Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Auntie's Dining Room

In my time I’ve seen and heard all
it’s true these walls can talk

My Lady’s story
begins and ends softly
a well ordered life filled with
abstinence, letters and calm

All of her needs were met in her time
temperate friends and hounds
quiet walks on a quiet lane

Rare visits from that truculent nephew
true to his dualist inclinations
and spurious joys

Looking back
it was as if the passions of the world
wound up tight like a vengeful mainspring
and ticked down the hours until
her passing provoked a clarion call

And once sounded
with curtains drawn and music loud
what foul fury and Teutonic tempo!

Who knew the gentle footman
whose name I never worried to know
could so quickly devolve into savage frenzy?

Or that his tender couplet
complexion rosy and netherparts pale
could likewise surrender
her garments and decorum
even as swift?

My Lady’s cherished order
like torn clasps on foundations
even now a fading memory
so undone

~ J. D. Mackenzie


Inspired by Rallentanda’s prompt:

The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece
And the footman sat upon the dining-table
Holding the second housemaid on his knees--
Who had always been so careful while her mistress lived

From ' Aunt Helen' by T.S. Eliot

12 comments:

  1. Great variation on what the butler saw.

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  2. to me, your poem describes what the clock saw ... but I am a bit strange that way, always assuming the viewpoint of the inanimate.

    I love this stanza:
    Who knew the gentle footman
    whose name I never worried to know
    could so quickly devolve into savage frenzy?

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  3. The old order changeth. Good poem, with some great lines: Or that his tender couplet
    complexion rosy and netherparts pale
    could likewise surrender
    her garments and decorum. (my favourite)
    ViV

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  4. Delightful and elegant rhetoric. Great minds? this week! Torn foundation clasps and pale netherparts gave me a good giggle...sounds like 'Gone with the Wind'.Are you a southern gentleman that sits on the verandah with a large white panama hat,cigar and bourbon in hand?:)

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  5. Loved the last two stanzas, JD, along with the gentleness of the first.

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  6. JDM
    I love what you have done here and I really love the last stanza! It says so much!
    Pamela

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  7. really enjoyed it...the lady's life was really like hot soup,it appears:D

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  8. I got lost in this, and had to read it again to get the POV...then I read Angie's note and realized I had totally forgotten the clock! So, your poem got a third read, and I saw it..."it was as if the passions of the world/wound up tight like a vengeful mainspring..." and I gave myself some self-validation. =) Nicely done.

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  9. This prompt is throwing up a lot of great lines; I loved this one:

    torn clasps on foundations


    http://thelaughinghousewife.wordpress.com

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  10. This is wonderful, J.D.! You've handled this with such deft. I enjoyed each stanza, but for some reason, I really loved the one about the truculent nephew. Well done!

    (At one point, your somewhat self-deprecating remarks regarding your own poetry made me think you were new to all this, like me [well not quite like me!!!], but from your poems, I get the feeling you've been writing forever.)

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