... this Guardian Workshop is by far the most interesting that was ever set so far, for me anyway. These prompts are each a gift in their own right, as you sit down to interrogate the whys and wherefores of each one. In the CW course that I'm doing we're at the life-writing stage, which offers two paths: one of autobiography and one of biography.
Of course the biography seemed more appealing, because you didn't have to worry so much about emotional overburdening of the material, but having said that, I did want to investigate some autobiography, especially looking back to my grandparents who are both dead over ten years now.
That's why some of these poems seem like gifts: they're the combination of remembered detail and imagined aspects that spring forward out of the Graham lines -I'm finding that I seem to be writing by rote, if I use the interrogations and the imagined memories. Could be a title yet!
The Dairy Shed
Whatever you’ve come here to get
is forgotten as the fly-screen door
slams shut behind you. The squat
wooden barrel of the butter churn
calls you to peer inside.
One-eyed, you spy the spider’s home
and retreat. Wooden butter paddles
left by with long grooves, you feel by touch
how they’d grip the butter, shaping a pat;
creamy yellow and soft squidginess,
a small dollop tasting like buttercup
The top shelf of the dresser
coddles a crowd of tall-necked blue
bottles gawking at the willow plate,
disapproving of Koon Shee and Chang,
their doves taking off soon over
the weeping willows and beyond the dresser.
Below, the illicit small white bottle of poitín,
for rubbing its fire into new-born calves,
kicking the life into them when dawn
threatens a steal. You remember now;
the yellow corn meal, and grab a handful
from the yawning hessian sack, into the bowl
with boiled potato skins. The secret
ingredient to the hen’s deep golden yolks.