poetry diary

I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing. (Seamus Heaney, from Personal Helicon)

To believe in a mermaid

The first line of this poem comes from “To believe in mermaids” by Donald Harbour, and is a first experiment in linking with others, prompted by We Write Poems Prompt #34

To believe in a mermaid
is to create waves that brush the rocks,
and gently rock the boat –
at first only at night, in the silence of the small hours,
and smallness of your room.

The waves that brush the rocks,
wash away memories and worry cracks,
seeping into pools, bubbling,
and outlasting tides, trap shimmered scales in sunlight,
averting eyes and tempting glances.

Shimmering scales refract
sky and sun and air, distorting perceptions,
drawing on and in and out.
And suddenly there are new relationships –
the vastness of the world.

To believe in a mermaid,
is a start.

©2010 Matthew Rhodes

Happy New Year

This ending year compressing all that’s gone before
stops, in the end, quietly, like a mouse reaching home,
and vanishes, suddenly, down the hole. It’s gone
leaving a moment, only, of emptiness suspended.

We face the void.

This New Year will be different. The words unwritten,
and unread, can tell new tales; open new doors, release
promises made before, and stronger dreams. Each dream
hangs above certainties, solid in predictability, and dead.

I’ll take the chance.

There’s been time enough to think. Time enough indeed:
I have talked, consulted and discussed. I know the score;
the best guesses, lost youth and failed promise. Potential
untapped, effort unmade. You had your chance.

I want one more.

Now I know. Shadows at least. How could I be so wrong
before? When the world was an oyster and the fork
poised in hand, without training or love, meaning nothing.
Now I have it all, and must restart. The die is cast.

In with the new.