Thursday, 26 April 2012

National Poetry Month - Swimming to the Surface by Saskia Maddock

It's National Poetry Month and I have been browsing and reading through a couple of my poetry books.  This morning, I once again picked up my copy of Swimming to the Surface by Canadian Poet Saskia Maddock.  It was a pleasure to have met Saskia at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in September of 2011.

Every now and then, this book finds it's way to my hands and I read a sampling of poems.  I find it intriguing that the same poem can have a very different impact on me depending on my mood, time of day and overall situation I find myself in.  For me, most books are a read once item, once I finish the story, I am done, but poetry books are a repeat read.  I don't usually read cover to cover, but in bits and bites.  A little bit here and now and perhaps a totally different selection the next time I open that volume.

This morning it was the following poem that stopped me.  I am left pondering who or what is that dragon.  Depression or alcoholism. 

The Dragon

It lies in the corner, in the darkness, breathing softly, quietly
Its presence a comfort---almost...
It slumbers seemingly dead to the world but not to me

I sense it waiting patiently, biding its time
I know it wants me; I feel its need

The awful familiarity of its fire pulling on my soul if I let it,
its tongue flicking ever so gently against the muscles of my belly,
that haunting warmth spreading through me, shockingly
recognizable even after all this time...

I must stand vigilant against the dragon,
against its subtle emissaries who strive to break me;
it drowses quietly in the corner...

I keep watch.


Felicity Grace Terry said...

What a wonderful poem The Dragon is. Great to sit hear reading it myself but I can't help but think that like all poetry it would be even better if someone was reading it to me.

stujallen said...

beutiful poem and what a lovely cover ,all the best stu