(based on suggestions from @GretasTARDIS, @pinknantucket, @sushipyjamas, @VayaPashos, @sulphura, @ernmalleyscat, @TheEndeavour, @sorrel_smith, and @matchtrick)
Weeding new-curled peas
sleeping pods grab us
jerk back, striped like tigers.
Tendrils stick like velcro fingers
of a kid picked up from daycare.
Go see Nanna? Nanna’s not here.
Pig go noik noik
Elephant go woooooooo
Luka funny sausage.
Tardis go vroom tardis blue
and there’s nothing I can do
to solve the days I make you cry.
Google your ancestors, find galaxies
of bastard brothers and sisters.
Keyword search my baby's words:
“Bisley chicks, chisley bicks.”
No results. “Did you mean: Chisley bikes?”
Search for myself: find an only child.
I was brought here as star people.
See, I have a chicken hat. This is my
other brother from another planet.
Make him welcome. Sing cradle songs,
tell my boy all this static and interference
is not his inheritance, not his fault.
I muted his soprano
Attacca like absence at high pitch.
So angry; full of sliced-up fire.
My fairyfloss boy sang alone
while four hundred years ago
a baby went to sleep.
I can see their faces in my eyes
All blood runs down my blue lines
into the earth my bedroom. The warmth
is lovely, only it is such a long time ago.
Once upon a moment we all sang
softly at the same time. Now, and so long ago.
Today’s poem is based on suggestions from nine peeps (another record!):
- @GretasTARDIS: “South Dakota! Galaxies! Bedrooms!” (I can see their faces in my eyes is a line from South Dakota Morning, just in case you thought I left it out.)
- @pinknantucket: “How about being on a spaceship?”
- @sushipyjamas: ” Yeah! Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do.”
- @VayaPashos: “The 2 yr old thing! Yes!”
- @sulphura: “see, this is a great idea. I vote stuff my 2 yr old said.”
- @ernmalleyscat: “bisley chicks and chisley bicks”
- @ernmalleyscat: “apparently something I said when 2yo” (when I enquired “Is that even a thing?”)
- @TheEndeavour: “interference”
- @sorrel_smith: ” while picking green beans, the hairy, 'sticky' leaves grabbing the skin like Velcro, leaving a prickly rash.”
- @matchtrick: “Siblings! Imaginary or other people's, in surfeits and dearths, adoptive or foster, from another mista/mutha, and in absence.”
I am feeling somewhat like a crap mum at the moment. Luka is 2, and doing all the endearing and infuriating stuff that 2-year-olds do, and I feel like all I do is get horrendously impatient, shout at him and make him cry. Or avoid him so that I won’t end up shouting at him. My self-loathing, let me show you it.
The last two stanzas of this poem contain references to my favourite passage in my favourite book ‘The Children of Green Knowe’ (which I will now quote at you in full), where past and present sing together in one moment:
" As they rested there, tired and dreamy and content, he thought he heard the rocking-horse gently moving, but the sound came from Mrs Oldknow's room, which opened out of the music room. A woman’s voice began to sing very softly a cradle song that Tolly had learnt and dearly loved:
Lully Lulla, Thou tiny little child
By by, Lully Lullay
O sisters too, how may we do
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling
For whom we sing
By by, Lully Lullay
'Who is it?' he whispered.
'It's the grandmother rocking the cradle,' said Mrs Oldknow, and her eyes were full of tears.
'Why are you crying, Granny? It's lovely.'
'It is lovely, only it is such a long time ago. I don't know why that should be sad, but sometimes it seems so.'
The singing began again.
'Granny,' whispered Tolly again with his arm through hers, 'whose cradle is it? Linnet is as big as I am.'
'My darling, this voice is much older than that. I hardly know whose it is. I heard it once before at Christmas.'
It was queer to hear the baby's sleepy whimper only in the next room, now, and so long ago. 'Come, we'll sing it too,' said Mrs Oldknow, going to the spinet. She played, but it was Tolly who sang alone, while, four hundred years ago, a baby went to sleep."
I think todayI will sing yesterday to sleep, instead of shouting at it.