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Mojave01 Profile
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Rain Taxi


Rain follows my taxi from Manchester Piccadilly

to Didsbury.


My mother will be buried in the storm, black umbrellas

keeping her dry, a stiff navy dress buttoned to the neck.

A Merlion spits water into falling rain.

 
Her face wistful like a girl in the Corps de Ballet.


I've saved two photos, a speech in Hyde Park

for the suffragettes and a pose marked

Egyptian Camel as she visited the pyramids.


Plunging rain, no relief; half-plugged drains, pelted

zinnias in stained flower boxes, the morning light drawn

with a child's soft chalk.


My empty 3 AM poems. The BOAC bag of clean underwear.

 
I visit my publisher, the ramshackle offices closed

when I arrive, dark as the Muslim Brotherhood

just taking power this month in Cairo.


Last edited by Mojave01, Oct/25/2012, 9:59 am
Oct/23/2012, 3:02 pm Link to this post Send Email to Mojave01   Send PM to Mojave01 Blog
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


hi bernie,

The bleakness and sense of fragility that accompany the loss of a parent are so skillfully integrated into this poem:

Plunging rain, no relief; half-plugged drains, pelted
zinnias in stained flower boxes, the morning light drawn
with a child's soft chalk.


The two photos which suggest a well-traveled, good humored and passionate life--the closed office and sense of foreboding embodied in the last strophe.

What a fine poem, Bernie. Thanks for it,

Chris
Oct/24/2012, 8:21 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
vkp Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


I agree with Chris. This is a poem I felt in my chest as I read it and as I read it a second time. The rainy funeral does not even seem like a cliche, but unutterably real and somehow -- to me -- freshly drawn. I especially love this line and a half:
quote:

the morning light drawn

with a child's soft chalk.



I did have a question about something practical (forgive me). If she is being buried, isn't the n's mother in a casket and thus her dress and dear face are not visible, and, in fact, it is not the umbrellas keeping her dry? This thought did stop me as I read, so I thought I'd put it out there.

In any case, this poem caused a reaction in me, for what that is worth.

Oct/28/2012, 12:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to vkp   Send PM to vkp Blog
 
Mojave02 Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


VKP---

often, an open casket at the church. then the cortege to the actual cemetery. graveside words with a closed casket, many leave at the conclusion of these final remarks; it is thought to be too emotional to see a loved one actually lowered down.

does that help?

please let me know if any phrase might make that more clear.

and thanks for letting me know what you especially liked.


bernie
Oct/28/2012, 2:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to Mojave02   Send PM to Mojave02 Blog
 
ineese Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi



Bernie,

an outstanding poem.



Rain follows my taxi from Manchester Piccadilly

to Didsbury.


My mother will be buried in the storm, black umbrellas>>>>>>>I think a different line break would be good here. I thought this was a modifier(s)
for storm blasck umbrellas.

keeping her dry, a stiff navy dress buttoned to the neck.

A Merlion spits water into falling rain.

  
Her face wistful like a girl in the Corps de Ballet.


I've saved two photos, a speech in Hyde Park

for the suffragettes and a pose marked

Egyptian Camel as she visited the pyramids.


Plunging rain, no relief; half-plugged drains, pelted

zinnias in stained flower boxes, the morning light drawn

with a child's soft chalk.>>>>>>>>>>>>>beautiful!
(is this the end of the poem here, of is this below part of it?

My empty 3 AM poems. The BOAC bag of clean underwear.

  
I visit my publisher, the ramshackle offices closed

when I arrive, dark as the Muslim Brotherhood

just taking power this month in Cairo.


Oct/28/2012, 3:05 pm Link to this post Send PM to ineese Blog
 
Mojave02 Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


I

thanks for your comment. very helpful.


bernie
Oct/31/2012, 11:42 am Link to this post Send Email to Mojave02   Send PM to Mojave02 Blog
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


I missed your poem on first, even second read. I mean I missed its objective(s) and its means. What at first read flat now reads sharp and a little surprising. So many fine touches. Corpse kept dry by umbrellas. The BOAC passage. And especially the sense of history connecting or categorically disconnecting a tourist to the pyramids, a subject of British Empire days, to current events when a nation itself is finally in charge of its future. Almost missed it, Bernie. Damn near did. Glad I finally read with comprehension.

