It has been difficult to keep on top of this blog recently, largely due to a lack of organisation and that unfortunate thing called ‘Life’ getting in the way.
However, in the silence between posts, I’ve been exploring more aspects of poetry. A form I found myself particularly attached to was the Sestina, a form that is often associated with obsession due to the amount of repetition. And it led me to think…
…we all have an obsession. Whether it be a person, a hobby, a route we walk every day or even a favourite food. Hell, writing is an obsession in and of itself. Here I am, writing this blog because I feel a NEED to. It’s something I want to do, feel happy when I do it and feel a disturbing sense of guilt when I neglect it. It has consumed me in a way nothing else can.
So, after my day of essay planning, writing, re-hashing and referencing, I am sitting down now to share with you my obsession.
* * *
Paper-strewn and sturdy, the oaken desk
stands in firm opposition to the aged tree
that brandishes weapons of twigs and leaves.
It is crude in its animosity at the poised ink pen.
A girl, stony faced, swivels in the black coated chair,
chewing on her hair in the light from the lamp
that flickers. Blinking a fluorescent interrogation, the lamp
squats in readiness in the quiet corner of the desk,
as shadows dance a war, stemming from the legs of the chair.
Outside, winds howl and birds are buffeted into the tree
– it is a scene that begins to all-too-eagerly stream out from the pen.
The girl is not there – not really – she is lost in leaves
of orange and red, caught up in the wind scattering these skeletal leaves
to the grainy earth. It is her shell that sits in the lamp
light, nothing more than a dry outer husk gripping that pen.
Suddenly, though paper-strewn and sturdy, the oaken desk
is hovering, cushioned on an electric cloud of flakes of tree
bark and tweets of birds; like an outstretched hand, the chair
offers up the power of its occupant, ignorant of its status as ‘chair.’
The girl wonders if anyone else has ever noticed that leaves
are so very free, independent of their mother, that majestic tree
that birthed them; or that motes of dust swim up to the lamp
like moths to a flame? Why would anyone stay strapped to a desk
when you can soar, with nothing but air in your lungs and a pen –
that rocket fuel to Anywhere. It is moulded to her palm, that pen.
Universes are splayed around her, dotted and mapped on the chair,
the ceiling, the walls, even the carpet that fluffs under the weight of the desk.
There is Life coming to life, she can smell it damp on the leaves
and taste it sweet in the air. The heat from her lamp
has the brilliance of a sun – it is like food to the grateful tree
that is crowned as Mother Nature – the first tree
ever granted such an extreme honour by the power invested in pen.
Stop. There is goes again, that fluorescent blinking lamp
and she is just a girl again, just a girl sitting in a chair
chewing her hair, whilst outside whips the dusky leaves
that whisper of where she just was. But she was only at her desk.
‘Flip the switch on the lamp and tuck in the black coated chair.
Outside is just a tree, just as the wand in your hand is a pen.
Go on out and rake the leaves my love. And later, tidy that desk.’