Still She Sits

And still she sits in waiting,
Deep within her shell.
No point in contemplating,
As to when she might expel.
She’s not driven by a calendar,
Nor woken by the sun.
She’s not a starlit wanderer
On her monthly run.
No bolt of electricity
Will generate her storm.
Naked with simplicity
It’s so she finds her form.
. She’s the fickle child of a wondrous thought,
. She’s a child, a brain child, that won’t be caught.

© Tim Grace, April 2010

To the reader: There are so many aspects to life that just can’t be chased down or forced into submission. We gain nothing from bullying a butterfly. Simple pleasures are attracted to those who appreciate and nurture the quality of relationships. It’s through patience, not cajoling, that pleasures are expressed … good things come to those who wait.

To the poet: The rhythmic structure of this sonnet is more lyric than poetic. The line lengths are variable and do little to help the reader establish a comfortable meter. Nonetheless, it does move along in three blocks of four-lined stanzas. Each block of thought reads like a statement; but true to the theme of the poem, the statement fails to capture the essence of this illusive female form.

Crisilis crisilis

Saturated Image

Liquid reflection

A saturated image floats lightly
As a surface level scene.
An occasional glimmer shines brightly
To accentuate the sheen.
From fluid thoughts and wet connections
Comes a deeper contemplation.
A pool of thoughts, recollections
born of liquid incubation.
Still waters give reason to reflect
but shallow is its lasting.
One slip, one drip, and gone is its effect
No image is it casting.
.    The clarity of thought can be swallowed by a ripple
.    Drowned in the disturbance created by a tipple.

© Tim Grace, February 2010

To the reader: Watching the dynamics of ripples in action is fascinating. The way ripples bounce off each other and merge into new concentric patterns is poetry in motion. But the impact of a ripple on a liquid surface breaks the mirror-like qualities. As ripples expand across a surface they blur clarity and replace a perfect image with a disturbed and distorted impression of the form at source.

To the poet: In this sonnet we look through the image to contemplate a deeper thought; there is something below the surface worthy of attention. In delving deeper, the poem introduces the impact of a ripple. One drip and the unity of an image is disturbed. Over time I learnt to separate the writing of the final couplet from the body of the work; often with a night’s sleep. Creating some space in time allows me to step back and observe then summarize the work from a useful distance.


Fourteen lines…

Fourteen lines of rhyming verse
No need for clever tricks.
Obey the rules or face a curse
No remedy can fix!
For those who can not do as told
There is no path to glory.
In sets of four the tale unfolds
And so becomes a story.
Be not tempted into broad display
Do not detail every instance.
Resist the line that leads astray
It’s the curse of least resistance.
.    Let the story tell itself, no metaphor need mix,
.    A story is a story, not like a pile of bricks.

© Tim Grace, 4 February 2010

To the reader: As the traveller and poet learn, new ideas are built upon loose impressions that over time mature into tighter understandings. In the early stages of construction an idea is best left unconstrained and deserves the liberty to indulge in vagueness; to question and wonder without the confinement of certainty.

To the poet: The best comparisons happen naturally and need no forcing. Telling a reader that one thing is like another strips a poem of its own power to conjure a playful twist of thought. Vagueness in a literary sense can establish an intriguing ambiguity; it is suggestive and creatively loose – enticing.


Vagrant Wordsmith

A dispossessed poet has no address?
Vagrant wordsmith finds himself lost for words?
Sunday morning solitude, more or less
A waste land; quarters apportioned in thirds.
Fractional allotments, absurdities;
Occupied tables, multiples of six,
Or four, or two; disputed territories;
Unilateral remedies, far from fix
An awkward treaty. Spaces between lines
Become expansive; attract attention,
Heightened meanings and hollow countersigns
Position the possessed in contention.
.   A poet in the margins, far from lost,
.   Far from desolate, with his words embossed.

© Tim Grace, 24 August 2014


To the reader: If you’re outwardly observant and inwardly conscious the creative mind looks after the assembly of a poem. Once the mind is in-flow with the general gist of a theme it will mix and match its contribution of frames and reference points. That’s all very well, and easier said than done; practice and discipline are critical components of the process – and that presumes a conducive space to write.

To the Poet: Rhyme inducing comfort zones are hard to find, and even harder to keep; context is everything. For years, I’ve sampled cafe cuisines in pursuit of an ideal writing ambience. For the most part, a hotel’s ‘breakfast room’ seems optimal. As a large enterprise, hotels usually offer an affordable option of ‘tea and toast’. With a passing trade, the regular change of clientele constructs an interesting sense of community; notable but not obvious.