Pauline Crowther Scott

Which Sound?

That sound, that whine
a wailing saw, the hammers bang
my neighbor’s house
across the street
is taking shape at snail’s pace
(two years and counting).

The wind blows cold and gusts
along the sidewalk
hits their porch
that sound, that clang
the metallic chimes do bang
and toll for me, next door.

That sound like ocean’s constant roar
that sound is traffic high
on highway spans
that bridge each other
in loops and coils
just down the hill.

That sound, ah yes, that sound
that sweet and trilling song
a mockingbird up on my roof
(sounds more like three)
breaks through
the man-made clamor.

©Pauline C Scott

Our City

We all felt and lamented the loss -
our city was losing her feminine slant
her nurturing, her charming looks and vanity.
In a moment of weakness she let down her guard and
macho techixicity took over, grabbing her by the throat
strangling the quaintness and how-it-always-wasness
that mixture of familiarity and surprise around every corner.

Masculinity looming large and threatening, the construction
guys the hard hats the blueprints and plans, the concrete and steel
Change and more change and relentless change until…

Until this happened

Now, she slumbers behind shutters - businesses boarded up, deserted streets
her people imprisoned, jobless, hopeless in the path of a deadly virus.
Her heart is slowing, the blood barely trickling to the extremities.

And yet nature flourishes, birds return, coyotes bask in the quiet city
trees bloom fresh blossoms, green buds burst into life.

Our city is waiting , waiting for rebirth,
waiting to emerge from lockdown
waiting to rise again from the fire.
In her soul she hears an awakening
a pumping of the blood of compassion
the essential fluid of life

She will return, my city of quirks and contradictions
She will return to comfort us before too long
She will come back and release us from our silent cries
She will forgive us our trespasses.

©Pauline Crowther Scott

It's a Beeping World
(with added relationship tips)

Beep beep beep beep
Are you mocking the microwave?
I asked him as he beeped
in a high-pitched imitation
of our beloved appliance.
It's a beeping world
he said and I had to agree.
I do agree now and then
it keeps the relationship
running smoothly
nothing like telling
someone they're right
works like a charm
every time.

Beep beep buzz buzz
my cell phone tells me
I have a new email.
Even though its
annoying I was quite
concerned when it stopped
beeping recently and I
had to restart the phone
to get its voice back.
That was his idea,
what a good idea I told him
another phrase that
works really well.

The kitchen is the center
of our beeping world.
Along with the microwave
the cooker has a vibrant beep.
the new dishwasher however is
very subtle - everything about
it is quiet and self-effacing
it offers a fairy tinkling when
it finishes that I only heard for
the first time last week
when I was standing right next to it.
We got a handsome rebate on this
new appliance, due to a few
missteps we took on
arranging the installation
(yes I'll share the blame for this,
another tactic that
can only help a relationship)
then had to endure six weeks
of miscommunication and
no dishwasher until the final
day-long hook up.
(One might call it a botched Bosch).

But the toaster is silent, as is
the electric kettle,
both of which wait coyly
to be discovered rather
than trill their accomplishment.
That is not a tactic
that sustains a relationship
in my opinion.
One needs to advertise
one's daily achievements
so the other can praise
and thank, unprompted is
better of course, but not
always an available option.
Giving thanks - now that
can really help a relationship.

©Pauline Crowther Scott      12/19/15

I Want/Storm Cloud

I want
the infant to sleep
another minute
time to want clear rain
something already,
somebody new
ordered to arrive
I finish
crashing against his equity
through the house
last time
make warmer and cooler
so hot the sun
is cold.

When the instant
floats by
on gleaming surfaces
that's close to
ten minutes short
to rain on my headache
cloud spits your seconds
no, just waking
so can this poem.

PCS   6/1/15

Nothing and Something :
Analysis of a painting
(Pink Parchment)

There's no denying there's something there.
Is it nothing?  
No,  it's definitely something
But what?  It's not recognizable
or realistic or photographic.
What is it?
Let's call it abstract.

There could be glimpses of things
That remind us of things
So those bits are something
Then the shapes and colors in between
What are those?

