Thursday 23 April 2009

A Coincidental Contrast

Yesterday, on my bloglandia travels through the ether, I read a poem written by Janelle of Ngorobob House and was quite literally gob-smacked by the lyrical and heart-wrenchingly evocative picture she painted so vividly with her word brush. The intensity of the opening lines immediately conjured up an African night and a long dark ribbon of road pricked faintly by the headlights of a distant car.

Contrasts are interesting and Janelle’s poem made me think of some quite disparate lines I wrote after my first trip to London many, many moons ago……

First Visit

I once looked down through
the soft lithograph
of the city in the rain
saying it’s name over
and over again.
Looking up I saw the spires
emptying their light.
mercury falling,
streets draining.
And then some nights
I’d crunch London’s cool gravel underfoot,
and how pleased I was
to be there
in that sodden city.
And how I loved it then,
that grand dimmed conurbation
on the other side of my world.


Jinksy said...

Wonderfully evocative of London in the wet!

Elizabeth said...

Yes, it is in seeing contrasts that each different part of our world comes into focus.

Rosaria Williams said...

What a beautiful description of London you gave us. It feels wet and cool and mysterious. Well done.

On another note: it was my pleasure to answer the meme, having been tagged by such beautiful soul.

Reya Mellicker said...

Wow. Beautiful.

It is mind boggling to realize that both landscapes exist on the same planet.


Yoli said...

Wonderful juxaposition of two very different worlds. Your poem is lovely.

Yoli said...

I just bought the 'Ssese Island Fishing print and can't wait to have it here.

Ces Adorio said...

YOU HAVE to enter this post for Skywatch Friday. These are perfect and so beautiful! However, be prepared for strangers to visit your site. I just thought the first photograph is definitely out of aAfrica and the London photo is well, very London, as you can see I am most eloquent today (London, very London Huh?!)

Irene said...

When in doubt about your own poetry skills, read the poetry of someone who knows how to write it well. It will erase your doubts and make you lay down your pen and never pick it up again. This is not a bad thing. It makes you happy that the poetry you were trying to write, has already been written. It takes a load of your shoulders, that there are poets out there in the world who know your thoughts and how to put them down just right.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

I don't know what's better, the astonishing photos, their contrast, the humid London and the parched Africa, the colors vs the grey hues... or the fabulous poetry. You capture the true essence of each diametral place with such grace, in such a sweet compendious manner.

I admire your versatility and your elegance.

Debra Keirce said...

Lovely prose, lovely photos.

Paula Suter Photography said...

I Loved the contrast you painted between two places with which you so obviously share a soul connection.... Absolutely lovely.

ceecee said...

I've never visited London but you've made me feel as if I had. Lovely.

sallymandy said...

I loved this Tessa. Thank you. So succinct and clear.

Juan said...

That was absolutely beautiful and the photo was stunning.

A Cuban In London said...

'disparate lines'

May I suggest that you try to avoid the same condition that seems to afffect the denizens of these shores please :-)? Self-deprecation.

That was a hell of a poem and the two images are... are... are...

(goes off in search of dictionary AND thesaurus. Comes back empty-handed)

... are. Sorry, I could not find any words to match the beauty of both your photos and your text.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Bjornik said...

Oh Tessa. Thank you for the kind words you left in my blog. I always feel good about myself after reading them.hahaha

You paint beautifully with your words. And maybe it's time you know that you're one of the persons I look up to for inspiration. You really inspire me and how I wish I am as good as you. Great photos too!:)

Bee said...

Tessa - I've loved catching up with your recent posts. So many wonderful things from your meme . . .I just jotted down that book recommendation and your baba ganoush recipe.

As for your poem, I was haunted by the memory of London for years. I lived there when I was 21, and then I would dream about it and long for it all of the years I lived in Texas. Something about your last stanza -- loving something best when it is lost to you and in such direct contrast to the experience that you live every day -- spoke directly to me.

Are the "mugs" your family, I'm assuming? They are all lovely.

Renee said...

How beautiful and hopeful. I love it Tessa.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Lori ann said...

Yes, really just absolutly beautiful. You are such a talent. I love both places, photos and words.
love to you.

Woman in a Window said...

wonderfully descriptive. Yes, that specific grit to wet gravel. I got it. Nice.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous - yes, that's London and so my reaction when I first spent time there. It still holds a special place in my heart.

Anonymous said...

There is much to love about London.

Great pictures, too!

soulbrush said...

i have lived in the first
am now living in the second
or unlucky?

Beth Kephart said...


Might I have that word????!!!!

Oh, all the things you know, Tessa, the non Twitterer, for which I am so grateful.

JuneMoonToon said...

What an awesome photo of foggy London!