This poem should go up for IBPC nomination I hope. Smart and likely too subtle. But a fine thing.

Tere
Nov/3/2012, 12:44 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Zakzzz5 Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


Bernie,

I have a question that has nothing to do with your poem; or only indirectly. Have you spent a lot of time in London or thereabouts? My wife reads "women's" lit and mystery and crime, and there is an American woman who writes "Brit" fiction, who gets her info about London by reading about it, but also by visiting. She's authentic, has made herself authentic. Your poems have that authenticity, too, at least to this guy who's only been there for 10 days, and watches television.

See my notes below. Superlative work, as usual. Or as is the case most of the time. Zak

ps - Hope you are doing well physically, emotionally and spiritually, my friend.



quote:

Mojave01 wrote:

Rain follows my taxi from Manchester Piccadilly

to Didsbury.


My mother will be buried in the storm, black umbrellas

keeping her dry, a stiff navy dress buttoned to the neck.

A Merlion spits water into falling rain. [BRILLIANT TOUCH.]

 
Her face wistful like a girl in the Corps de Ballet. [GOOD TOUCH. SPEAKS AT MANY LEVELS.]


I've saved two photos, a speech in Hyde Park

for the suffragettes and a pose marked

Egyptian Camel as she visited the pyramids. [MAKES THE READER BELIEVE HE IS READING A POEM BY A BRIT. I GUESS IT COULD BE BY SOMEONE WHO WAS BORN BRIT AND BECAME AMERICAN. UNFORTUNATELY (??), READERS DO LOOK AT THE BIOGRAPHY OF THE POET/WRITER.]


Plunging rain, no relief; half-plugged drains, pelted

zinnias in stained flower boxes, the morning light drawn [THE EFFECTS OF THE RAIN DRAWN HERE PERFECTLY.]

with a child's soft chalk. [THIS IS A BERNIE TOUCH HERE. VERY UNHEMINGWAY.]


My empty 3 AM poems. The BOAC bag of clean underwear. [NOT SURE WHAT "EMPTY" MEANS HERE.]

 
I visit my publisher, the ramshackle offices closed

when I arrive, dark as the Muslim Brotherhood

just taking power this month in Cairo. [INTERESTING HOW THE NARRATOR GOES FROM THE FUNERAL TO THE OFFICES OF HIS PUBLISHER. IT SERVES TO PAINT THE EMPTINESS, THE COLD SENSE OF HAVING BEEN DESERTED.]



Nov/12/2012, 11:22 am Link to this post Send Email to Zakzzz5   Send PM to Zakzzz5
 
36064 Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


Z---


I’ve never lived in England. English influence comes by way of poetry and novels---Charles D ickens, graham Greene, Summerset Maugham, John le Carre—Len Deighton’s Bomber called devastating by the NY Times---



The English poets Auden, Louis MacNeice, E. Waugh, Carol Ann Duffy---

When I am in an English frame of mind, these are my dinner companions.

I have, when in England, often attempted to locate the real setting for a scene described in a novel or poem.

Thanks for the kindly reading of Rain Taxi, you highlight the story just as I underline my own poem.

The liver, not so good. I hope to make a transplant list---no guarantees. Thanks for asking.

bernie


Last edited by 36064, Nov/12/2012, 5:10 pm
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36064 Profile
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Re: Rain Taxi


C---

The bleakness and sense of fragility...

yes, to me also, but i wouldn't like to limit that sentiment to the death of the narrator's mother; i believe he was deeply troubled about his work and politics long before the funeral he has journeyed to england to attend.

many thanks for your close look at this poem.




T

i like learning your reaction to the poem, it helps me think and plan through.

and once again, your comments are very generous.



bernie


Nov/12/2012, 10:16 pm Link to this post Send Email to 36064   Send PM to 36064 Blog
 


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