dVerse Poetics and Miz Quickly’s Alchemical Elements

British Military Campaign Desk From Burma

In threes. Top. 2 side units. Open straight through.
Officer’s desk. Heavy as God’s infinite wisdom.

Every desk has a lock. Not every lock has a key.
Locks. Picked. Opened. Old wood and camphor.

A list of names. In sequence. Letters in a drawer.
Written in a place too hot. Air disguised as oxygen.

We are plagued. But we still dress for dinner.
Dripped heat and quinine. And tea at 3′.

We march on barbed wire. Jungles baptised.
Blood and soft voice syllables. Walk.         On.

So little left for survival. We want truth: Did
God create chickens and eggs simultaneously.

We cheat at a game of marbles. Stand. Sweat.
Inhaling damp flaky paint from the walls.

This desk is an old brown. Flat. Coffee-stained.
And then my pen rolls, and falls on the floor.

Some things are so much a part of us
                that we forget they once weren’t.


Once I’d seen Miz Quickly’s 8 Dec prompt, Make Something Out of Alchemical Elements (I went with earth), I knew how to approach dVerse Poets Passions Stamped On Things. This is a Fragment Poem. My husband uses my Burmese teak desk because it’s too large for my office. Its history places it in Burma from mid- 1800s and throughout WWII. It found its way to Hong Kong, where I bought it, and took it back home the UK. It’s made to be easily transported; the top is not fixed to the drawers – it’s just set on top of them, its weight creating a very sturdy platform. Shared with #APoemADay on Twitter   ©Misky 2021

31 responses to “dVerse Poetics and Miz Quickly’s Alchemical Elements”

  1. I recognised that Fragment style and really, really like it very much…so deceptively easy and I should know, as I am just not able go toy with it yet, not for want of trying…

    Your wonderful poem..breath-taking lines hidden in each stanza—really, when I see them there is an audible ooh! A poem imbued with such atmosphere I can almost smell the aroma of polished wood and sultry Rangoon…really like what you say, really like the exotic, adventurous setting the desk brings…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are always so generous with your comment, and it is truly appreciated. Thank you.

      Like

  2. I agree with Ain. The sultry heat, and the wonderfully solid desk are so beautifully tied together and captured in this magical piece

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The top is so heavy it takes three muscled men to carry it upstairs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I can almost feel the weight of this desk. Love the line “Heavy as God’s infinite wisdom”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, LuAnne! I’m glad you liked it.

      Like

  4. There are so many delicious phrases here. “Heavy as God’s infinite wisdom”, the simple remarks about locks, “Air disguised as oxygen”, and inhaling paint flakes from the walls. I don’t mean to quote your own poem back at you, it’s just that those stood out so much! There is such a rich sense of heat and humidity, deprivation and the people who might have been connected in some way to this desk, that it sounds utterly natural that it should carry some of that through distance and time to its place in your home. You’ve conveyed all of that just splendidly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m delighted that you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The fragments make this a wonderful whole, M. Thanks (especially for that closing couplet).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The spirit of India captured in nine marvellous couplets, and I absolutely love the desk too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Hobbo.

      Like

      1. Always welcome!

        Like

  7. Oh gosh, I really like this poem. All the fragments and short, sometimes staccato rhythm add up to a wonderful whole. That desk has seen a lot of history. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fun and innovative prompt, Merril. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. An amazing object with a fascinating history!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Ingrid. It’s a lovely old thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I have too many desks. One is a rolltop that I am sure is not old, nor is it easy to move.
    I like the history of your verse. The history that the desk holds, we can only imagine.
    Thank you.

    Like

  10. Form so effective… makes it feel like an almost forgotten memory.

    Like

  11. I love the desk and the story behind it. What a treasure! Your poem is perfect and with a really great ending.

    Like

    1. Thank you very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. So much life and art in an old desk. Makes me think of my dad’s. Sigh…..
    And that photo- wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Such and excellent poem. I had to look up “fragment poem,” but this so intriguing to me. The photo drew me in, the poem says so much. 🙂 Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Bill.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Misky.

        Like

  14. Your desk is so reminiscent of the Burma teak desk my grandfather had! Alas I have no pic.
    That last line says it all. Wonderful writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love how your fragments ties back to so much history, the desk, it’s place with you, and that trivial boredom of colonialism

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Love the fragmented style of this, Misk. I could feel a heavy desk with an ancient dusty scent.

    Liked by 1 person

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