Friday 10 July 2009

In Vino Veritas ~ A Mother/Daughter Collaboration


soliture.sometimes‘Solitude, sometimes’
Alexandra Edwards


Vermilion Reflections

by Tessa Edwards


 For seven long winters

I carried your picture around

in an old damp suitcase

and now you will be here

on Monday, at noontime.

Is it you that I remember

in your navy blue raincoat

coloured against November?

Did we walk together

through the stench of the Metro

and sit amongst dead butts

in those infernal cinemas?

Now clothed in wispy

garments of solitude

I wait for you to come

on Monday, at noontime.


It is just the rusted sundial

in the parched garden

which warns me lightly

that I still exist in this

place that is so familiar.

I am stifled by the tedium,

and suffer from the carnage

of memories which burn

and sear the core of me.

But I wait, and bake bread

and gather herbs and fresh figs

for us to eat on Monday

at noontime.


The flame trees are in flower now,

the evening pink flamingos settle

on the shores of placid lakes.

The room is large and moonlit,

with soft carpets from the Orient.

There are pools below which appear

like clouds of polarised light,

and they dim and recede

when the sun sinks low

and calls in the lonely night.

Did you know that

I am quieter now,

and more melancholy?

Or that this garnet liquid

with a constellation of reflections

cradled in its silver chalice

is my only succour now

until I melt in you again

on Monday, at noontime.


Oh, yikes! Well, it’s done now. That is my entry for a writing/poetry contest. (Beani, darling, thank you for the inspiration.)  Oof, it was hard.  Frankly, I think I’d rather stand naked on that Gormley plinth in Trafalgar Square than subject myself – as I’ve just done – to the rigours of literary scrutiny in the arena of poetry.

Goodness gracious me! There are some truly phenomenal writers and poets out there in our Blogworld. My bloggy friend Nicky of Absolute Vanilla – an exceptionally talented writer herself – gave us the heads-up about a writing contest which runs from July 8th until July 15th hosted by Jason Evans at The Clarity Of Night. The premise is to write a story or poem of not more than 250 words based on the phrase In Vino Veritas (Truth in Wine).

I’ve just been reading through all the entries so far and I would highly recommend that you do so as well – it’s astonishing (and not a little scary) how high the standard is and it makes for some genuinely riveting reading.

Actually, those of you whose blogs I follow so avidly all stand right up there with the best of literary talent, so why don’t you give it a go too, folks?  There is still a chance for you to enter a piece of fiction or poetry yourselves.  The contest doesn’t close until 15th July so it’s not too late and you have all weekend to compose your piece. G’on, you know you want to!  And it probably isn’t as terrifying as standing naked on a plinth, come to think of it.


Holly said...

No, I'll take standing naked...I just don't think I'm very good at poetry...the meter and the terseness of the thinking overwhelm me....

But, you? Now like other writing, you seem to have it, even if you do have to sweat a bit as you are creating.

Serves you right, I say...not everything should be easily whispered in your ear by your Muse.

Or if so, I want to trade in mine for yours...

Tell mine to beat it; I have a new, easier partner...

Yeah, I like that idea.

pink dogwood said...


This is so good. I love it. I think this should win something - best wishes :)

Also, I received the beautifully wrapped package last night - I am overwhelmed with happiness. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love it. I wish I were an artist and could reciprocate with something half as beautiful. I have become a great fan of your art and your words. Thank you so much :)

skywind said...

Is a piece of beautiful poem, is bringing the light sadness, is anticipating miracle's occurrence.
Health information & Humor & Fun World

Renee said...

Tessa it is beautiful and by it I mean both the painting and the words.

Wonderful dear friend, dear author.


Caroline said...

Beautiful, beautiful! Bravo - I'll take a look at some of the other entries in due course, but I love your version of 'In Vino Veritas'. Gosh, who hasn't sat among the the dead butts in those infernal cinemas and wished to be clothed in wispy garments...?? You have the gift, definitely!!

Grace Albaugh said...

Beautiful entry Tessa. I'm glad you found the courage!
I've entered two fine art pieces in juried shows and felt the same timid feelings but I say "nothing ventured, nothing gained". Didn't win or even make the show cut either time, but I'll do it again. At some point someone will want to display my art. Maybe I'll just put a show together with some other artist friends someday.

Bravo to you sweet girl!

Irene said...

I'll let you do the wonderful poetic writing and I'll stand naked on the plinth. I think I have made the easier choice and I don't have Helen of Troy's body or face. I'll embarrass myself for as long as it takes you to read your poem out loud. No stuttering! I can't write an ode to wine, it makes m drunk and very downhearted. It would be a lament.

lucy said...