Spliced pink ribbons across the corners
pale yellow/pink/gray striations in the background
shapes with torn edges
almost like burnt edges, black lines
enclose, describe.
Random?  Purposeful?

Unfinished.  Not sure what to do next.
I've been working on it upside down.
But it looks wrong when I turn it around
have to leave it now.
As is.

PCS. March 2015


From my spacious childhood garden
with its spreading rhubarb leaves
to the dormitories of boarding school
and thrilling walks out of bounds
with a fellow law-breaker;
wading through fresh clear rain puddles
following streams in Wellington boots.

Back to suburban home life
up the lane to the Downs
walking the dog, admiring
autumn berries and fluffy Old Man's Beard
growing on hedgerows.

Along the by-pass to the big city
of railways and grey brick buildings.
Our end-of-terrace house,
the old yellow Post Office van
that would only start with the handle.

Across the skies to the land of light
of wooden houses and Muni buses
burning October heat and steep steep hills

A place to stay for a while,
to raise some children, to discover
the fog and the overhead wires crowding the streets
the strange customs, the fierce ocean
and the blistering wind.

A place to stay.

©Pauline Crowther Scott 12/1/14

Monday’s  Journey:  Helen and Chartwell

Caterham, Surrey
Hello Helen
comfy in her armchair
coffee and biscuits (tea for Helen)
shares her magazines
bedroom upstairs
Helen’s passport of signs
and gestures

Westerham, Kent
Tree lined lanes
not grand
very lived in
low ceilings
uniforms gifts hats
books books bookshelves

Kitchen Garden
glowing gold marigold pumpkins wallflowers
against rain cloud sky
Brick wall patterned like a quilt
hand built by Winston

filled with Churchill’s paintings
large box of old oil paint tubes
solid easel
round back chair

Child’s Cottage
wooden play food
Beatrix Potter books

recently expanded
lovely cakes
all gone by 3:45
except 2 slices of Victoria Sponge
and 4 slices of Fruit cake

©Pauline Crowther Scott.   October 2014

Figments Filaments Tangles and Neurons

Linear threads
tumble and swirl then
embrace, pierce and dissect.
Linear threads
disassemble in a diabolical dance
entangle and submerse.
Linear Threads
float freely, repel
then cling, encircle and flow.

The Filaments Series
or Figments Filaments Tangles and Neurons
Maybe Figmentals
or even Neurofigaments.
Finding just one word
the right word
to describe them
is almost impossible, but  maybe
throwing a lot of words together
en masse in a
hodge podge
a jambalaya
or a poem
might work.

Tangles tied and enlaced
Knots in yarn or flowing tresses
Neurons and tendrils displaced.
Capillament, capillary, cilium
such fibrillous wisps, such funicular coils
of cobwebs, gossamer
a network of veins
threads, tentacles, arabesques and filigrees.

As I draw and paint the lines
am I creating a new language for beings
from another universe?
An unknown vocabulary
of sentient life forms?
But no - these are from a planet
much closer, a place
inside my mind - they are my own neurons
that flow out onto canvas
and dance and contort
in exquisite delight

©2015 Pauline Crowther Scott


Sunlight catches
a patch of forested hillside
momentarily, then slides away

A buzzard soars above
the distant green expanse,
lichen-covered fences enclose nearby fields

Swallows swoop and dive
through a wooden shed
with steeply sloping roof and open windows

Two horses stand
waiting by a fence their
ears twitch and heads nod in expectant silence

A bird’s shadow
ghosts across the rusting corrugated roof
of a sun-bleached storage barn

Three wheelbarrows
sit unused and empty
amid clumps of yellow flowers whose long spindly stalks

sway gently
then dance violently in a sudden breeze
that swirls through the sun porch where I sit

A dragonfly floats by
as two white butterflies briefly ascend together
then disperse chaotically

Clouds separate
to reveal a beckoning blue sky
and it’s time to go, to leave this quiet reverie

and join the day-trippers
at the roaring tumbling beach
lean back against the dunes and listen to the ocean.

©Pauline Crowther Scott
July 22, 2014

© Pauline Crowther Scott. All rights reserved.
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