requiem for the toaster

requiem_for a_toaster_s

In the west, two rivers merge,
the flows of past and future mingle
with the guests, a meet and greet.

From the shore, in a certain quality of light,
you may glimpse a flight in grey,
a moving blueprint, a system of soft levers.

Cyphers, written on the foliage
in efflorescent mimicry,
will come and go to seed,
and you may touch a lesser happiness
before the wheel of ending
makes a single turn.

We’re streaky light in morning darkness,
if not that then something else,
defined by artifice and circumstance,
woven in a stranger’s scarf, Italian knit.


My requiem for the toaster.

Is it under warranty?
You should take it back.

shared laundry rules

  1. Do not eat the soap,
    or suggest the same
    to an acquaintance.
  2. Do not penultimately decide
    that you will wash a household pet
    or your current outfit, in situ.
  3. Check all pockets for relevant receipts,
    including toaster purchases,
    even if you’re wondering
    who left the scarf in the machine,
    and whether they used the delicate cycle.
    Or if, when it is half past two,
    why the soap is half past two,
    why your clothes are half past two,
    and why the stranger’s scarf is half past two.

The docket went through the wash,
and when I pegged it on the line,
an origami crow flew down,
pecked it off to feed her young.

My counterpoint on keyboard
played a dark accompaniment,
a little capriccioso, ma non troppo,
and I confessed a peccadillo or two.

I had a breakfast craving,
an impatience for some high-speed toast.
I put the toaster in the microwave,
and the microwave on the stove.

I have several requiems to write.

artwork requiem for a toaster (detail above)

37 thoughts on “requiem for the toaster

  1. Your illustration feels like a Japanese woodcut, Beautiful Steve. The first part read and flowed beautifully I kept reading it over and over. I chuckled at your laundry rules 🙂 they are a mysterious place. Bravo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very observant, Tamaya. I don’t specifically control what the software does but at one point I had an image that looked just like a wooden board. It wasn’t as dark as I wanted it for the requiem, and also there wasn’t much point in generating a piece of wood. 😃 Glad you enjoyed the words, it has mood changes, just the way it happened.


  2. God. What an ending! My condolences, Steve. I especially like the 2nd and 3rd stanzas, and the origami crow. And those 2 stanzas in a different font, that seem to represent the purely practical. So much originality in your work. Hope you get some toast soon! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks BG. I mixed it up a bit. Sometimes life is like that. I think we can go from the everyday to contemplations further afield pretty easily. I wrote the first section last, after I was over the toaster. Ha ha, in fact my toaster works fine, but I appreciate the thought. 😃


  3. I’m sorry for your loss. “Streaky light in morning darkness” is just gorgeous. Many other beautiful lines here, too, but that one stands out for me. See what I mean about you making something mundane sound so luxurious—this time it’s toaster and laundry. Maybe next time grocery shopping will take center stage. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Steve I love this!’ Flows of past and future mingle’ and’ cyphers written on the foliage’ are true poetry. Also the wheel of ending makes a single turn’
    has a brilliant finality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Randy. The form is a bit unusual, the change of tone, but I thought it was okay altogether. Actually I do enjoy requiems in music, they seem to bring out the best in composers. Anyway, I’m not planning to write another one in the near future. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “you may touch a lesser happiness” – my favourite line Steve! and sometimes just this one line will linger for days, this one definitely will and it’s funny how someone else’s words can describe a time I am going through. the first part of your poem has a very wistful quality to it, like being in a space with dreaming books and dust motes. I really like this side of your writing. Household appliances and me have a tumultous relationship, my kids prefer I stay away from anything electrical or mechanical for our continued safety. My most hated thing is tissues in the pockets! they create a snowstorm in the wash!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Gina. Several people have commented about the opening section. After I’d written it, I kind of felt that I could have stopped there. But in fact I wrote it last, and I don’t think I would have written it at all if I hadn’t already done the narrative. Strange how the mind works.

      Tissues, ha ha, tell me about it; the pieces wind up stuck to all the clothes (they prefer the dark ones). 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      • i am fascinated with this explanation of how you restructure your writing Steve, I don’t think I ever do that. The mind is such a powerful tool and I think you have the sharpest I know here on wordpress, you bring a lot of suppressed feelings to the surface with your creative landscapes, well to me anyway when I read your poetical stories, I never know where it will lead me and just go with the flow, i enjoy the free fall.

        yes always the dark ones.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the flow of the first verse.
    I can well imagine someone (probably American) suing a washing machine manufacturer for not warning them about the consequences of putting a household pet in the wash.
    Hope nobody tries to microwave a toaster (perhaps ‘don’t try this at home’ should be added to the end of your requiem?). 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Magarisa. Yes everyone sues everyone, but unfortunately with the things I do at home I can only blame myself. If you put a metal cup in the microwave and fill it with argon gas you can create a glowing microwave plasma. Better not try this anywhere though. 😜 I don’t know how I know. 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I laughed and laughed… twisted funny! Amazingly puzzled together, and all the same I can decipher the artwork.. I’m listening to some dark winter music melody piano too.. that might set the mood 🙂 Bravo 👏

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.