Trappings comes from the late Middle English appropriation of the French ‘drape” to describe horse cloth. later used to describe the outward appearance or adornments of a title, job or situation.
For the sixth poem of Unreconciled Doors, the title came first, into my head from the universal stream , early one morning during lockdown. It sounded cool, so I began to write based on this-but took the trap from trappings to show how outward appearances -of someone struggling with their mental health- can often be deceiving.
The poem starts formally enough-syllable wise with two lines of nine, followed by two lines of eight before the piece deliberately loses all structure and metre to reflect a protagonist living un-peacefully in their head and not living at all in the outside world.
“Living homes” in the first line is something I thought a lot about at this time. A house doesn’t make a home.Loneliness or conflict did not even make it a machine for living in. A prison of “weighty tomes” encircles the heart and this barbed wire barricade seems to be of the poet’s own making, constructed from classical verse, self help books and maybe volumes and volumes of past experience.
“There is no release” paradoxically releases the reader (I hope!!) from the first four lines and then we go into a slowly descending diatribe of self-talk, self-explanation and a generous pinch of anger or vitriol maybe too.
“Time does not perambulate the lame “-this is me railing against the common time heals all wounds guff, as for anyone who is creative knows, we are prone to ruminate in buckets of hours, of days, until we have filled a deep dark well of disappointment with our fixation on a thought. (The day I figured out that thoughts were not my own and to watch them and observe them like passing traffic was a day that I am eternally grateful for.)
“The happy herd”-This is something of an insult maybe at the time as I was yearning for what I saw as the the earthly “trappings” of success in life-a partner, a job I liked, some sense of faith in the future. Maybe, maybe I was also reading a little bit too much Nietzsche too! (Never a bad thing imo but maybe not a good idea during lockdown) and his theory of the ” Last Man” (or woman).
This theory propagates that modern society would be filled with those who have no aspiration, becoming tame and civilised animals and nobody wants to rule or obey. Nietzsche thankfully believed you needed a little “chaos in oneself” to “give birth to a dancing star”. I had some chaos in me to spare.
“Above a feeling that no one understands”-I liked using this phrase as the closing line as automatically the feeling is low, or below and also has a sonic or dark bass melody to it- being proceeded by “heard”, with a sonic/ written pun-a homophone- tagging the aforementioned “happy herd”.
Today’s back drop artwork needs no introduction. I felt it was incredibly apt for today’s offering.
If you like and if you can, having being delighted by this daily dose of dissonance, maybe Buy Me a Coffee please ,or even better, order Unreconciled Doors, so you can read along with Behind the Lines
Unreconciled Doors is available to order in Kindle format now on Amazon for just $€£ 0.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited