Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Strangely N is also helping a friend whose just been diagnosed with very late stage cancer. I sometimes think people believe that we both hold the manual on how to do this disease, but sadly with cancer every manual is unique to the owner.

N visited her friend in hospital today and the woman told her that N was the only vistor who had actually met her eye. So perhaps we do have a skills to offer, and that is to still see the person rather than the disease or death.

Anyway to happier things. Denise Levertov is a favourite poet of mine, On the Ache of Marriage is my favourite poem of hers, but it's too heavy for Valentines's Day, so here is a honey scented one instead. I reminds me of Cat Stevens songs for some reason. (Oh and the picture is an old isolation shot I did of a love heart, which I made into a Photoshop stamp.)

An Embroidery

Rose Red's hair is brown as fur
and shines in firelight as she prepares
supper of honey and apples, curds and whey,
for the bear, and leaves it ready
on the hearth-stone.

Rose White's grey eyes
look into the dark forest.

Rose Red's cheeks are burning,
sign of her ardent, joyful
compassionate heart.
Rose White is pale,
turning away when she hears
the bear's paw on the latch.

When he enters, there is
frost on his fur,
he draws near to the fire
giving off sparks.

Rose Red catches the scent of the forest,
of mushrooms, of rosin.

Together Rose Red and Rose White
sing to the bear;
it is a cradle song, a loom song,
a song about marriage, about
a pilgrimage to the mountains
long ago.
Raised on an elbow,
the bear stretched on the hearth
nods and hums; soon he sighs
and puts down his head.

He sleeps; the Roses
bank the fire.
Sunk in the clouds of their feather bed
they prepare to dream.

Rose Red in a cave that smells of honey
dreams she is combing the fur of her cubs
with a golden comb.
Rose White is lying awake.

Rose White shall marry the bear's brother.
Shall he too
when the time is ripe,
step from the bear's hide?
Is that other, her bridegroom,
here in the room?



Blogger Cybez said...

I know a few people that are disabled and some try as long as possible to hide their disability from new acquaintances because they know that nine times out of ten it's the disability is seen foremost.Sad to say.

8:15 pm  
Blogger PI said...

Anna you have jumped the gun! I shall do like wise - better than having to rise and shine in the morning:)

8:48 pm  
Blogger Cailleach said...

I love the way you always combine your subjects A. You have more than a way with words. That poem you posted is a very interesting reworking of such a simple myth, or so it seems.

Your news about your friend is sad, but I still like the way you write about it. No doubt, you have an ear and eye for things.

8:56 pm  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

Levertov is an amazing poet - I agree. She's one of my favourites too.

2:02 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Cybez. yes I think you're right.
It's a fairly unforgiving culture we live in, which celebrates physical perfection.

Pat, I knew I had a lot on today, so thought I'd get ahead. I was right in terms of NZ time :)

Thank Barbara, this is my own sounding board, saves my poor family from listening to my rants.

CB I'm glad you like her too, we share tastes in a few things.

11:39 am  

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