Friday, February 09, 2007

Fear hangs a plane of gunsmoke

Today my new manager asked me how my current stress levels were, alluding (obliquely yet to my mind unmistakably) to the my Dark Days. 'Oh, I'm fine', I said. 'I've walked out into the sun.'

Only someone from the same place and time as me (which she is not) could possibly recognise this as a line from Duran Duran's Careless Memories, but that doesn't matter. It wasn't a line that needed an appreciative audience, though it meant a lot that she asked.

But it got me thinking. I don't really get poetry. I want to, but the words just move round the page and make me feel clumsy. But now and again there's a line that sears into me and hangs around for days. I was more searable (maybe we all are) when I was an adolescent or even younger, and I have a whole bunch of lines, from songs, from poems, from books, still there, waiting for the right moment. (I don't know if lyrics count as poetry, but I think they probably stimulate the same nerve centre).

Sometimes I don't even remember the words, just the idea. One of the earliest is from an Enid Blyton book I must have read when I was about eight. There were some kids, there was a castle, there was somerthing bad happening. They were investigating in the middle of the night, as you do, and there was a window giving out a light which was a colour they had never seen before.

I was fascinated by this colour. How could it exist? Could I imagine a colour myself that I'd never seen?

Many years later, I saw a February city sky at 4am, the colour of streetlights reflected off snow onto heavy clouds. That was a colour I'd never seen before. I saw it again this week, an ethereal orange-grey glow. Here be magic.

joella

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3 Comments:

Blogger Sabita Banerji said...

Joella, your blog be poetry, girl...

8:19 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

Harumph. Didn't get any bloody snow here.

I quite like the idea of "somerthing bad happening." That was deliberate, right?

8:26 pm  
Blogger Jo said...

Yes, they were in Cornwall you see, and they talk like that there.

4:50 pm  

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