Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Monday, February 25, 2008

THE EMBEDDED COUCH, poem by Patricia Kelly


Drawn to its vaguely Japanese garden pattern
I bought the bulky couch 23 years ago, second hand

And hand-over-hand it came up the outside
of my building and through the third floor terrace
doorway, the stairwell and its turns too narrow

The couch gracefully served all who used it,
developing a reputation as a nap-inducer,
slightly sway-backed like a gentle old nag

Ultimately it swayed too deep and we used it
less and less, leaving it to the pasture
of its navy and beige design

But all good things come to an end
and with each end a beginning comes

My retirement cross-country approached.
The couch, too, would have to vacate this home,
but not in reverse of the way it came in:
glass terrace doors removed, the couch
bound up and lowered down three stories,
a swaddled remnant of its former grace

No, I could not afford to pay others
to haul my dream nag this way, nor did I wish
to risk the glass terrace doors again,
those windows through which I’d watched storms
and fireworks, sunsets and new buildings rise

And so the old couch loomed intractable
What to do, what to do

Silly fantasies arose of taking a saw to it,
putting the couch out of my misery
with a few bold cuts, then carting
the fluff-dribbling remains down the stairs:
“Appearing soon at theaters near you,
The Embedded Couch”

The more I fantasized, the more it seemed
quite possible ... cut to the chase ....

In barter for an air conditioner of mine
I’d yet to sell, our handyman quickly sawed
the old couch into three bite-sized pieces
that the staircase all too readily swallowed

My tremendous relief rife
with an unexpected sadness...
so many years over
in a dust-filled flash,
in a few direct cuts

(written February 2008)

* * * * * * * *

I've mentioned before on this blog the challenge I faced with this couch. I knew back then, before I moved from New York city to California, that it might make a poem. But I also knew I shouldn't -- maybe couldn't -- write it until I was moved here to Goleta, CA.

The story is clearly a metaphor for the total experience of preparing to leave New York city. But, oddly enough, I did not realize this until those images in the last two stanzas surfaced. This, to me, is one of the values in writing poetry (or in any creative effort). The new symbols, or familiar ones seen in a new way, can offer something valuable, needed, healing.

* * * *

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blogs ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL and ROSWILA’S TAIGA TAROT.


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