The painting is stunning...the words are captivating. I am in awe of such talent. I bow before you both!

Good luck with the contest.

A Cuban In London said...

With competitors like you, my dear, I don't stand a chance. This line left me speechless: 'and sit amongst dead butts/in those infernal cinemas?'

Beautiulf pun. Butts as in cigarette butts and butss as in backsides. Anyway, that's my interpretation.

I loved it, I loved this poem from beginning to end. I have some time to kill now (How come Time never sues humans for manslaughter?) so I will make my way there pronto.

Have a nice weekend. And yes, keep writing.

Greetings from London.

Alexandra MacVean said...

Tessa, Great work. Best of luck in the contest!! :)

Natalie said...

Lovely painting, stunning poetry. What a talented duo you are ,girls!
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, thanks.xx♥

Rosaria Williams said...

Loved the painting and the poem, the mother/daughter collaboration made even stronger with words about missing that person who is visiting on Monday, and being aware of the changes in one's life.

kj said...

"on Monday, at noontime."

oh tessa, the repetition alone is so intense and important that it frames the narrator's anticpation and uncertainty like your colors frame your paintings. i feel so proud of you that you have written this. i hope you win!

i'm checking out the contest too and thank you for pointing it out. i don't know if i'll get a poem done in time, and my relationship with wine is sadly past, but i hope i find the time for the fun of it.

i'm so glad i could get into your blog tonight. i have some catching up to do. i'll hopefully read your synopsis in search of a title. that was THE hardest part of my book--naming it. finally, it came and i like it totally, but it was not easy.

love to you tessa, take good care.

Lori ann said...

Alexandra,what a beautiful painting.

And so, it does run in the family. Mama Tessa who radiates creativity from her every pore has infused her daughters with talent too! Tessa, I too would rather stand naked, I'm not a writer or a poet (i know you didn't mean me anyway!)but I am lucky that I can read yours.

Good luck on the contest, I have all my fingers crossed for you and Nicky. Can there be two winners??


Sarah Lulu said...

The painting and the poem both so powerful and lovely.

You win if I'm the judge.

Madame DeFarge said...

I love the line about the 'carnage of memories which burn and sear the core of me'. It sums up my feelings about many of the things that I remember and wish to forget.

Both poem and picture are wonderful, but that line would win it for me.

soulbrush said...

you are truly talented...i have writeen some poetry too and drawn for the poems, may enter something...mmmmm

soulbrush said...

did your daughter do the art? wow! i have just looked at the rules etc, and truly have no time to get it ready, maybe next time...good luck.

Maithri said...

Dearest Tessa,

This is breathtaking!!!

Your words are so rich and layered with passion and vibrant life...

I'm going to read it again!! I must...

My favourite line...

"The flame trees are in flower now..."

Alex's painting is absolutely gorgeous as well...

What talent in one family. I'm blown away,

Always love,


Debra Keirce said...

Tessa, this is lovely! Me standing naked would not be.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I enjoyed reading your poem a second time around. I've been trying to keep up with the entries and have been leaving comments here and there. You're absolutely correct: The talent pool is fierce.

Exmoorjane said...

Lovely words indeed - don't put yourself down (thinking of your tweet about this).... 250 words will forever mean a review for me (it was the standard length for book/theatre/film reviews at a magazine I used to work for) so not sure I could manage a story - and certainly no way would I chance a poem! Good luck and I'm checking out the other entries next.. jxx

Woman in a Window said...

Oh Tessa. How absolutely freaken wonderful. Really. You've nothing to fear. Your naked is gorgeous.

Jinksy said...

Having discovered this post on Monday, 1.45pm, your 'meeting' may be past, but your beautiful poem and painting will live on. Love them both.

L'Adelaide said...

really darling, I think I would prefer to stand naked on the plinth....this is very good was my immediate thought and I also very much liked your daughter's painting!! lovely! I will go over and read some poetry, I love it, but think yours is a worthy candidate! so there ;)

Yoli said...

Oh there is nothing you cannot do. You have talent pouring from your soul dear lady.

Beth Kephart said...

I think this is exquisite, and I would never try to top it.

(But oh, there is truth in wine.)

Elizabeth said...

A most lovely and touching poem.
I have reread it several times.
How did I miss this when you posted it? I feel so remiss.(Lots of family staying in our little apartment).
Yes, there are many excellent poets in blogland.
One thinks of Weaver and Willow and Dave King.
I would have loved to enter this
but, obviously missed it.
Have a wonderful weekend and my apologies again.