To Cherry Blossom

The cherry blossom is out in my garden, and as we enjoy its brief moment of splendour, I can think of no better excuse for some “proper poetry”. So, here’s my tribute to spring’s most fabulous diva.

To Cherry Blossom

Vain cherry blossom, loud and peacock-proud,
You flutter at the oak tree with disdain,
His spring display is workaday and plain,
Whilst yours draws veneration from the crowd.
You flourish and you flaunt – your fans are wowed –
It seems you’ve won spring’s pageant once again,
But soon, and with a showman’s sigh of pain,
You’ll make them weep – you’ll tumble to the ground.

Yet I’ll not cry – just as, I must confess,
I won’t mourn midnight fireworks, come the dawn,
Or grieve the short life of a wedding dress.
Like gorgeous gift-wrap chosen to impress,
Your brevity’s no burden to be born –
No, therein lies your true seductiveness.

 

© Nina Parmenter 2018

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Toddler Tantrum

Here’s the latest in a long line of “parenting stuff I worked out a bit too late”.

It has taken until my second child reaches three-and-a-half to work out that a child having a tantrum (a proper one, not a fake one) is NOT generally a child that can be reasoned with. No, a child having a tantrum is a bewildered trainee human, confused and overstimulated by a overloaded, malfunctioning lizard brain.

You wanna reason with that? You go ahead, supermum. For now, I’ll just stick to giving him space and cuddles.

Toddler Tantrum

Your brother pushed the button at the crossing,
The bowl you want is blue; you got the red,
The world dissolves. And suddenly you’re lost in
A cruel new place, uncharted in your head.

This world is wrong; it threatens your survival,
Raw panic meets bewilderment and rage,
These primal feelings brawl and churn and spiral –
It’s all too huge to process at your age.

Your skin turns red, you scream, emotions wheeling,
Your chubby hands curl tightly into claws,
You hit the ground, you pummel out those feelings,
That seem too big and scary to be yours.

I meet the stares from passers-by with shrugs.
I’ll give you space, brave boy, then give you hugs.

 

©️Nina Parmenter 2018

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Perplexing Child

We know that part of the reason for our success as a race is our diversity. And yet, we still sometimes don’t know how to cope with difference. Especially amongst our children.

Faced with sensitive children, artistic children, gifted children, ADHD children, autistic children – we’re tempted to try to homogenise them, make them conform, quash what makes them brilliant. Because, as much as we desperately love them, what makes them brilliant can also make them a huge, perplexing challenge.

Perplexing Child 

My brave, perplexing child – you are unique,
You do not touch the world like others do.
The words we say, our rules, the things we seek,

They’re all a strange cacophony to you.

What does life feel like, there behind your eyes,
Your mouth, your nose, your fingertips, your ears?
If I could breathe your breath, what fresh surprise

would hide within your thoughts, your dreams, your fears?

You challenge life. You rail against the norm,
Within this world that needs us all compliant,
You’ll blossom, though, while they rush to conform,

You’ll grow in your own skin, become a giant.

One day you’ll burn magnificently bright,

Until then, there’s a world we have to fight.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Confetti

OK. Hold your nerve (I had to) – this is a serious one. Never fear though, it still rhymes.

In deciding to have a poke at something serious, where else could I start but with a sonnet. And who else could I write a sonnet about than my fabulous husband.

Strictly, a sonnet should have fourteen lines, but I read some rather lovely poetry written in this slightly extended twenty-line form and I was inspired me to try it myself.

So here you go. This one’s for Dave. xx

Confetti

Our wedding dance was carried on a breeze,
We spun with the confetti round the hall,
Then life howled in and blew away our ease,
For time brings dust and debris to us all.
I press your hand. You wink. The pressure falls,
Together we will laugh amongst the squalls.

Our children, home and work engulf my day,
While worries and to-do lists flood my brain.
Just when I fear I might be washed away,
A look, a smile from you and I am sane.
And when I’m born askew by angst or pain,
You find the words that balance me again.

Asleep, your body rests with sweet aplomb,
While my thoughts knot with quarrels and with qualms,
I fear the dark, or worse, the dark to come,
Your mellow stillness softens my alarm.
I touch your back, you breathe beneath my palm,
And, unaware, you lead me into calm.

When you’re with me, I sense the peace within,
And I can feel confetti on my skin.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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