Treasure Island

Diane Hine

(25 July 1956)


Misgivings assembled in the bedroom every night.
They were obscene but had no form.
Mr Jones woke up and waited for the morning
photon squad to disassemble them.

One night, a misgiving mutated into a monster.
The photons delivered the bad news to Mr Jones.
The monster was sitting cross-legged on the end of
the bed, carving graffiti into the walnut footboard.
Mr Jones kicked his feet.
Feathers erupted from holes in the paisley eiderdown.
The monster cooed, flapping its hands in the flurry.
Mr Jones' feet began to cool.
The monster took up permanent residence.
Mr Jones bought an electric blanket.

A year passed, two. Eventually
a second misgiving materialized into a monster.
This one squatted above the window on the pelmet
and pissed, darkening the pencil-pleated drapery.
Mr Jones was affronted.
The monster stifled a giggle, but carried on pissing.
It too took up permanent residence.
Mr Jones bought air freshener.

Several months passed.
Mr Jones attempted to control his misgivings.
Of course that didn't work.

The cheval mirror's swivel hinge began to squeak.
Mr Jones applied oil.
The oil stained the palmette-patterned rug.
The squeak became more insistent until
Mr Jones understood. A misgiving had slipped into
the envelope of air between glass and wood
and metamorphosed into a third monster.
It began scraping away layered silver and became
visible by degrees through crosshatched clear glass.
Mr Jones had never imagined anything so ugly.
Noticing Mr Jones, the monster pulled a monster face
and squashed it against the glass
but since it was already maximally gross
the result was, if anything, an improvement.

It was a good joke.
The other monsters laughed.
Mr Jones was glad they all had a sense of humour.
It made them easier to live with.

Submitted: Thursday, September 04, 2014
Edited: Thursday, September 04, 2014

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Topic(s): life

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Comments about this poem (Misgivings by Diane Hine )

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  • Daniel Brick (9/12/2014 10:43:00 AM)

    Misgivings - we all have them, and probably stash in a small closet in the back of memory. B-U-T Mr. Jones's experience shows our vulnerability. What startled me in this poem was the casualness, even intimacy of the relationship of the man and his misgivings. He could say of these creatures what Prospero finally admits about Caliban: THIS THING OF DARKNESS I ACKNOWLEDGE MINE. How does Mr. Jones react? He accomodates, he gets to know them, he lives parallel to them. It's quietly frightening. And your amazing light touches of humor make it all the more real - and unavoidably disturbing. This is a remarkable poem, it's in my head. (Report) Reply

  • Thomas A Robinson (9/11/2014 7:45:00 AM)

    Damn the verification code, Admiral Nelson said and sail on into his doom. Simply another misgiving
    of consequences that fell all too soon. And Napoleon on learning his order of thermal underwear was back ordered until next June, gave the order to invade Russia, How cold can it be anyway. Another misgiving
    that fell upon that day.
    Your poem however was brilliant Diane, surely proof you are from an Alien race far out in space. How you crat and sculpture thoughts into words has a Michelangelo squirming in his grave. Even I overheard Shakespeare
    utter, my kingdom for one of Diane's verse (Report) Reply

  • Lyn Paul (9/6/2014 9:45:00 PM)

    Thank you Diane. You really have put so much into Misgiving. Your Imagination and your humour are incredible.
    As Valsa said, you know how to make us laugh (Report) Reply

  • Valsa George (9/5/2014 2:52:00 AM)

    I always wonder how such crazy ideas come to your head Diane! I feel you are the Queen of the 'unthought'! You make people think and laugh! As Mr Jones believe, it is easier to live with those having a sense of humour! ! I don't know if it is easier to live with them, but sure it is a pleasure having them around! (Report) Reply

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