Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Listing On Dogwood Lane

The Spanish doors opened

to archways and dark wood floors. The rooms bare.

In the distance, we could see

water tricking over a stone dove and vine leaves; the side garden

calling us outside as we entered the house.


Their agent said the woman was artistic, had placed a piano there

in the corner -- but it seemed too large, not in accord

with the other pieces. I asked him if she ever played.

He said "no" and nothing else.


And I thought -- if music throbbed in her hands

and was liberated  like a bird,

it would dart back and forth. Disoriented, slamming

itself into fallen flight.


The  windows had wrought-iron bars, and the house

felt cloistered, almost paranoid -- to accept Mozart or the light.



Yvonne D'Angelo said...

Being an artist myself, This somber poem makes me feel that I was imprisoned in some kind of darkness which blinded my ability to "see" to paint. My work would suffer as it would lack the lustre of new life - creative expressions being stifled by darkness.
Wendy, did you write this piece?
Could you please comment on this work?
In reference to how big money and progress has damaged the creative essence and watered down its poetic beauty, I sadly agree. It seems robots are replacing guts not only in San Francisco but all over the world. We must continue to write, to paint to "sing" over top of this. Hope being there will always be some soul out there waiting and listening..........

Gwendrina said...

Hi Yvonne

First, let me say how grateful I am that you took the time to reflect on this poem ( which I did write) and comment on. I so deeply appreciate it!

And here is the inspiration for this poem which I posted on my writing club/forum

This poem is based on an actual house my husband I toured , a new listing in our housing community. We were truthfully just curious not really looking to move from our current residence. This house was large and looming on a corner lot. The Spanish doors were gorgeously crafted and opened to those archwayed rooms with dark wood floors. And the house had both a secretive and cloistered feel to it, as if there were something to hide. Also, the agent told us the owner had kept a piano in the corner but felt it was too intrusive ( related to size) among the other pieces. And of course, the downer was those bars, though decorative as well a for security, on the windows. You felt caged in as if art or music would be stifled in this place not to mention the spirit of a creative person. And through another window, there was a view of the side garden with the stone, bird-bath fountain. It was there , like an aside in the theatre, calling us to get out and look around, realize that we could breathe better outside where life flowed and fluttered. It was a place of "contrasting moods" and an eerie sense of both emptiness and isolation. Not a place I would consider buying, if I were to move, but one that sure makes could subject matter in a poem. This place haunted me long after the initial viewing and what flowed out of my mind were these impressions.

And I agree with you completely about the technical immediacy of this age, the commercial materialism and other factors that stifle art, that perhaps cage us in an emotional and artistic dusk where we can't perceive anything really reaching out or growing into something of light, life and spiritual depth. I think ,however, as artists we rise above that eventually. Some stimulus whether it is an event, a person we meet, something we find on a nature walk, something we read or view, startles at first and then makes us think, reflect and then express our perspective of it through art, poetry/prose or music. Creativity can be confined by modern conditions but not defeated. That is my personal belief and also I have found solace in my faith ( I'm Catholic) which helps me transcend those dark periods of artistic depression and self-doubt.

Anyway, I have really enjoyed reading your views here and again thank you!

Take care