Monday, December 14, 2009

Poem: Therapy


It is so much more than a new coat of paint.
You have to look hard at the room,
at the cracks in the plaster,
the color, the light,
the holes poked and never repaired
because they became nearly invisible,
part of the landscape
in the clutter of life that fills a place
over a lifetime.

You look at the foundation
to see where the shifts came,
and when and why, to prepare
the room to absorb the use,
wear and tear of the next twenty years.

You reflect on the white walls
and consider color: what hues do you want
to punctuate your days and night.
You want to be careful,
for in middle age you are more aware
how one room leads to the next
and how, as you examine everything,
your entire history of renovation,
this room will punctuate the next and the next, and.....

And so it takes you perhaps longer
than makes sense to those on the outside
who thought your room warm enough,
for you want more in your life
than a coat of paint,
you want renovation
from the plaster and lathe,
each hole patched,
each color looked at for long stretches
of time before choosing,
and two coats, not one,
of the best paint your meager budget can afford
to bring your brightness and preserve it
for a lifetime, leaving you with
the perfect palette
to live in for years and years
to come.


The painting continues, and with it, new poems. Hopefully I will be moving furniture back in next weekend.



willow said...

Beautiful. Poem and walls.

ann said...

just worked my way through your renovation poetry and loved every one - the trials and tribulations of decorating -

over the years and different styles i now go for the purity of white - like a blank canvas - and add my own splashes of colour in fixtures and furnishings and art - mostly the heat of red and the sunshine of yellow -

good luck with it all

Tom Atkins said...

Willow - THank you.

Ann - s with almost all my verse, the "subject" of the poem is just a conceit to dig in deeper to something emotional or thoughtful, But I hear you about the decorating. I've been a white guy with splashes of color most of my life, but for some reason, have migrated to a different view over the past few years. Life does that to us I suppose, lead us to changes.. I am glad you are enjoying these.

The lady in Red said...

Dear Tom, very nice post (as always). There is a great sensibility in your poem in a rhythm that touch our hearts.
Thanks a lot for sharing!

Have a nice week,

Shadow said...

since you put it like that, it is therapeutic. nicely done!

Derrick said...

Hi Tom,

Looking good. I like a bit of colour on the walls too!