Tag Archives: Relationships

Notes From a Broad, November 2014: Dick’s Fix-It

Nothing focuses the mind on a chilly November morning like a broken central heating system. So started my Monday. The flawless blue sky had me temporarily fooled until I crept out of bed to feed the kettle and put the cat on. I was greeted by an arctic atmosphere and absolute silence where the industrious hum of the furnace should have been. Dr Nick makes an urgent call to the maintenance guy, and during the conversation inadvertently refers to me as his fiancée. I am touched, and delighted. Dr Nick’s ‘once bitten, twice shy’ approach to anything resembling marriage has been part of a difficult journey for us, so now I feel slightly less bad about accidentally calling him ‘my husband’ last week at the library.

Fortunately Dick, our repair man (‘Dick’s Fix-It’) is an efficient and ebullient soul who is on the doorstep within the hour. ‘You must be the fiancée. Cute! You have the same accent as Nick’. I launch enthusiastically into the full 5-minute version of the big love story and, looking only slightly uncomfortable, he replies ‘Um…if you could just show me where the thermostat is…’. Note to self: Arizonan men do not necessarily want to hear a big old love story when they have only just met you and are trying to get on with their day’s work.

It was the thermostat’s fault, as it turned out. Blown at some point by the electric storms during monsoon season, was Dick’s best guess. After some fiddling with wires and one minor electric shock later (‘Nah, I’m kinda used to it’), it was all fixed.

Half an hour later we are best buddies. Dick has just bought a ’91 Harley-Davidson from a Vietnam vet, and we are well into the ‘great rock concerts I have witnessed’ theme. ‘Grateful Dead. Man, I miss those guys’ says Dick, wistfully, as the conversation comes back to our prospective engagement.

‘I proposed to my wife over a bottle ‘n’ a half of Jack Daniels’ roars Dick. ‘Next mornin’ I pretended to not remember a thing about it. But my wife, she remembered every word!’

As we shake hands again, and make vague promises to get together at a decent gig some time, I make my second mental note of the morning: must buy a bottle of Jack Daniels next time I go shopping.

 

Kintsukuroi

The Japanese have a word for it:

Kintsukuroi

a thing more precious for having once been broken.

This is us, and this is our love,

and this is you, my mended treasure.

I watch you, sleeping dragon

guarding your gold

and in my mind’s eye trace the scars

carefully packed with molten metal

liquid silver to heal the rifts

tracks like rivers viewed from space

thread veins connecting the damaged you

to the mythical beast you are today.

And here I lie, opaque glass fixed with gold

a lattice-work of mendings

glittering in clerestory light

nestled atop the findings in

the dragon’s lair.

Fractured: poems of love and desire by Marnie Devereux is available from Amazon worldwide, or from your local bookstore

 

Mass Mortality of the Heart Urchin

The sea-potato, Echinocardium Cordatum, inhabits the sea-bed

lives up to twenty years in a permanent burrow,

ambulacra crammed beneath hard-packed sand in pentamerous symmetry.

Mass mortality of the Heart Urchin is twofold and of the seasons.

First, a winter storm disturbs the deep; chokes those burrows with sand,

Smothering the hearts with chaos, pressure too great to bear.

Then the husks, spewed up onto the strand,

Picked over by undiscriminating gulls; Dilber and Stretch on a future Christmas morning.

Or picture a summer, if you prefer your tragedies unusually hot,

The sun’s over-attention spreads a blanket of decaying plankton over that sea-bed,

Deoxygenating the water as it settles down to rest.

Poor, unfortunate hearts, forced up, up in search of breathing space,

Suffocated for want of air,

They and their stellate potato-babies, thrown in their thousands onto a harsh white beach,

So that you may chance upon them

As you gasp in surprise

As the desert-hot sand burns the soles of your feet through cheap holiday shoes

Or as you lie, buried to the neck with your music box and gun,

Praying to a clearblue sky for the deliverance of cloud.

The Treasure Hunter

Curled, like ammonites, together,

Like orphaned siblings tangled.

You are friend, lover, child, brother to me.

The whole of life’s love, in all its myriad shapes.

Through the fog of my childhood passed,

We two, wave-tumbled pebbles,

Washed up together side by side upon

This foreign shore of later years.

These days of wonder, sea-glass misty,

Edges rubbed and softened with time.

I see you as you were,

Though worldly-wise to rosy-tinted hues,

And as you are, sand-blown,

Of perfect imperfections.

I scoop you up, my beach-combed treasure,

My secret, holding you close,

And, happy as a mudlark,

Head for that safe place I know now

To be home.

Looking-Glass World

High on the upper walls of the crumbling house
Hangs a gilded hand-mirror
Its frame an intricate fretwork
Of knotted garlands; English roses.
Held in your selfish hands,
It reflects your image
Silvers the tarnish,
Affirms your being, in the sea-level landscape
A trinket to hold in your hands.

You weigh its worth, then place it, face-down
Or hang it tenderly on the hook,
Lovingly abandoned
Cold against bare plaster walls
Where it remains, silently reflecting
Your unassailable beauty
Till the next year’s spring brings you
Travelling North again,
Seeking out your looking-glass world.