Friday, 15 May 2009

POEM: Tram tempo


Tram tempo

A child with a fist plunged in his mouth,
a bundle of clothed rivulets nestled in his mother’s lap.
Beside them, an elderly man taps an umbrella
on the floor; it’s been spitting all day – the gathering gnashing
azure threatens a downpour later…

‘This is the Eccles service. The next stop is Ladywell.’

Ahead, a girl preens in front of a mirror, retrieved
from her stained clutch-bag, getting ready for her weekend.
To her right, a middle-aged man avoids the bulge of her breasts,
averts his eyes behind the spread of the Evening News. He sports
a broad wedding band and I imagine him
to be married to a Joanna or Julie,
living in a semi-detached house at the end
of a non-descript cul-de-sac.

As the tram jaunts onward, my mind veers to a time
when my life’s sextant calculated more than
the narratives of strangers –

a time when my life had character and plot.


Catherine Mark

24 comments:

Michelle said...

I can relate to that Catherine :)

Chuck Dilmore said...

"the narratives of strangers..."
are still vital to a story!
to us!

for noticing
all the details you depict here
you are in the most underrated mode of a Writer...

o b s e r v a t i o n !

the next part
is the tapping of keys and
the breeze bring all you require
through the window
on the bluff
above the Welsh coast.

you're there.
you're everywhere.
Chuck

Tracey Hope said...

I really loved this Cathy as I told you. Really evocative, especially as we were near Ladywell last week

Christopher Raun Leth said...

A wonderful poem, as usual:-) I kan relate to this, as I too find my thoughts wandering when on a bus or a train. These are great places to study people and wonder about how their lives are compared to your own.

Khaled KEM said...

I like it Catherine. It's one of the best poems I read to you. I guess your position as a writer/novelist appears in your poetry style; the little details of daily life that people hide behind.

JM said...

This is wonderful and I allways enjoy the photos you choose to go with the words!

LORENZO said...

Mass transit is alway an abundant source of characters and details. You are a people watcher, that makes for good writing, as we can see with this piece!

Ponderer said...

We all loose ourself some time, living our life thru another, you're too smart for that Cath, an observer you be but not a participant. :) Cheryl

Strawberry Girl said...

I loved looking at your tram ride through your eyes, it's something that a lot of us can relate to, and it is interesting to see the details from another. :D

NAVAL LANGA said...

Ms. Catherine

I read your poems regularly. I write reviews about poems on my blog. You can see one of such reviews at this link

REVIEWS OF POEMS

Rogue said...

Oh but your life DOES have character and plot Cath! Excellent observations. Try smiling broadly at one of those passengers on the tram and watch the reaction! lol. People are so insular when out in public. Terrific piece Cath!

Gerry Boyd said...

lovely close.

Ananji said...

Beautifully descriptive. Viewing the world with seeing eyes... that will be your savior.

paulwchambers said...

a character and a plot would be good...

sextant? excellent choice of word...

Athelas said...

Tram tempo...
gathering gnashing

I really enjoyed gathering gnashing.
They say the state of witnessing is half way to sainthood.

Lilly said...

I loved this because I too love observing people on public transport. I always image what people's lives are like. I loved how you predicted what the guys wife's name is, lol!! This could be a whole series you know...very clever.

rebecca said...

What a powerful and descriptive beginning: 'a child with a fist plunged in his mouth.' From there, I knew the rest I would want to savor and read it slow, letting your words filter my very core so I could see it, feel it, smell it, hear it. So I could feel like I was there myself. And I was. Excellently done, Catherine. The gems you create that are birthed from your observations....

lissa said...

this is what I get from reading this piece: I think we all wish we have better lives or be someone else but that someone else might wish for your life, I suppose it's best to make what you have than to dream

I like your observations and descriptions

Rush said...

how u converted a tram ride into poetic musings..amazing

kenflett said...

your writing is is, not sure how to describe it, passion, like a bundle of nerves, shaking, soft, rough, .
l like it. :)

judith ellis said...

Beautiful, Catherine. Alive images. I pray all is well, friend.

Cynthia said...

Hi Catherine, ah a time when life
had character and plot. Love that.
Expertly written as usual.

CathM said...

Thanks everyone... I really appreciate your reading of my poem and all your comments :)

Peter Stone said...

Awesome descriptions of a tram ride. I especially loved the last two paragraphs, where the writer thinks of a time when her life had more purpose, rather than finding meaning from the empty observations of strangers on a tram.