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by Tina 

Posted: 15 January 2009
Word Count: 94
Summary: I am not sure where this came from - an amalgamum (is that the right spelling?) of ideas I guess.

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We have been seeking
among brief histories,
lifetimes carefully mummified
in forgotten news;
memories imprisoned in
the gravity of time
stuck in an instant,
helpless yet beautiful.

for moments of
so near to pain;
the longing for closeness
we might never
have known;
and for the wisdom
to step on solid

So much is imprisoned
in the unwanted past
hiding away from the light
like the Franks
living in heady hope;
optimism burning
quiet and bright.

From the tiny window
whitened fingers
of Winter trees reach out
seemingly pointing


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Comments by other Members

joanie at 19:40 on 15 January 2009  Report this post
Tina, hi! I've been back to re-read a few times. The images and ideas are beautiful: 'memories imprisoned in/the gravity of time', 'the wisdom/to step on solid/beams.' (Did you intend to have two 'to's?)

I love the last stanza; it's full of quiet, understated hope.

I felt quite tearful as I read this.



FelixBenson at 13:36 on 16 January 2009  Report this post
I love the theme of this poem, Tina, and you have carefullly suggested that sense of longing and sadness, of confronting the past in the attic. Which works wonderfully in terms of an actual sense of place...but also a metaphor for the subconscious....
memories imprisoned in
the gravity of time

I wonder if this came from putting the Christmas decorations back in the loft? I find that one of the few consolations of dreary post-christmas period was the trip up to the loft, and the fact that we have wrapped those ancient fragile decks in the same equally ancient and fragile newspapers every year...When I was a child I would be fascinated to see the yellowing newspapers from the 1950s and 1960s...and felt quite sentimental about continuing to use them... There is something tremendously affecting or as you say:

helpless yet beautiful

about seeing those stories (urgently reported) which were current so long ago.

But it is uplifting too. I like the way the poem widens its scope here

and for the wisdom
to step on solid

and in the final stanza, which joanie has given a spot-on description for:
quiet, understated hope.

Really lovely poem.

Thanks for the read, I feel all dreamy and intropective now! Shame I am at work
Best, Kirsty

Elsie at 22:43 on 16 January 2009  Report this post
It took me several reads to appreciate this (my fault, not yours) I think I was searching for more concrete imagery, and and first gravitated to the final stanza. Then this struck me as interesting:

So much is imprisoned
in the unwanted past

as the past unwanted, as it's stuffed away in the attic, but so desperately wanted by the seekers.

The reference to the Franks seems at first seemed a little irrelevant, but maybe hints at the time frame of the memories tucked away. Something makes me want to shorten the first line,perhaps simply " We searched.." but that's just me.

and for the wisdom
to step on solid

Seems to refer to desiring the wisdom of one's parents/grandparents.

Pointing east - suggesting more spiritual, not sure?

Very nice.

ellynelly at 16:55 on 19 January 2009  Report this post
Dear Tina,

You've already received lots of favorable comments.

I also want to say how much I am enjoying this poem. And it's a poem that I get more from with each reading. Which is because of the multiple layers of meaning.

I've read the poem several times, and for the the first time today, I'm starting to really appreciate the understatement of thelast verse: the beautiful imagery suggestive of a new day.



Tina at 09:22 on 24 January 2009  Report this post
Dear All

Thank you all so much for taking time to comment on my poem and so sorry that I am so tardy on replying - this week has been a bit frantic!

Thanks Joanie for noticing the two to's - as I have siad before you should take up professional proof reading! Yes it is very melacholy - maybe that is what January does to us??

Kirsty yes I have actually been in our loft a lot recently because we thought we had a leak which turned out to be condensation because of the extreme cold weather!!!! I see what you mean about the references to the past.

Elsie the east at the end is to suggest a new day - sun rising - new hope et al. I added the Franks reference because it is such a poignant story - of hopeful youth forever preserved by her diaries and the reality of her death and the deaths of the other millions.

Elly thanks too for your positive remarks - I wanted hope at the end of this - I feel that sometimes we are ensnared by t he past and all the things we hold onto - it is one of my new Year resolutions to empty our attic of everything that we no longer need to keep.

Thanks again

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