Sunday, July 02, 2006

Hot Air Rises


That's why I opened the attic door yesterday.
Haven't been up there since I lugged the boxes of Christmas ornaments up the creaking stairs in January.
My house has a full, high attic. L-shaped, 12 feet to my brass-studded rooftree.
A good thing. It's crammed.
The usual stuff.
Kid's books in the shelves under the eaves, a Singer sewing machine, a wooden birdcage, an old short wave and turntable cabinet, piles of National Geographic, an over-flow bed and dresser, couch and chairs.
A trunk with my wedding dress and veil, my doll Peggy, great-grandma's jet girdle, and old baby things.
Retired paintings and frames, my Samsonite dressing case, a set of mounted deer horns, a set of drums, a set of crutches, a music stand, a clothes rack, a collection of part rolls of wallpaper, a computer monitor, bits from abandoned hobbies.
Boxes and boxes of kid's stuff - the last, limp apron strings - treasures, toys, and school notes.
Looking for signs of bat guano, I rooted around, opening this box and that, thinking I must vacuum up here, do some sorting, get rid of the old magazine collections, send some stuff off to charity.
Found a copy of a literary quarterly with one of my poems in it.
Moved to the chair in front of the south window that looks over the St. Lawrence and read it.
Laughed.

Ombre

They are right, you know,
Fear is like black wings,
Swooping and soft,
That hover
Like a raven
Outside your window,
And sometimes the feathers
Flicker against the panes.


Published a long time ago in the Fiddlehead.
I have no idea why.
That's not quite true.
The editor liked me. He was a kind and encouraging man to any embryonic wannabe poet who showed the slightest spark.
I suppose mine was not much worse than the other derivative swill, innocently pretentious slop, and inchohate drivel that appeared in that particular issue.
Must have been a lean season for submissions.
Am tempted to goggle the other names that appear and see if they also fell on stoney ground.

28 comments:

M.E Ellis said...

Well, your opinion on your own poem doesn't match mine!

I loved it, especially the feather on windows. Brought many things to mind, that we can, as windows, be touched by fear at any time, and it is always there, flying beside us.

You know, I love it so much that I want to ask you if I can put it on my sidebar on my blog.

No worries if you wouldn't want me to. I'll wait for your yes or no. I'd love for hubby to do it as an image of a script, with fancy writing.

:o)

Bernita said...

~faints dead away~
You're kidding, right?
On your head. Yes. Flattered. Immensely.

Erik Ivan James said...

m.e said it all.

M.E Ellis said...

Excellent! I'm actually going to have it on my blog banner (your name as author will also be on it). Hubby is going to make it now!

I'll let you know when it's up!

Thank you!

:o)

Bernita said...

I think you're both daft...but thank you.

M.E Ellis said...

It's up!

:o)

Bernita said...

Thank you, Michelle.
So very kind.

M.E Ellis said...

I love it! Thanks for letting me use your poem.

:o)

Bhaswati said...

My poetry skills measure up to a round-shaped digit, so I can't comment critically on your work. All I can say is it is beautiful. It strikes me as a reader, and the wings analogy is so well-placed.

However, what I liked more about your post is the list of attic belongings. Like in a work of fiction, these settings details tell us a lot about you.

Bernita said...

I seriously doubt your poetry skills are zero, Bhaswati, though now I'm not sure of your critical faculties...but thank you.

One thing it tells you for sure is that I'm a packrat.

Ric said...

I agree the description of the attic was wonderful - I can picture it so clearly - a treasure trove of memory, a glimpse of years past, dreams started then discarded, every item with a story to tell, a smile recalled, a tear remembered.

Lovely.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Ric...that's exactly it and why I'm so loath to part with much of it.

kmfrontain said...

Cool. A Bernita blog banner. :D

And Bernita, don't touch any bats. They carry rabies more than any other mammal in Canada.

kmfrontain said...

Sorry, sorry. I got this safety thing.

Bernita said...

Isn't it lovely of Michelle?
I am overwhelmed and so pleased.

No, no, KM, do NOT apologize. I know.It is a safety issue.

We had a whole bloody colony of bats in the attic when we first bought the house - pure Baudelaire.
I believe one of the town's tourist attractions was watching them fly out each evening from a broken attic window.
We re-roofed, fixed the windows, replaced the insulation, the floor, meshed any gaps,etc., etc.
Believe I am one of the few women to have vacuumed between her attic floor joists and the crawl spaces - twice.
My gear was pure space walk during the ...er...removal of the mangy little myotis lucifugus and the evidences of their occupation. Took no chances.
Even wrote a monograph about techniques for the town hall planning department.

M.E Ellis said...

I didn't know that about bats! Rabies? Blimey.

When in the garden at night we have bats flying really low. They used to scare me but I don't take any notice these days, though I'll be paranoid now that they'll swoop down and bite me!

Haha!

:o)

Bernita said...

Doubt if you have to worry about being attacked in your garden, ME, but you probably wouldn't notice if you did get bitten - they have needle-fine teeth.

kmfrontain said...

No, you don't need to worry about a bat biting you unless you go out of your way to touch one. They otherwise avoid you.

Ew! Bat guano! My nephew bought a house full of it (in the attic, I mean).

Bernita said...

Un-huh.
But co-habiting bats are good for at least $20,000 off the asking price.

Shesawriter said...

I agree, m.e. The poem is wonderful.

Bernita, I can almost smell the flowers in that picture. Mmmmm!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I like your poetry...very ethereal, and calming. I bet none of those other people are blog-popular!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Tanya. One of the few times I didn't jerk the camera.

Bonnie, thank you. I bet many of them have published books of poetry though.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Very Nice! Check out this website I found where you can make extra cash.
It's not available everywhere, so go to the site and put
in your zipcode to see if you can find something. I found something and make
and extra $900 a month!

http://www.degree-programs-online.info/extramoney.htm

Anonymous said...

This site is one of the best I have ever seen, wish I had one like this.
»

Anonymous said...

best regards, nice info
»

Anonymous said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested

Anonymous said...

Here are some links that I believe will be interested

Anonymous said...

Your are Excellent. And so is your site! Keep up the good work. Bookmarked.
»