2017-04-08

The Attics of the Dead

I've got stalled on this year's NaPoWriMo, I think because I'm still really tired following Rosemary's book launch on Thursday.  So I've dug up this old one from last year's poetry writing month.

This is an attempt to capture the mood and strangeness of a real recurring dream I used to have.  Where I'd be wandering the attics of some building which in real life didn't have any, and there would be and shelves and shelves of interesting boxes.  Not that in the dream I every got to open any of the boxes...

There's a reference to my Granddad in this, and that is how come this poem is "of the dead".  His and Nana's house was a common location for the dream, although not the only place it could be set.

All my grandparents are dead now.  You can never go back, can you...







The attics of the dead


I no longer dream the attics of the dead
but I recall the qualities of dust
and light and wooden shelving where I pass
my unshod sleep feet silent on the boards.
There are always more: more boards, more boxes,

suitcases, cabinets and old wardrobes...
more attics.  Up some turning stair, or through
a low door: a further shelfscape; hatches
in the ceiling through which unpainted ladders
climb higher still to attics which by rights

should be much smaller than the floor below.
They're not, of course, there's always more and I
will wander rarely distracted by a beam
of skylight cutting through or a corridor
window through which I peer to see forever

roofs and tiles and access ways and never
a hint of any world below.  Through windows
sometimes I will glimpse another distant pane
of glass though which, enticing,  I'll see the backs
of other shelves all filled with such exciting

packages, but which I know I'll never reach.
There isn't any lesson for this place to teach,
I am not lost, or trapped; I'm just aware
that granddad knows of every item there,
but still, somehow, my exploration
does not posses an end.




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