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Posts from the ‘writing’ Category

Poetry

There may not be magic
But there is poetry
Poetry is easier to define
And no one is in charge of its occurrence
It just happens endlessly in life
And depending on what sort of person you are
Or think you are
You might find it more or less regularly
Amongst the broken rubble of your existence
Peeking out in the shape of an unexpected meeting
A troublesome illness, an ironic twist
And thanks to the modernists
It doesn’t even have to come in the form of a neat verse
It can in fact be clumsy and not in the least pretty
Alone in the eye of the perceiver
Does it hold value
Which makes it much like other things, or non-things
That strike a note in the cold chambers of the heart
Once warmed by love, or hope, or whatever
Now held together
With the glue of simply being
And not knowing what else to do

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no struggle

trying not to think of you
is like trying not to think of a tiger
seeing an image of you is like bathing in fire and ice altogether
life continues to emerge day after day
like a persistent wildflower
neither beautiful nor ugly but in the eye of the beholder
drenched in futile plans and dreams
lost chances that were not really chances
lost hopes that evaporate into silence
trying not to love you is like trying not to love the ocean
empty hours filled with waves of longing
work is done or not done and nothing changes
moments of joy punctured by the memory of loss
trying not to miss you is like trying not to miss what is missing
drawing a neat fabric over the cracks left by your absence
doing a fine job of it whatever it is
and sometimes breaking into wet folds like a deep egg
coming together again for the sake of continuity

If This Were A Film

If this were a film
You would show up at my door
Sweating slightly, awkward and humble
Love in your eyes like a big panther that doesn’t know where to put its paws
You would stutter slightly and ask to come in
I would look surprised and somewhat preoccupied, with an air of suspicion
Aloof and yet totally open, like a glass lake
You would say something funny, not that funny, but funny enough to make me smile
And on seeing me smile your face would break out into its glorious grin and I would have no choice
But to just dive in
We would take a walk in Regent’s Park
No matter that it’s 40 minutes away by train with 2 changes
In films you can get from A to B without really travelling there
And so it would be with us
Talking and strolling I would soften
As it became clear how far you’d come
The trials you had endured just to be there
You would listen with curiosity and a grace that comes with almost losing everything
I would see the whole person for once, no longer blinded by fantasy
And the audience would feel gently reassured that we had earned each other
Despite our differences they could see it working out
(Whatever that means)
The film would close on a subtle shot of you looking at me
The way you sometimes do, with a kind of blissful bafflement
Content not to know
Eyes half-closed in complete surrender
The credits would roll
The crowds would leave the theatre with cheer and humour –
‘Did you see his face?’ and ‘She was mighty strange’
‘I wouldn’t have put up with that, would you?’
But deep down feeling some common glow
That for some people, somewhere, scenarios like this
Really do play out, it’s not all completely hopeless
And maybe they too could see the better parts of themselves
Unfettered by the grinds of what is considered to be reality,
Learn to forgive in public, buy oranges, tip waiters, make implausible journeys,
Love wholeheartedly
If this were a film

 

 

Image by Bruce McAdam from Reykjavik, Iceland 

Under My Bed

I am clearing the fluff out from under my bed. To quote Michael Rosen. In this case fluff is a metaphor for stuff I think I don’t need. That I suspect is keeping me awake. The whole thing’s a metaphor for my mind which is what’s really keeping me awake. Although it could be a chicken and egg thing.

How do creationists respond to the chicken and egg thing? Is it not a thing for them at all? Because God created each thing separately, but not the baby versions – that would have taken ages. He just created chickens and let them go forth and get on with it. I imagine. In that version of things.

Unborn

How I would love to have a secure version of things.

It ain’t happening.

I DIGRESS. I PREGNANT TIGRESS.

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I am clearing the stuff out from under my bed. I am dividing things into Past and Present. There is no pile for Future. Past has been severely reduced. Edited. Tough decisions have been made. Did your wedding thank you card make the grade? Was your personal message worth hanging onto? Why did I keep that card with a cat on it and not your homemade christmas tree? I cannot tell you.

Should I have chucked that 22-page letter that I never sent about how angry I was and how I loved you deeply in spite of it? Not yet. Is someone at the Recycling Plant going to steal my emotional identity and attempt to make sense of themselves? Good luck to them I say. Perhaps they will succeed where I have failed.

For someone who does not paint I have a bewilderingly large collection of watercolours.

I am wondering whether there is a proper way of disposing of an old printer with whom the relationship has not survived a very rocky patch. It refused to print the words I requested, it did colours and it did blurry lines. For a while we struggled with each other, then there was silence. In that silence, I decided that it was time to end it. I’ve never been very good at endings. However, I am starting with inanimate objects, as a training.

PHOTOS. Boxes and boxes of old headshots that I painstakingly posted to people on whose desks I thought I was supposed to appear. I’m not dying or anything – at least no more quickly than I should be, as far as I am aware. And yet something is dying and something is birthing and I can’t tell you what’s what or what’s not what. So I am clearing out the stuff from under my bed.

When you have done something for a long time it is difficult to stop doing it. Once you stop doing it you may find it barely enters your head ever again. Such is the fickle nature of the mind and its attempt to grasp at meaning somewhere. I am stepping out into the unmarked swamp of nowness. I am sinking, Egypt, sinking. My songs are smarter than I am. Here’s a vow

GIVE UP THE PLAN

Surrender

Pantless she left the hot yoga class and sauntered jauntily in the direction of the Northern Line, a tubal wind gently tempting her skirt skyward. The zip on her right boot having finally surrendered to the power of her leg, she allowed both shiny vessels to unfurl warrior-style exposing the entire length of her smooth calves.

“Excuse me,” said a gentleman behind her as she embarked the tall escalator at Balham. “Your zip’s undone.”

“Oh yes,” she replied, “my boot – it’s broken.”

“No,” he replied kindly, “your skirt.”