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Venetian Glass

by Powis 

Posted: 31 January 2004
Word Count: 215
Summary: I wrote this poem after going to see one of those clairvoyants who claim to be able to 'see' your past and future by fingering an object you have on you most of the time, like a wedding ring.

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Is it compassion that lingers around objects?
Take this ashtray, choked with cigarettes,
the can of beer, or that worn leather armchair
with the scored upholstery, the colour TV.
He suspected as much, being a sensitive man.
The rest belonged to his wife. The plastic
vegetable rack which survives them both,
the sacked wardrobe, the scattered clothes
That cracked decanter in Venetian glass,
bought on their honeymoon, he always said.
It used to stand over there by the window
(I remember the marriage of light and gold).
Of course, he broke it like everything else,
You can still see the mark on the wall.

He used to fondle it for hours, watching
the light sift through it like sand.
As if he divined something of the lives
that handled it, something he lacked.
Remorse perhaps, the need for absolution?
I suspected as much, being a sensitive child.
He threw his life at her for twenty years;
he aimed to miss and hit her every time.
She broke in the end, too long apprenticed
to his sorcery. Her fault, of course.
Take it to the window, hold it to the light
Is that compassion, glass, or beaten gold?
Hoarding in its mineral calm, something
of the life they had promised each other.

Paris 1987

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Comments by other Members

roovacrag at 11:01 on 31 January 2004  Report this post
I enjoyed the poem. Don't believe in clairvoyants.Load of quacks. This was well presented and full of passion. Write what you feel,works everytime.xxxxxAlice

miffle at 20:32 on 01 February 2004  Report this post
I felt that there was a lot going on in this poem (?) and sometimes I couldn't keep up...I felt as if perhaps there was more than one poem here pushing to get out or even, perhaps, a story (?) - I had a real sense of a story pushing behind the lines (?).

That said, I liked the density of your writing here and the linking of the 'man' and the 'child' through their 'sensitivity'. I found myself intrigued too by the 'man' - so full of contradictions and imperfection...

I found the second verse more forgiving in tone; the line 'he aimed to miss and hit her every time' especially - I loved this. I felt the poem soften towards the end, perhaps, offering 'absolution'(?). A brave poem.

Write on, nikki ;-)

Skeetr at 17:22 on 04 March 2004  Report this post


Again, as I said under "Pulp Fiction," I won't say much here/now, as I am come so late to this post -- but I really enjoy your style of poetry -- narrative, dense, very rewarding.

Hope to read more of your work soon.


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