Monday, December 7, 2009

Dead tiered

Bradwell Edge, Derbyshire Peak District, UK. 2007

Is it me, or is everyone blogging about death lately? Every blog I've read recently has mentioned it and, as I've mentioned before, I don't deal with it very well. Here's my take on it - I wrote it on the eleventh of the eleventh this year. I suppose it is customary to be miserable at this time of year.


This is death: the slow shuttering up of the drive to achieve
or the need to be desired. When all of my lines
accumulate and can be read "I don't care","I'm tired",
this is death. A dry stone wall in disrepair
for want of the stonemason
who built me. A monument:
all that remains of me.
A cairn: the weight of
living upon me. Stone,
not carved: cast.
This heap of me.
in want of a roof,
a lifetime in want
of a shelter;
This is


Kass said...

The word verification is extringe - it should be a real word. I like it and I also very much like your poem about death. Did you take the photo of Bradwell Edge? Very lovely. The play on words in the title is also very clever, but meaningful - the layers and pieces. Well done. Looking forward to your return.

Rachel Fenton said...

Woah, never saw you there, Kass! Made me jump! Yes, that's my shadow on the wall. Thank you.

If we both start using "extringe" lots it will become a real word - you willing to try it?

Titus said...

Apologies for the death post; I hope to extringe myself from your approprium.

Really liked the poem,

"This is death: the slow shuttering up of the drive to achieve
or the need to be desired."

is a stunning opening.

Rachel Fenton said...

Excellent start to your comments, too, Titus: consider yourself duly extringed!

Thank you.

catdownunder said...

Extringed? Extranged? Extrunged? I think we have a new verb! Mind you the word verification says 'rejecon' so perhaps it will not be 'rejeconised'.

Rachel Fenton said...

I dunno, Cat, what do you rejecon?

Two new words - keep this up and we'll be able to write a sentence in a whole new language by the end of this fortnight!

Thomas Taylor said...

I like the shape of this verse.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks! You're such a wag, you always make me chuckle, Thomas! :)

Jim Murdoch said...

I can't get too excited over 'extringe' and I only include the word because it looks as if it's obligatory to include it in a comment to this particular post. The word I faltered on was 'shuttering'. It sounds fine, makes sense, but I wonder if 'shutting' would work better as in 'shutting down the drive to achieve' with the association of a mechanical drive. I like the way the poem dwindles away. The photo threw me a bit because this reads as if the poem is describing the wall of a house whereas that's not what I saw in the photo.

Rachel Fenton said...

Nothing's obligatory on this blog, Jim! You should never feel you have to chide in for the sake of it - I like you as your very own self!

The only reason I used this picture is because a) I had it on my pc, and b) I liked the shadow on it. I'm not really big on pictures with poems - I prefer the imagery within the poem itself and I personally feel that often the image makes it too obvious what the poem is about and can override any subtlety in the words. Also, pictures detract/distract from/confuse what the poem is trying to portray - as this image obviously has done for you. I'm sorry about that. However, that said, some people use pics with poems to great effect and compliment the words.

I like your suggestion for "shutting", I can see why you would suggest it but I wanted to keep the imagery with buildings and houses and stones - this poem came out of my trip to South Island where I looked at a lot of stone buildings and ruins - and shuttering resonated with the window shutters and the idea of closing off the interior from outside. I'm pleased you feel the shape of the poem on the page works in this instance. Thanks very much.

Dominic Rivron said...

I like the way the lines get shorter and shorter, as if the poem itself is dying.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks for noticing that, Dominic, yes. I was a little concerned it might look a bit, I dunno, artsy and possibly annoying, but it does have its purpose and it isn't merely for the sake of it.

Thanks so much for stopping by:)


Beautiful. And I love the shape of it, the slow slip into homesickness and grief. N x

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Nuala. I am very homesick amongst things at the moment.

catdownunder said...


Rachel Fenton said...

Hey, Cat, I'm still here...I've got plenty milk if you want to make yourself at home...just getting the old blog cogs back in working order. Thanks for investigating :)