Tuesday, December 27, 2005

One Hundred Christmas Words

Not an easy Christmas but successful. My wife’s mother died on the twentieth and my wife left to help her father. They returned on Christmas Eve. We had invited seventeen and had to slim this down. Twelve came.

I spent two early mornings – day six and five - buying presents and took my time. The children were still at school. Day four I spent sorting the house out. Day three I did the main shopping. Day two more tidying with help from my mother. On Christmas Eve the children wrapped presents and prepared vegetables. Our Christmas Day worked very well.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

One Hundred Words

In the midst of death there are still Christmas presents to buy.

Katy rang me when I was in Kingston on my second day of Christmas present hunting. I had just spied my prey on a bookshelf in Waterstones when she rang to tell me her mother had died.

I let the book go. Took a step back from the tables full of books and piped Christmas music. Another step back from growing crowds and the unspoken urgency in the aisles and in the queues.

Christmas that seemed clearly in my grasp a minute ago slipped out of my hands.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A New Poem

Here is a recent poem. I posted a draft of this a few weeks back. This is as close to being completed as I can get. It contains about 10% of the original impulse to write it.

New Home

Occasionally we get a glimpse
of our new home.

It rises up
fractured, vague, unfocussed
like rippled glass.

Until for a moment
clear and sharp,
it shines at us.
A promise
within our grasp.

And we stare
in silence,
unspoken hope
impatient longing,
from the margins
of our living rooms.

Yesterday we stopped
at a new shelf -
and a single saucepan, gleaming
nestled, settled in

until home slipped away again
lost under the grey skin
of masonry dust
and packed boxes.

But today at dinner
I felt it surge suddenly
in our open smiles
and easy talk

across the table
warm and sweet -
a kind of food
we have craved.

© David Loffman