Monday, May 24, 2010

Tuesday Poem

Mother at Ease

Fat as a roll of pork
mother is prone
cupped in canvas
and perfectly pitched to 30 degrees

She wears a wig
She is clad in black
Her jovial mourning frock
is laughing from hip to hip

That belly's a rotunda
The band's packed up, gone home
Hands splay across the roof
Fingers, soft as savs
tap to the off-beat
of a remembered saucy song

Out from the swollen folds of skirt
calf nestles up to calf
calm as lovers
after a tempest of love or hate

Small feet, moored at the ankles
have lost their mast and rigging
But see - their prows are at the ready
set to sail to different countries
somewhere east and west.

Pam M

I wrote this poem at a time when being mother was a defining role in my life. I wondered about other shapes 'motherness' might take.


  1. Fecundity epitomized!

    You have written a dance, Pam - a meal, a surrender, an acceptance.

    Thank you (I have always enjoyed this poem; it gets me on my toes!). x

  2. Fantastic - I love the soft rolling folded 'o' feel of it - from the word go... the first stanza is especially good ...bravo

  3. Nice. Packed with interesting images that segue into one another or reflect back. I like all the ship stuff - canvas, pitched, moored, mast rigging - and the linguistic cheek of 'that band's rotunda'. Full of little surprises - there's a lot packed into this little butter-ball. Ka rawe, e taku tau.

  4. I love reading this again, Pam, which I can't do without summoning up Ma Larkin of The Darling Buds of May.

  5. Yes it's very Ma Larkins! Love this poem of yours (loved seeing you read it on Channel 9 with the tulips, too!)

  6. Thanks Claire, its good to think of fecundity in those terms (fed to the hilt and surrendered.) I think I might be heading that way...
    Mary - I appreciate your comments, and I'm glad your liked it. Thank you!
    John, thanks for your full response. I'm happy to have my poem named a butter ball. (I can taste it - crunchy white sugar coating and a round glob of butter.)
    I hardly remember watching the Darling Buds of May, Pen and Kay, but even that brief acquaintance with ma larkin left an impression. Hefty upper arms, happy heavy breasts, an encompassing calm expression..

  7. Ah, but first we read her (TV came later).:)

  8. If I might borrow Lynn of Tawa's phrase, I love the visual symphony this captures.

    You convey strong thoughts and emotions and I enjoyed the words and images used to convey them.

    I'm deligthed to discover your blog.

  9. Hi Ele, lovely to hear from you, and thanks for your comments. I look forward to exploring your blog too. Lots of rich turf! All the best with all your endeavours. Pam