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The Room Where We Sit by Bob Kimmerling

Arts Richmond

Online - 04 April 2021

The Room Where We Sit by Bob Kimmerling


Thirty plants, give or take, 
Line the shelves and window cills 
Where we have sat for more than 
Thirty years in sunny daylight hours
Beneath the fanned roof glazing bars 
Which span this summer room, 
Where sofa and two wicker chairs 
Look out to May's wisteria bloom, 
With pond, 
And just the faintest sound beyond 
Of waterfall's thin trickle tune. 

These plants were mostly scavenged, 
Seeded or propagated. 
St. Lucia gave Kalanchoe, 
Millions from one mother; 
Ibiza, something like a vine, 
From the wall of Puig de Missa. 
The spiky yucca thing was found 
While on a river walk 
With my Grandson's hand in mine.
Five cacti, like Meercats, 
Stand in a terracotta pot. 
Something else is trailing, 
All tangled in a knot, 
Hanging to the fish tank 
Where it dangles water's top. 

Above my head behind me 
A gently turning fish trap,
With two Weaver nests from Goa 
All slowly spinning one way
Then slowly spinning back.

A Zulu spear, 
An Indian bow from Bocas 
Next to grandad's Dollond barometer 
Across its glass a crack. 
There’s an elder's stick from Kenya, 
Marci gave me that, 
Beside a Nepalese walking stick 
That Enid had brought back. 

Rain now leaks a little through, 
And has done for some time. 
Just the slightest drip or two 
To puddle on the table, 
Sponged by the Sunday Mail. 
But today the wind has driven in
Some new drips by the wall.
I suppose one day this thing I built, 
Its bricks and beams all found within 
A skip, will be emptied of them all. 
My memories will be consigned 
And taken to the nearest tip. 
A firm that builds conservatories, 
New plastic ones without our souls, 
Will fix familiar memories 
And replace these dripping holes.
Although he only lived twice 
Today James Bond departed 
Long memories of this life.

By Bob Kimmerling,
Chair of Trustees of the Vineyard Community


To watch a video performance of the poem, Roman Centurion go to https://vimeo.com/524839663



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