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Saturday, 4 November 2017

On Tea and Writing (and biscuits)

A piece of whimsy (based on factual events) that I wrote and read at Firstsite Gallery, along with others, on Friday 3rd November 2017, as part of a readings evening to raise money for EducAid.

The scene: A day of writing at the family house, whilst I am waiting in for a delivery. There are two things present in the house that I do not have in  my flat; a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and a telly...


Arrive at the house
Get licked all over
By a very
excited Staffie.
Play with her
Until she settles
Which takes forever.

Make myself a cuppa
With biscuits for dunking
Get my writing stuff out
All over the table.
Write a few words down
Oh, what’s that one I’m looking for?

After a while
Get a bit distracted.
Scroll through the Sky menu.
Watch George Gently,
And American Pickers,
And Hercule Poirot,
And Wheeler Dealers,
(converting a vintage Chevy
a ’54 stepside).

Answer the door
Sign for the parcel
Play with the Staffie
(Who was woken by the delivery)
Until she settles
Which takes forever.

Make another cuppa
Eat a pack of kit kat snacks
Think about my cholesterol.

Write a few more words down
Is this a poem
Or a piece of flash fiction?

Have a little nap
Because writing is tiring
(that’s my excuse).
Get woken by the Staffie
Let her in the garden
Play ball with her
Until she settles
Which takes forever.

Make another cuppa
With some biscuits for dunking
Write a few more words down.
Why is it so hard
to say what I want to?

After a while
Get a bit distracted.
Start thinking about swords
That poem about Excalibur
I still haven’t written.
Try to remember
the name of Frodo’s sword
in Lord of the Rings
(that turns blue when Orcs are near).
Go on google
It’s called Sting
And it’s only a dagger,
Then go on you tube
And listen to some Police songs.

Make another cuppa
With some biscuits for dunking
Write a few more words down.

After a while
Get stuck with the story.
Read through what I’ve written
Think about my writing
Wish that I was better.
Have a pity-party
Indulge in some pointless
Self-recrimination.

Realise I’m being stared at
By a playful Staffie.
Give her some attention
Until she settles
Which takes forever.

Realise I’m hungry.
Make myself a sandwich
And another cuppa.
I’ve eaten all the biscuits
so no more for dunking.

Make the Staffies dinner
Hope that she’ll stop pestering
While I eat my sarnie
And drink my cuppa
There’s not a hope in hell
Of that happening
She’s a multi-tasker
Where food is concerned.

Where has the time gone?
The day has flown by
I’ve managed to do some writing
Which will need an edit
And then another one
But that’s for another day
It’s bloody never ending
Why did I choose writing?

Pack all my things up
Then do the washing up
Hide the empty biscuit wrapper
In the bottom of the bin.
Hope no one notices.
Try to say goodbye
To the lovely Staffie
Who just wants to play
So we get her ball
I chase her round the room
Then she chases me.

Put the kettle on again
Make another cuppa.
Sit on the sofa
While she curls up on my lap
And starts snoring.

Get my book out
I’ll be here for a while now
Anyway there’s no hurry
Before I know it
I’m snoring too.

Writing days are lovely
With a sleepy Staffie
If I’m very lucky
There’ll be another soon.
And I can do more writing
And drink more tea

With biscuits for dunking.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

A Haibun for National Poetry Day 2017

I've written a Haibun for National Poetry Day, a first for me. The theme this year is Freedom; I hope you like it and may even try and write your own and read some others. It's a challenging form, be gentle with me.


Freedom: A Haibun


Their paths first crossed whilst backpacking in Marrakech and the attraction was immediate. They moved into a rundown riad which became their sanctuary. He wrote while she painted, and when they made love the entire universe ceased to exist and they were all that mattered. When a child came along they named her Free; she played barefoot in the sun and her skin went brown. When the bills started to come he found work in a local bar and she sold her art at the bazaar. Working all the hours they could they found the freedom they were both looking for, and she was everything.


from the eyrie
yellow eyes see more
than we can ever dream


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Read My Poem And Buy The Book

I wrote this a couple of years ago and submitted it to a few publications as you do. It has ended up being published in Creel 3: An anthology of creative writing; a product of the Centre for Creative Writing at Essex University. I could not be happier. I read it at the launch evening, along with some other lovely and talented writers and fellow postgrad students. Held at The Wivenhoe Bookshop as part of the Wivenhoe ArtSea Festival, (and published by their own publishing imprint Wivenbooks), you could do worse than visit a brilliant independent family bookshop and buy a copy for yourself.


Questions

If the Jackdaw that struts across your lawn
like a soldier on parade
stopped and spoke to you of his loneliness,
Would you listen?

If you could hear the cry of the salmon
caught in the eagles claws,
Would you care?

If you saw the fear in the eyes of the moth
trapped in the spiders web,
Would you set it free?

Does the noise the doe makes
as she tries to find her way back
to the safety of the herd
disturb you?

When the leaf falls from the tree
do you feel sadness for its loss,
or joy at the change of seasons?

If you had just one wish
from a Djinns lantern
would you ask for your heart's desire
or would you set another free
from the prison of their own longing?

How many lies would it take
to awaken the phoenix of truth
that sleeps on your tongue?

and how many lives will you need
to live
before you can look death in the face
and still walk the path you have chosen?

Have my questions
tightened the rope you bind yourself with
or opened a door to a greater perception?

Only you have the answer.

I am just a white room
on a sunlit day
with a mirror on every wall.
Wherever you turn
you will see your own reflection
looking back at you.


Will you live here?