We were in the canopy among the owls

amid limes and sycamores at the top

of a three storey Victorian semi.

Ours was the children’s floor and the nannies’.

We furnished, decorated, carpeted.

We had our books, our prints, our piano –

and our child quickening in your belly.

I would feel it kick. Our neighbour one floor down

ran off with an actress. His little boy

rattled his play pen all day. In the winter,

mould grew in the bathroom, the gas boiler

shed bits of metal, ships on the river

blasted their fog horns. She was born in May.

Her cot was under a skylight. Leaves

stroked the glass, sunlight dappling her loveliness.




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  1. #1 by Howard Gardener - May 20th, 2016 at 12:31

    Direct and simple language; beautiful imagery.

  2. #2 by Ian Craine - May 20th, 2016 at 13:47

    This is a nice poem, David. The last two lines are beautiful.

  3. #3 by Sarah Selzer - May 21st, 2016 at 11:07

    Yes, beautiful imagery and a shame I don’t have memories of the flat but this is the next best thing – description and storytelling at its best! xxxx

  4. #4 by Catherine Reynolds - May 21st, 2016 at 11:18

    I love the way you have set the scene and your attention to detail. Painting with words.

  5. #5 by Theresa Brady - May 21st, 2016 at 17:00

    David, the wonderful imagery you create – ‘I am there’ in every single one! A great gift and a pleasure to read and get into the moment.

  6. #6 by Alan Horne - May 23rd, 2016 at 20:34

    As with Soweto 2010, I very much like the way the images are placed together and built up, although this is a more obviously personal poem. The way the baby shifts from “it” to “she” is great, and there’s a surreal touch in the mould and the boiler. It’s a lovely poem, David.

  7. #7 by John Huddart - May 24th, 2016 at 06:06

    Not often we get to hear from the subject of a poem. Wickedly remembering the commentary of the Dish of the Day on itself in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. This is as lyrical as that was funny!

    Especially liked the feel of the setting beneath the canopy of the trees – emphasising the feeling that the house itself is a tree with human nests within it. Being the human world, it has the less successful family downstairs to contend with, which is both saddening, and a foil to the happiness above.

    Lovely piece!

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