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Grandmother and the Newfie

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:40 pm
by Saturn
At my Grandmother's Wake last week I overheard a stranger from Newfoundland tell of her fame in those parts as a reader of tea leaves:

Grandmother and the Newfie

I didn't realise it,
Wasn't prepared
For the knowledge.
How could I know
That she once
Peered forth
Into the future.

That strange man,
Unknown to all
The foreigner,
Ex-patriot came
With no Heraldry
But astonished
My incredulous ears.

The accent rolled,
Crept like a glacier
Slowly, with intent
Yet lilting the while
With an almost
Gaelic softness.

I scanned this man
Carefully, methodically,
Looking for signs
Of the foreigness
Of what he'd said.

A chance meetting
He told of. As a child
He'd come so far,
From half-way around
The then-larger
More far-flung world.

The details were hazy
But a sense still
Pervaded memory
And a name lay
Bedded firmly
In the cushioned
Membrane of mind.

Futurity had proved
To his incredulity
She was Pythia,
A prophetess,
With her skill
At interpreting
The crisp runes
Of domesticity.

Tea leaves showed
Eloquent and clear
To a sensitive eye.
The future was seen
In their dried veins.

I tried to picture
The old lady
Who now lay still,
Parched by death
In a pose suiting
A great mystic.

But nothing came.

My Grandmother,
Now lying in that
Wooden display
Was all I saw,
Memory couldn't
Frame a priestess
For all he had said.

The Wake went on:
Regardless of this.
Strange irony indeed
That the old Newfie
Knew her old powers
When I was yet unborn.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:48 pm
by dks
Love it. :shock:

I love the arcane theme, Stephen. I also love the commingling of certain words you've used. Lines I particularly love are:

The accent rolled,
Crept like a glacier
Slowly, with intent
Yet lilting the while
With an almost
Gaelic softness.

Futurity had proved
To his incredulity
She was Pythia,
A prophetess,
With her skill
At interpreting
The crisp runes
Of domesticity.

The Wake went on:
Regardless of this.
Strange irony indeed
That the old Newfie
Knew her old powers
When I was yet unborn.

I actually want to say this is one of the best poems by you I've read. :!:

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:24 pm
by Saturn
Thank you dks. I'm glad you like it.

I wrote it pretty quickly actually.

There's not as much craft in it as you suspect. I felt I had to write something about such a momentous event as the passing of a loved one, but from a different angle than usual.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:08 pm
by dks
The angle worked brilliantly!