"Life is the dancer and you are the dance."
Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Last Minutes Spent in a Café" We Write Poems #47-Musty Minutes

Close but never quite within reality’s
clenched hand as it squeezes too tightly,
pressure builds on the interior

It’s morning walks through city streets
smell of exhaust from diesel fuel
burnt and sent to the atmosphere as it mingles
with your oxygen … breathing, resting on clouds above
like a saturated sponge forming a shroud 

Carbon turns skies a dingy grey like tables
at a local café, grease clings to tattered curtains
hung many years ago by hands now riddled with
rheumatism … unyielding

Coffee has sat too long, the aroma’s acrid
scent lingers in your nostrils for hours
as fluorescent fixtures blink intermittently, making you uneasy,
reaching for the Sunday paper, examine the
veins on your hand that rise and pulsate like 
tiny rolling rivers

Musty memories open floodgates to central
recollection … as you take another
sip of bitter coffee


  1. Wonderfully set !
    Liked how your words traced memories ..

  2. A dark poem, but not all musty memories are pleasant.

  3. very intriguing poem... the veins, rising and pulsating like
    tiny rolling rivers - you capture this sadness of loneliness so well

  4. Thanks for visiting, ladynimue.

  5. Mike, I have some vivid memories of diners and old cafés in New York and I suppose that is where this came from.

  6. Thanks, Viv, I wasn't sure if, it worked that well.

  7. There is such sadness in loneliness, Claudia.

  8. Somehow your trip to the cafe, is both specific and yet Universal. Many times memories raise the same sense for me, the dark clouds and dingy appearance of a place that may never again exist, except within,


  9. Elizabeth, I honestly didn't know this prompt would take me to such darkness. Memories are a funny thing.

  10. This is a dark piece...but also universal. The veins in my hands make me self conscious, checking them out while drinking bitter coffee? Ew... Well done, Pamela!

  11. Seems quite a few went to the darkside with this prompt, Brenda.

  12. I like how you evoked musty cafes and reflect that in the hands and bitter coffee. It made me think of dinginess in old places that have the stain of long years.

  13. There are many of them in this world, Irene.

  14. A graphic, but poetic description. Don't want to go to that place!

  15. Thanks Marian, there are loads of them in every city.

  16. Pamela, you have really captured 'musty' in this poem@! Sensually evocative.

  17. This is an amazing poem full of smells and descriptions that put me right there drinking that bitter coffee. Wonderful!

  18. Thanks Judy, I was surprised I went in this direction with the prompt.

  19. I like the way the images progress, from diesel fuel to carbon skies to greasy curtains to coffee, the colors that you hint at through the other senses. A good exploration of "musty minutes".

  20. musty indeed Pam....nice words again