Thursday, 6 October 2011

It's National Poetry Day!

So here's one wot I wrote earlier.

(I was commissioned by my friend Margaret Thomson Davis, to write a series of poems for her novel, "Red Alert". The brief she gave me for this character was that she was in her late teens and about to go off to art school. She lived alone with her mother who had Victorian attitudes - and who believed her daughter was going to be drawing bowls of fruit and embroidering lace. Wrong! The young female character expressed herself through a series of poems in her diary - and Margaret asked me to produce the poems.)

Rule of Thumb

She hides behind her thumb
under the guise of the first
lesson in perspective. She stretches
her arm out like a thin, pale promontory
her thumb as beacon,
rigid at the far end
warning of the rocks beyond. 

Her first life model, on the first day
of life classes is naked. And male.
Wearing nothing
but an everyday expression.

The statues that line the hall didn’t prepare her.
Smooth and cold and lifelike no comparison
for smooth and warm and life. With hair.
She didn’t know there would be so much hair.

Dark against the celtic pale of his skin,
it marked him with a t-shape. The crossbar
waved and curled across the tight muscle of his chest
meeting in the middle
where it warmed his heart.

Her eyes trace the line as it narrows
on its path to the navel, before
swelling in a dark tattoo at the groin.
The man must have read her line of sight.
His cheeks bunch with a suppressed smile.

Hers burn as bright as a lighthouse.
She withdraws from his scrutiny
and finds sanctuary behind her thumb.

(NB. This poem doesn't feature in the above collection. I wanted an image to go with the poem and I couldn't be bothered trawling the net for drawings of naked men. Sorry, ladies.)


  1. Whew! That is one HOT poem, Michael. Gives new meaning to the term "Make my Day!"

  2. I was directed here by Marley's comment on my own blog and I agree with it completely. Record this Michael - and lots more of yours - and post them here. It would be a great treat and I bet you'll get even more admirers (apart from Marley and me, I mean).

  3. thanks muchly, Marley and Bill. really like what you did with the recording, Bill. I may just follow suit.

    what did you use to record your voice? Straight on to the computer or did you use a thingummijig?

  4. You probably know that decent mics are pretty expensive so, in the end, because I intend to do a bit more audio-related stuff, I bought a mid-range digital recorder. I record straight into that then transfer the file into the computer by USB cable (so it's obviously important to get a recorder with that facility). The way to cut out ambient noise and mic pops is to stand the recorder (or mic if that's what you're using) in a cardboard box which you've lined with some material - an old towel or something. It acts as a mobile sound studio.
    I'll be writing a step by step by step guide for our WS group and posting it there. I'll send you a copy.

  5. Bill you're a star. And don't let all those nasty people tell you anything different.

  6. Whoa - that's seriously good, Michael! Great description of girl and nude. Lucky Margaret gaining such poetry.