Recurring Walkabout

In my dreams there’s a house on fire,
and though I try to translate the flames into syllables,
the hiss and pop aren’t recognized this side of sleep,
in my head there’s a bed of rivers, murmuring a language I don’t speak.

And though I try, I still can’t translate the flames into syllables.
The meaning of dogwood petals floating along
in my head, a bed of rivers, murmuring a language I don’t speak,
whispers, the click of heels in empty rooms. When I’m there I know

the meaning of dogwood petals floating along –
but now those places are phonographs engraved by a midnight shaman,
whispers, the click of heels in empty rooms. When I’m there I know
the lay of that tribal in between, where specters dance with tambourines.

But now those places are phonographs engraved by a midnight shaman,
the hiss and pop aren’t recognized this side of sleep.
The lay of that tribal in between, where specters dance with tambourines,
in my dreams, there’s a house on fire.

recurring-walkabout (click here to listen)

Check out Juliet’s translation prompt this week at read write poem. I also had in mind an image prompt you can find there as well.

20 thoughts on “Recurring Walkabout

  1. Michelle says:

    Beautiful pantoum, Christine. And I loved listening to you read it.

    Amazing images and sounds: a house on fire, hiss and pop, dogwood petals, the click of heels in an empty room, phonographs engraved by a midnight shaman, specters dance with tambourines, the lay of that tribal in between …

    Like

  2. paisley says:

    god i totally love it when you read it.. for some reason your poetry is always so symbolic or something,,, and unless you read it to me,, it just never gives me the same feeling or meaning… this sounded wonderful………

    Like

  3. Jo says:

    I’m not a pantoum person, no idea why, but I love this. The repetition is shamanic and magical. Fabulous reading too. But then you read like a dream. The spectres dancing with tambourines are great.

    Like

  4. Julie says:

    Beautiful! I love to hear you read. Reading is also an art form that is so much a part of poetry. You have mastered it well. I would also love to hear you read in person! This poem is fantastic. Absolutely excellent.

    Like

  5. christine says:

    Ack! I should better learn from you, Michelle. I referred to a sort of poetry primer called The Art and Craft of Poetry, by Bugeja. He talks about choosing a theme that naturally calls for a sort of manic repetition, like getting lost, or, in this case, a recurring dream.

    I like to read my poems aloud, because then I can sort of fake my lack of meter! But thanks everyone, for listening.

    Jo, I like pantoums that sort of break the rules, like an echo of a pantoum. Anything that breaks the rules, but implies the form that once was.

    Like

  6. rob kistner says:

    So engaging, with a mystical heart, and images that spark the minds eye to blaze!

    I love that you show such respect to those that visit your blog by sharing with them the very ‘voice’ that sounded and resounded the creation of this wonderful poem in your mind — the only ‘voice’ that fully grasps the creation, and can do rich justice to the work… your voice, shared aloud in your reading.

    I wish you lived near Portland Oregon. I would love to produce you reading some of your pieces, using the small four track digital ‘spoken word’ studio I’ve assembled.

    Please continue at the leading edge of multi-media poetry Christine. I applaud you for your vision!

    …rob

    Like

  7. christine says:

    Rob, thanks for the offer to record! Maybe someday you’ll produce a CD of your own poems.

    Hey, Pen me a Poem, I like villanelles too, although this one’s a pantoum. Related in that they both involve repetition of lines, as I’m sure you know. I didn’t rhyme on the end words, though, and my lines are free verse.

    Thanks, Dick.

    Dale, sheesh, this coming from you, one of my poetry heroes? I thank you, my friend.

    Like

  8. Art Predator says:

    ahh isn’t that what it’s always about tho–translating fire into syllables?

    the traditional form works well here i agree and love to hear your voice, the voice of the poet, reading the poem, this poem

    Like

  9. Holly D says:

    Niiice! I love this…though the pantoum was meant for poetry, yours seems to lend itself to song/lyrics. The sounds you’ve used in it…etc. It reminds me of a Tori Amos-ish song…I hope you take that as a compliment…because it is one!

    Like

  10. Noah says:

    Hey, sorry I’ve been gone for so long. Life sort of sent me to hell for a while, and it’s still fucked, but I’m happy for once. I’ve been writing a novel, but I need to start writing poetry more.

    Fun fun.

    It’s nice to read your work again. It’s always good.

    Like

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