Preoccupied

A Twenty Minutes poem.

Preoccupied

Hard blue sky crouches over
the blocky brick apartment building whose flaws
cannot evade the few indifferent rays of sun.
Clumsy half-dead tree hangs on
stranded in a strip of dirt
stubby bare limbs poorly trimmed and peeling.
Yellow crosswalk sign flails at the wind
twisted and bent turned the wrong way
and rusting
Coat-clad woman limps across the parking lot
one dragging step at a time going to work
at a rotten job and too early in the morning.
November is more than half over
No one is interested.

“November Birthday”
mixed media

A Twenty Minutes poem.

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32 thoughts on “Preoccupied

    • Thank you. November is a special month for me: it’s my birthday month but beyond that, I have always liked the sense of desolation and endings mixed with a sort of wildness and drama. November has a hard edge to it, and also can be sad. This poem tries to tell that side of things. Thanks for what you said, I really appreciate your opinion.

      • You know, for me, my birthday (which happens to be today) is the one day of the year I find wholly and happily – MINE, no matter how many other millions also were born today. A little oasis of straightforward meaning to me. I find holidays stressful, though, just as you said, and mostly, I just like routine days. A non-special day is a special day, to make a very trite phrase, but that’s how I feel.

      • Happy birthday! Perhaps it’s the expectations of birthdays that I get up tight about. With the children and spouse (when we still bothered with presents) it has always been will the present be the right one. For my own, the day has been blighted forever by one truly awful year when for one reason or another, nobody mentioned it. It wasn’t until the next day that one of the little ones realised they’d missed my birthday and the kids were mortified. I always remember that year and how unhappy we were.

      • Now that is awful. I hope everyone makes an extra effort since. It hurts when you are forgotten like that.

        You are right about expectations. I try to do only things I like on that day, but that is things like eating pizza and staying home and reading. Let the rest of the world remember or forget, I feel pretty satisfied with that. I was pushier about it when I was younger, but now, I have decided it’s a day to indulge myself and the gift others have given me is to let me get on with it!

      • It’s stupid, it was about fifteen years ago, but it did hurt a lot at the time. The kids were too little to have known—it was a grown up thing. I can’t complain though, they usually let me get on with my own thing all the time. Mother’s a writer and has to be indulged 🙂

  1. Your poem is very effective in conveying the sombre mood that the changing season can usher in and I also like the use of pathetic fallacy.

    I’m loving that collage! I could look at that over and over and see new areas of interest.

    • Thank you. I think I may be living in an animist kind of mind-set; I’ve always thought everything had some kind of – consciousness of itself, even inanimate objects, since I was small. (The population of the world is much larger than 7 billion to me, I guess???)

      I made the collage several years ago. The complexity of using paint and papers like this appeals to me. You have to work to manage it and get a balance. I guess like everything else!

  2. Claudia, I have been away from WP lately, both my own blog and others… It’s special to come back and land right into your poetry and art work, I’ve missed it! November used to have a negative sound in my ears, but this year, for sad reasons, I’ve come to re-discover a new, brighter side of this month. Yes, a contradiction, but both October and November have got a new meaning to me.
    And, did I get it right that it’s your birthday today? HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, enjoy the day and I wish you a great start of a new year in your life!

    • Thank you for your birthday wishes, yes, you are right, today marks my first appearance on the earth. I hope you will be feeling better as time goes on and as a fan of November, I hope this time of year will do a little magic. I have always liked the kind of dark drama of this month along with the sparks of light, the bright trees, the bare branches, the windy days, the really blue sky we can get. Anyway. I’m glad to see you again here and I hope for the best for you.

      • “Dark drama” and “sparks of light” – that is exactly what happened, Claudia! I lost my mother in October, the funeral was last week. She was a very passionate gardener, and over the last months I had the chance to see her garden (partly woodland) at this time of year. I saw how bright, victorious and promising autumn is in nature – and yes, the sky VERY blue. It was all in harmony, how she ended her life in the middle of autumn’s “sparks of light”. Oh, Claudia, you are the poet, to put words on all this, thank you!
        (perhaps not the most cheerful comment to read on your birthday, but I had to share it with you… I’m fine over here, so don’t worry)

      • Actually, it made me feel good. Saying goodbye is hard. But I think November is a time of saying good-byes just by its nature, and getting ready for what’s next while accepting what is going or gone is part of that, I think. Seems right for the season and for a gardener, to say goodbye at this time?

  3. I’m just going to savor this and muse on it awhile. Happy (belated) birthday! My oldest has a birthday next week…I’ve never thought what that might mean to her, being born this time of year, or how she feels about November in general. I’ll have to ask!

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