Sunday whirl, got my act together this week!

April 7, 2013

Oh boy, it’s difficult to have a story line in my head that has little to do with the Sunday whirl words, but I persevered and hope this try doesn’t disappoint.


merge, project, activate, technology, unity, mantra,
smudge, sing, delicious, inquisitive, urge, stellar

In the crush of the people who merge from different corners of London into Victoria Station, a forced unity of technology, the evening exodus on the 19:35 to Haywards Heath, across the aisle from me is a girl with unbelievable hands.

They are pale, which suits her, and graceful and smooth and look like they sing fluent piano, even with thick rings of blue and green and one with silver butterflies fluttering together with every movement, tinkling on the correct fingers.

She slips the rings off in some urge to be free and lays them all on the table in front of her.
The butterfly ring rolls around the table and she stands it up and forgets it, and it rolls over the edge with the curve of the train and tinkles to the floor.

She either doesn’t notice or doesn’t mind but studies her hands which flit in front of her face now like messenger pigeons; her fingers project forward and fold to her palms in a delicious rhythm influenced by the swooshing of the train.

I watch her hands reflecting in my window although I think she might know because there is nothing past the window but the stellar night, so I wipe at a smudge to guard that I am watching at all.

She checks the articulation of her fingers according to the diagrams open in front of her and continues with her graceful mantra, every sign mirrored, not that I would understand the difference.

As the train stops at Gatwick she picks up her rings and folds the patterns of speech and secrets them into the pocket of her peacoat.

I notice the butterfly ring on the floor as she begins to walk away and bend down on one knee to retrieve it.

“Miss, I think this is yours.” I call out after her, but she doesn’t turn, doesn’t hear.

She steps from the train to the platform of the active station and into her soundproof dark.

She throws one inquisitive look to the window and I, looking back, don’t know what to say.

Come walk around the garden with me
Where she yarn bombs Binky and Bunny

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  • Reply michellepond April 7, 2013 at 8:54 am

    You take beautiful pictures even without your camera.

    • Reply Veronica April 7, 2013 at 11:37 am

      Thank you Michelle 🙂

  • Reply Stan Ski April 7, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Funny how you notice characteristics on trains that you totally ignore on buses…

    • Reply Veronica April 7, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Is that right Stan? I’m bad drive everywhere in Vancouver and mostly everywhere in England too, except to London and back. Then I take the train. 🙂

  • Reply The Writers Village April 7, 2013 at 9:24 am


    Beautiful images and lyrical lines, and I was carried away by slender fingers in a pianissimo phantasy.

    • Reply Veronica April 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Hello Randy, thank you very much for reading it. Off to visit you now. 🙂

  • Reply brenda w April 7, 2013 at 10:08 am

    This is wonderful, Veronica. Your description of her hands is beautiful. My daughter is deaf, her hearing loss is progressive…. but it is likely she would not have heard your narrator, as her hearing aid amplifies the background noise of the train along with the narrator’s voice. I love this piece. Thank you for writing it.

    • Reply Veronica April 7, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Aw, thank you Brenda. I’m glad you got the sense of a hearing impaired girl. Robert read a totally focused biology student studying the muscles of her hands and my daughter Kerstin got the sense that the girl wanted the narrator to have that ring deliberately. Funny how this little piece is read, but I’m so glad people interpret what they like from it. Somehow makes it more meaningful to me. 🙂

  • Reply Sabra Bowers April 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Soundproof dark…says a lot. I say her learning sign language, so when I read soundproof dark, it was the perfect description.

    • Reply Veronica April 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Thank you Sabra, I’m so glad people are seeing that in the poem. 🙂

  • Reply Sabra Bowers April 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Should be “saw” her.

  • Reply Walt Wojtanik April 7, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    Well done, Veronica. I like the tale you tell!

    • Reply Veronica April 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you Walt, finally got some time to visit you now. 🙂

  • Reply oldegg April 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm

    This was truly beautiful. Watching her was probably as good as listening to Gorecki who I love as well! Trains or buses or even in the cafe, people watching is my favorite pastime.

    • Reply Veronica April 8, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Thank you Old. I love people watching too. 🙂

  • Reply Catherine Llewellyn April 8, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Veronica like someone said above – I love how your writing paints a vivid picture – and yet leaves lots of space for each person’s individual imagination – I find you spur my imagination into motion with your words – thank you xx

    • Reply Veronica April 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Catherine, thank you so much for reading. I never know about these little free verse poems but Robert sometimes says, “It’s a stonker” and then I know I’ve done a good job and you saying lovely things about the poem is sweet icing on the cake. 🙂

  • Reply Vee April 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    What a fun exercise and you nailed it. The story unfolded smoothly and held my interest from start to finish.

    • Reply Veronica April 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Thank you Vee. It means a lot to me that you took the time to read it with all that you have going on. 🙂

  • Reply Cheryl's Excellent Adventure April 8, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    Veronica, I love how you weave a story around and around. It was beautifully told. I love watching people.

    • Reply Veronica April 8, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Thank you Cheryl. I love watching people too. 🙂

  • Reply veronicabalfourpaul April 10, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Beautifully observed. Feels like it really happened. Ithought she was a student of music. I didn’t get that she was deaf! I must read it again. Great use of the words. They ‘merged’.

    • Reply Veronica April 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      Thank you Veronica. It’s great that everyone gets some little something special from the poem. 🙂 I’ve been so busy but now off to check on you. 🙂

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