and a very close friend to the original Anne; she also thinks that is would be best to do nothing.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Well, ultimately, you need to decide for yourself. I'm reluctantly willing to respect any decision you make. ;)

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