Friday, 14 July 2017

The Remains of the Life. Mister Cohen's Attic

This is the second of four short pieces written quickly in writers' groups this week.  This one finished in a completely different place than I thought it would.  It was all going so well.  Until that sudden change of direction that took it into a place I didn't particularly want to be.  You will see what I mean.

The line structure is as it is for one reason only:  I was writing on the right-hand third of a sheet of paper having filled the left-hand two thirds with the poem I posted yesterday.

Tomorrow I'll post the first of two pieces from the writers' group the following day.  The prompt given for that related to the origin stories of different types of tea.  I didn't stay within that box.  At the Writers' Cafe we're very good at leaving boxes behind and just seeing where the words carry us.  Every time there's something produced that leaves me in awe.

After the auction of the house
Of the late Mister Cohen
I found his forgotten family waste
In the loft of my new home.

Three torn cookery books.
A broken framed, scratched photo
Portrait of an unknown soldier.
Worthless antiques.
A pair of porcelain potties.
Souvenirs of holidays in Taunton.
Silver plate spoons.  Half a set.
Tarnished beyond hope.
Moth-eaten wedding dress,
Once white, once born of love.

He left me newspapers:
Bundled.  1960s Daily Mails.
A Victorian taxidermy display
Of birds.  Decayed, under broken glass.

And in the locked chest
I had to break, forced by chisel
I found my prize.

Coins.  Stamps.
And a collection of Herr Cohen's love letters.
Each one from the Fuhrer himself.
Each one sealed with his kiss.

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