Inner furniture

across the white step, inside, to enter a room laid out with care,
now, in here, the rain cannot follow me.
outside, I am but an immigrant worker, nothing to them at all;
here, I cannot hear them call.

that clumsy rhyme in the last line is a reopening, as petals do after the rain.
the gasp creative, like proof-of-life when a drowning one surfaces.
I am not hiding here, sitting inside on my inner furniture;
I’m breathing soft, re-grouping for the next round.

within my five rooms, each piece of my inner furniture has its place.
chosen year-by-year as each one caught my gaze through a window,
waiting for me behind their own white step, ready to call my room theirs.
each one beckoning me, already knowing that I was theirs.

today, in here, the rain cannot own me; neither can those masters.
here, I remember who He is, the one who sifts my days,
who bids me sit, to find a place to heal, time in different rooms,
to rhyme again, not clumsy, no, renewed.


Not all my poems need commentaries but this one is still very new and perhaps a bit obscure.

The BBC commentator I was listening to on my commute home today ruined my train of thought with her phrase “inner furniture”. That was all she said. She did not elaborate further but other phrases she inspired seemed to tear the fabric of the seat where I sat. I felt stanzas that began to form parts of this poem burst out of the upholstery. By the time I stepped off the train, it was already three-quarters formed, wriggling anxiously in my hands on the platform. At least the conductor had not caught me ripping up his train seat.

Perhaps the tranquility and solitude I have been finding here, studying and working in my new library was her touchpoint. It is always so, so quiet here. The idea of “inner furniture” captures for me the things that fill this place. They seem to exist partly in this physical space and partly in my conscious mind, where I have been struggling to find focus and flow. Perhaps this place has become more seductive and delicious that I realised.

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