I came home one evening recently to discover that one of the pipes in my bathroom had ruptured, causing hot water to come raining through the ceiling and into the living room.
The consequences were not good. Sofa, carpets, desk – all pretty much soaked and ruined. So it goes.
More poignant is that taking the full impact of the deluge was my modest library of poetry books – including signed collections by Billy Collins and Ben Banyard – and gratis copies of all the print publications that have been generous enough to include my poems over the last few years.
So it goes.
I’m not looking for sympathy. This is first world stuff, and I have insurance (I forgot to ask my insurers whether they could fly Mr Collins over to sign another copy, now I think about it). And it’s kind of funny, really. I’m a great believer that there’s poetry in everything if you bother to look for it, so I’m hopeful that this episode will have sown the seed for something creative further down the line. Maybe it will do the same and provide a prompt for someone reading this? That would please me.
In the meantime, I’ve decided to repost a poem I put on here a few months back. It’s about a completely different type of flood, admittedly, but perhaps with a little imagination (and heat. And books) you’ll get there?!
We did not see the swollen river
overtop its banks, failed by the
modest bow of its channel, its
traffic doubled by the bludgeon
of three consecutive moonrises
under rain, waters earth-brown.
Instead, we passed a day later,
taken by the bleached streamers
of torn-up grass, stretched like
comet-tails from the lowest boughs
of thornbushes, calm swirls of sand
making fish-loops across our path.