Sunday, 7 November 2010

Emily Greenleafe

On Summer walks down to a nearby sea-shore
we would discuss which of the routes to take-
across the tussocks in the cow-pat field
or by dim-shadowed lanes that wind below
boughs of elderflower, hawthorn, oak
and beech?
                   Another path would bring us into
the peaceful graveyard of a Saxon church,
where chiselled names left shadows in our minds    
sharper than those cast on weathered headstones.

Our favourite by far, was Emily Greenleafe.
We'd stop to say 'Hello', and felt  by doing so
our thoughts reached out, perhaps tip-tinged with grief,
from this, our present 'now', back to her 'then'.
She would have known these self same country paths,
that all lead down to meet with harbour tides,
where seagulls send their plaintive cries to sea
as echoes riding winds from distant lands.

This has been simmering for a couple of weeks now, and The Poetry Bus driver, Jessica, asked us to write about bathing. I decided to ignore bathrooms, and take my ablutions to the sea, hence giving a very loose connection to this poem which has been occupying my thoughts!

And to get back to a bathroom theme, here's a re-run of a poem I wrote much earlier! The Gurgler. Now I demand two tickets for the price of one, Jessica.

There's a Gurgler in my sink
and I think he wants a drink.
When I slowly shift the plug,
that is when he starts to glug
as the water's rushing down.
I do hope that he won't drown.   
It can't be very nice to swallow
soapy water from a hollow
gushing, pipe (so dark and gloomy!)
in the sink of my bathroomy.


  1. A nice thoughtful descriptive work Penny. Seems like the sort of item of descriptive prose I asked you about a while ago. - Dave

  2. "..all lead down to meet with harbour tides,
    where seagulls send their plaintive cries to sea
    as echoes riding winds from distant lands." Wonderful. This made me think of those secret coves we got to know and love in Cornwall.

  3. Emily Greenleafe...You do know how to evoke mood, Ms. Jinksy. Very nice.

  4. Bee oo tee full. And Emily Greenleafe... such a lovely name. Must look out for the old goat though. (The old goat loves a green leaf.)

    The second poem made me LOL. Again. Just like the first time.

  5. Lovely poem, as is the illustration to accompany it. And of course the second one conveys quite a different mood!

  6. Very nice Jinksy, I relate to the peaceful graveyard meandering...I have a small 1800's cemetery right by my drive. I remember, with a smile, the Gurgler in your sink!

  7. Both of your selections are quite wonderful.

    I am very intrigued by Emily Greenleafe. Her name gives a definite picture to my mind.

  8. Emily certainly adds a reassuring sense of continuity to the place. Delighted you'd stop to say hello.

  9. Ooh I love that gurgler in the sink :O)

  10. Your bathroomy poem sent me into giggle-loony.

  11. I love it. I aways used to think that the water was being drunk too fast by the drain pipe and that it was burping continuously!
    Lovely post.

    I have already managed to get son to put the little bunny in the side bar. Lucky he was here!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  12. I love the idea of wandering through graveyards, saying hello to those who have passed. Unfortunately, we don't have many here in western Canada as most people these days are cremated. Really enjoyed both your poems here today. :D

  13. I remember the gurgler poem, made me smile. I too enjoy a walk through the graveyard reading the headstones, something my dad and I use to do. You are very creative my friend.....:-) Hugs

  14. Beautiful first poem and very amusing second poem. inspiring me to write:

    The ensuing whirpool was called Eddie
    Minus his big sister's Teddy
    He gurgled as he went round
    And vanished into a pipe he found.

    LOL Thanks for the piccie ~ Eddie x

  15. The second one made me laugh, but I infinitely preferred the first. (I thought the sea was an option.)

  16. I love the gurgler! I always thought that there was a lion in the bathroom when I was little....perhaps there was!!

  17. Good, the poetry is back and going full-tilt.

    I enjoyed both of them, but the gurgler made me laugh, of course.
    I have one of them in kitchen sink, he loves potato peelings slipping down and always makes a lot more noise when he's fed burnt toast crumbs.

  18. I know where you are Ma... I did those chats and cow pat steps didn't I? It brought lots of lovely homey memories back, are you adding more?

  19. Ms Jinksy, this poem touched me very deeply. Grief and gulls and winds are all evocative of such sorrow, which you beautifully showed on the leafy green path of memory.

    Thank you.


  20. Oh Jinksy! Think of all the departed souls of the supposed experts on the human mind, Jung, Freud and the list goes on. Now think of saying to any of them, "I read about a poem, about a bathroom drain..." and stumping the bejeebers out of them! "A poem...about a..." the irony overload would finally shut them up one and all. "Fun? Purely for fun, but the gurgling drain must surely represent..." "Nope, just for fun." "...and the behavior is..." "For a laugh."


    Nicely done, nicely done. Across time, in the land far away, I wonder if one Emily Greenleafe passed as she churned, or sewed, or wondered what to do about her aching tooth and thought...."What in the world is a bathroom?"

  21. They're both nice, Jinksy, but it is the first one that resonates. Doing searches on, I am often left wondering about those people who have gone before us. If you practiced this communication when you were young then you had a highly sensitive and probing nature as a child and if it is a more recent experience - well, I suspect you had that nature in any case. What a lovely poem!

    I did enjoy the mirth in the second one and it reminded me of one I wrote about a spider in a pot a while back.


  22. I love the first, but I really giggle with the second one, when I think all that goes down my kitchen sink drain, and perhaps other drains in my house.

  23. Emily Greenleafe will stay with me, what a wonderful poem! :-)

    Would you believe that there is a Gurgler in my sink?

  24. Enjoyed and admired both poems, Jinksy. Wonderful.


  25. Your poem for Emily is beautifully written, Jinksy. I think a few of us might have a gurgler!

  26. "chiseled names left shadows in our minds" is beautiful and touching as is the entire poem. I love your bathroomy gurgle too!


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