The Ink Pods. Literary Podcast for The Blue Nib.

Rosemary McLeish reads her own work, Skeleton

April 03, 2020 Various
The Ink Pods. Literary Podcast for The Blue Nib.
Rosemary McLeish reads her own work, Skeleton
Chapters
The Ink Pods. Literary Podcast for The Blue Nib.
Rosemary McLeish reads her own work, Skeleton
Apr 03, 2020
Various

Skeleton



The skeleton of a blue whale, called “Hope”,

is suspended over the hall of the museum,

dominating everything.  I marvel at its

stupendous size, its delicate symmetry,

its grace, and wonder what my bones

will look like when I’m dead.  I’ve seen

the flares on CT scans, read the grim reports,

but never looked up images of what ails me.

This feathery, fragile, honeycombed

beauty is not what I expected.  I thought

of growths, Elephant Man-like spurs

and gross misshapes, excrescences.

I cannot power through krill, mouth

agape, eating as I go.  I need to protect

my frailty for fear of breaks, not even

a dip in the local pool.  But I can at least

stop a while, contemplate these ever-

changing patterns from dense to filigree,

as ephemeral as spiders’ webs, frost

fairies on winter windows, the tracery

of bare branches against a grey sky;

or notice how the frills and furbelows

are so like those of underwater lives,

the blue whale’s home, of sea anemones,

sponges, coral.  There’s an odd kind of

strength in fragility, as powerful in its

way as this great leviathan of our age.

We spend our lives picking and choosing

amongst what nature offers us,

but we need, I need, to embrace it all.

Cancer, making lace out of my bones,

traces all the beloved patterns of my life.

Support the show (https://thebluenib.com/donation/)

Show Notes

Skeleton



The skeleton of a blue whale, called “Hope”,

is suspended over the hall of the museum,

dominating everything.  I marvel at its

stupendous size, its delicate symmetry,

its grace, and wonder what my bones

will look like when I’m dead.  I’ve seen

the flares on CT scans, read the grim reports,

but never looked up images of what ails me.

This feathery, fragile, honeycombed

beauty is not what I expected.  I thought

of growths, Elephant Man-like spurs

and gross misshapes, excrescences.

I cannot power through krill, mouth

agape, eating as I go.  I need to protect

my frailty for fear of breaks, not even

a dip in the local pool.  But I can at least

stop a while, contemplate these ever-

changing patterns from dense to filigree,

as ephemeral as spiders’ webs, frost

fairies on winter windows, the tracery

of bare branches against a grey sky;

or notice how the frills and furbelows

are so like those of underwater lives,

the blue whale’s home, of sea anemones,

sponges, coral.  There’s an odd kind of

strength in fragility, as powerful in its

way as this great leviathan of our age.

We spend our lives picking and choosing

amongst what nature offers us,

but we need, I need, to embrace it all.

Cancer, making lace out of my bones,

traces all the beloved patterns of my life.

Support the show (https://thebluenib.com/donation/)