Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Esther de Vries Poem: Mandala

Last year I posted a link to the Esther de Vries poem "Layered" that had appeared in nthposition.
Here is another of her poems. This first appeared in issue 19 of the Liverpool poetry journal erbacce in 2010.


Our breakfast table is a mandala:
at its corners white plates and cups of tea and coffee
flanked by cutlery of stainless steel,
blue and white Japanese bowls are dotted round,
in the middle a basket of bread
surrounded by jars of various colours.
At intervals hands move towards the center
to choose a croissant or a piece of zopf
but instead of calm chanting, there are raised voices.
A child screeches: “It’s my turn, listen!”
another snaps:
“Stop chewing so loudly, you’re disgusting”.
They lunge for each other,
prodding in whichever way might provoke
until one picks up a fork, yells and stabs
straight through the bread,
pinning the basket to the table.
“Up to your room!”
Off she storms,
leaving a flawed mandala in her wake.

There are also mornings when
words and smiles flow like sand
small shifts in mood don’t damage the picture
for a few minutes, it is still,
everything in its place 
until the table is cleared.

Esther de Vries

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