It is more than not being alone
We cook together and eat
from blue bowls
Sometimes I am the wise one
The night we met, we both
kissed the same boy
You write ‘I love you’ in the condensation
on the window
I lead you into luxury and indolence
We walk to the zoo and promise the animals
We draw a magic circle around ourselves
It is more than not being alone, it is being together
I hear you singing in the next room
Posted with permission.
Editor: Janis Freegard
I love this poem, from Helen Rickerby's second collection, My Iron Spine. You get a glimpse into a whole relationship through just a few well-chosen details. The poem has a sweetness and simplicity about it, but with sounds, colours and actions that make it come alive: the lover singing in the next room, the blue bowls, the trip to the zoo. There is a real sense of two people wrapped up in each other, their love being greater than the sum of the individuals.
There's a musicality about the poem too. I especially like the line about "luxury and indolence". I also like the way it circles back at the end, to the singing in the next room. But this time, we hear the singing with a deeper understanding.
Helen Rickerby is the author of My Iron Spine (HeadworX, 2008), Abstract Internal Furniture (HeadworX, 2001), and the poem sequence Heading North, which was published in a hand-bound hardback edition by Kilmog Press in 2010. She also runs the wonderful Seraph Press - a boutique publishing company with a growing reputation for publishing high-quality poetry books - and is co-managing editor of the literary magazine JAAM.
Helen's latest poetry collection, Cinema, will be published by Makaro Press early next year. She blogs irregularly at wingedink.blogspot.com.
This week's editor, Janis Freegard, is the author of the chapbook The Continuing Adventures of Alice Spider (Anomalous Press, US, 2013) and the collection Kingdom Animalia: the Escapades of Linnaeus (Auckland University Press, 2011), and is co-author of AUP New Poets 3 (Auckland University Press, 2008). She lives in Wellington, New Zealand.
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