BETWEEN BEAUTY AND DECADENCE
Like a shred of satin
Crumpled and creamy
It caught my eye
Lying there, near a clothes peg
Against the brick red patio.
Halfway between beauty and decadence
With the day’s bruise already on it:
The world’s aches
In the throwaway gift
Of a fallen petal.
Over how many ways with words
And turns of phrase, and scribbles and scrawls
Have my fingers lingered?
In getting a feeling
For the spirit that moves
The outward, literal, form
We step into the writer’s mind
To follow the contours of their thoughts,
Only then can we dare
To shape their material
Reinforcing the fabric of expressions
Trimming away the frills, removing padding
And shreds of ambiguity folded into phrases
Stretching sentences until they’re taut with meaning
One following on one from another
Until they all hang perfectly, pleasingly
With no loose threads,
For we editors are tailors,
(Seamstresses of old
Working in the back room of history,
Heads bowed, diligently, invisibly)
We cut and paste and nip and tuck,
Sewing it all together
Until the point is clear.
Here, at this work,
My pen’s my needle.
I stitch in words:
This is my tapestry.
Author: Denise O'Hagan
The GistDenise is an editor by trade. Born in Italy, she lived in the UK before emigrating to Australia. She holds an MA in Bibliography and Textual Criticism and works in publishing. Her poetry is published in various literary journals including New Reader Magazine, Other Terrain Journal, Pink Cover Zine, Literary Yard, Backstory, Other Terrain Journal, Scarlet Leaf Review, Poet’s Corner/InDaily and The Blue Nib. She was commended in the Australian Catholic University Poetry Prize (2018), shortlisted for the Robert Graves Poetry Prize (2018), and received a special mention in the Pangolin Poetry Prize (2018). Website: https://blackquillpress.com/