Books Magazine

Love Among The Scatter Cushions

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
When I first set eyes on this week's allotted theme, my spirits flagged. Cushion! It put me in mind of that popular radio panel game where contestants have to try and talk for Just A Minute without deviation, hesitation or repetition about some unseen and completely random topic. At least I hope I'm not operating under quite such stringent constraints here. Cushion, though..! Cue a string of appropriate three-letter acronyms: omg, wtf, yak, etc - that last one is not an acronym, btw.
Ok, metaphorical fingers on metaphysical buzzers, gentle readers. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin (to steal the opening line from the kids' story time programme Listen With Mother)...
Apart from the fact that  I need to buy some cushions for my new couch and chairs, I honestly cannot think of anything else of interest to say about the cushion (buzz - no, I'm allowed to repeat the subject word), so I'm heading 'off-sofa' - so to speak (buzz, buzz) - and into the realms of poetry (buzz, buzz, buzz) with this preamble:
A number of distinguished works from various areas of the arts have named themselves Love Among The ___ down the years. As far as I'm aware, Robert Browning started the tradition in 1855 with his poem Love Among The Ruins. P.G. Wodehouse followed on with a comic novel, Love Among The Chickens, in 1906 and then D.H. Lawrence wrote a stirring short story entitled Love Among The Haystacks in 1912. Film director Frank Tuttle shot the comedy classic Love Among The Millionaires in 1930 but thereafter came a bit of a hiatus (it appears) until US rock band Starship recorded an LP, Love Among The Cannibals, in 1989 and Jean Ferris penned her satirical novel-for-teenagers Love Among The Walnuts a decade after that. National treasure Alan Bennett almost gave us Love Among The Lentils in his Talking Heads monologue series but opted for Bed Among The Lentils instead, possibly recognising and avoiding a pastiche too far.
I have no such reservations. I'm shamelessly resolving my blogging conundrum with Love Among The Scatter Cushions, using this painting by Irving Ramsey Wiles as a visual stepping stone to today's newly-written poem.

Love Among The Scatter Cushions
Love Among The Scatter Cushions
Aftermath, late afternoon shading into insubstantial,
sound-tracked by nothing but the constant drone
of arterial cars rushing to their heartlands
and the leisurely buzzing of incarcerated flies,
a huge quiet after frantic pleasure, almost a peace.
You lie still in tiny death, prostrate, suffused, dishevelled
among the scatter cushions of your chaise
and I wait, now unperturbed, for your lazarine return.
It wasn't always so. That first time, unforewarned,
induced a panic of concern that I can smile at now.
You said it used to frighten you too. Black hole of ecstacy,
you joked, a strange phrase, but who was I to say,
who'd never experienced the mystery. And here you come,
fading gently back into time, fingers still entwined in mine,
looking like you don't know where you are or where you've been,
a languid mess of hair, disported clothes, bare limbs,
resurfacing to consciousness even as the echoes of our passion
hang like cobwebs in the corners of your living room.
Soon it will  be time to dress, slip back into the flow
or we'll be late for the show, but not yet awhile, not yet...
Finally, because I went to see the wondrous Coral gigging at Blackpool's Winter Gardens Empress Ballroom last week, here's a musical bonus, the closing track from their finest recorded moment. Just click on the hyperlinked title to access it on YouTube: Late Afternoon by The Coral
As ever, thanks for reading. Have a sunny week, S ;-) Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


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