Poem ‘Hole’

Hole

The hole where a fire used to be
has stared at us for fifteen years,
begging to be filled.
We know we’ve put it off too long,
put up with the inconvenience
and balking at the cost,
hating the insecurity of change
even if it might be for the better.
And then there’s the fledglings
flapping down the chimney each cruel May,
hopping around wide-eyed in darkness,
to be finally coaxed out of injury
through deftly placed curtains,
framing the clean glass of open windows,
an escape into the harsh light.
Remember the circa ’73 newspapers
we found stuffed up the chimney?
Those warm smells of old print and soot,
eyebrows raised at garish red mastheads,
the uneven letterpress lines
telling innocent stories of slower days.
And the Eagles were on the BBC.
For too long we’ve ignored
the unsettling sounds
of western borne gales
raising roof tiles like rattles of doom,
making us state more firmly each year
that something must definitely,
must finally—be done.
But still we continue to shiver
and rue that darn hole
where heat and heart should be.
Another twelve months nearly done, then.
Right now we’ve settled on fresh flowers
to see the winter out, knowing nothing
will ever quite conceal the truth

poem and image © copyright df barker 2012

Advertisements

27 comments

  1. Pete Armetta · April 8, 2012

    Times change and we’re still here, trying to fill the hole with all sorts of crap! Love the sentimentality of this piece of reminiscing. Beautiful!

    Like

  2. dfb · April 8, 2012

    You’re very kind, Pete – I appreciate your comments!

    Like

  3. claudia · April 8, 2012

    this serves as a great metaphor as well…even if it’s real..nicely done david

    Like

  4. Emma · April 8, 2012

    David, this is wonderful. I feel the emptiness through the words so clearly. I love that you’ve used the vacant fireplace as a symbol for the dying relationship while showing that even when we know something is waning we hesitate to let it go. The comfort factor of keeping the status quo. Such telling details here. (At least that’s what this is saying to me, hope I’m not way off!) Lovely poetry.

    Like

  5. Ina · April 8, 2012

    Hi David

    those rooftiles rattling, like an omen… Fill the hole! lol

    Like

  6. Pixel Safari · April 8, 2012

    As we grow older, we seem to reminicise of past forgotten memories. As I read your poem, I recall those lovely thoughts of the past. Just yesterday I met a person who was born and raised in the same state and same small town as I. She was half American Indian, which brought back pleasant thoughts of my childhood best friend who was full bloodied Apache, and who we shared a common bond. The “hole” represents many different views to the reader. Beautiful!

    Like

  7. Millie Ho · April 8, 2012

    This is wonderful! Reminds me of how my friends and I used to bury time capsules in the garden.

    Like

  8. dfb · April 8, 2012

    Thank you very much Claudia!

    Like

  9. dfb · April 8, 2012

    Emma, thank you so much, I am very grateful to you!!!

    Like

  10. dfb · April 8, 2012

    Thank you very much Ina!

    Like

  11. dfb · April 8, 2012

    I am very grateful for your comments, thank you!!!

    Like

  12. dfb · April 8, 2012

    Millie, thank you very much!!!

    Like

  13. Millie Ho · April 8, 2012

    You’re very welcome!

    Like

  14. Millie Ho · April 8, 2012

    You’re welcome!

    Like

  15. magsx2 · April 8, 2012

    Hi,
    A great poem, very nice. 🙂

    Like

  16. journeyintopoetry · April 9, 2012

    Another gem David.

    “Old print and soot” I can smell it now! And the fledglings, making it out into the light is just lovely.

    This reads so beautifully in a “straightforward” way yet the whole poem seems like one huge metaphor for something though I’m not sure what 🙂

    Christine

    Like

  17. dfb · April 9, 2012

    Thank you very much Mags!

    Like

  18. dfb · April 9, 2012

    Thank you so much Christine! Yes, it could indeed by a big metaphor.

    Like

  19. meiro · April 10, 2012

    Great poem.

    Like

  20. dfb · April 10, 2012

    Thank you very much Meiro!

    Like

  21. bardessdmdenton · April 12, 2012

    Felt so engaged with the underlying meaning of this.

    Like

  22. dfb · April 12, 2012

    Thank you very much, I appreciate it!!!

    Like

  23. Betty Hayes Albright · April 13, 2012

    Can’t believe I’m so far behind and have missed all these posts of yours, David. This is yet another wonderful poem!

    Like

  24. dfb · April 13, 2012

    Thank you Betty once again!!!

    Like

  25. Russell Smith · April 13, 2012

    Wonderful poem!

    Like

  26. granbee · April 13, 2012

    These bright fresh flowers in the old-unused fireplace warm my heart better than any fire in winter! You should see all the thousands (if not millions) of traditional homes (even nostalgically-constructed new ones!) in the U.S. Deep South with fireplaces never used–except MAYBE on Christmas Eve! There is just SOMTHING so spiritually in-gathering about an open fireplace. And I love the lines about the birds and animals that inhabited your deserted fireplace and chimney–so many wonderful memories of the same things happening in the unused chimneys of my Mississippi childhood home!

    Like

  27. dfb · April 14, 2012

    Yes, I agree! Thank you GB!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s