I remember when Sunday was a hollow day. Lonely. That was when the rest of the week was so vibrant with people and life….that in contrast it felt empty. I didn’t know how to fill it. Now, every day is Sunday. And I love it.
Have I mentioned ‘I am not a silent poet’ webzine? Maybe…..it’s worth checking out…and seeing if some of your poems are a fit…if you are a submitter….or if you like that kind of writing as a reader. This is one of my poems that went up on the site a few months ago. I’m on with a project…art/writing….so it came up today:
Clouds lower, proving the curves of sky in broad strokes.
Sea should soothe, its enviable power override the black dog
bounding towards me. I watch sprite shadows scamper
along sea walls, see him hook twin trout wriggling
on the end of taut lines, reeling them in, hugging
their slippery bodies. I no longer lust after him;
my addiction to unreality, found at the bottom of wine bottles,
gives me extra layers of skin as he flays them.
We’re angry as gulls squabbling over ham baked by the sun.
This is a great online magazine to read (for free) and submit to. A different theme each month. I have four poems in this issue:
For sale: two signed copies of Filled with Ghosts, (Book 1, Spanish Spectres series)…Eight signed copies of Ghosts Treading Water (Book 3 Spanish Spectres series)
Not for sale: my copy of Ghost Train Leaving (Book 2, Spanish Spectres series….unsigned), dog bed, Nylobone and Trailer carpet. Cardboard to be recycled.
Sixty-four poems remain in the folder I’ve confidently sharpie-penned ‘1st Collection’
It has found a title, which I’m keeping under wraps. Five or six poems are hanging on by the skin of their teeth and will probably be weeded out during the next ruthless round of decision making. I have been very ruthless to date: many a ‘favourite’ has been unceremoniously dumped because it isn’t what this particular book is about. Discovering what the book is about is a big step for me, as I’ve not thought about it while writing individual poems. I’ve never looked at them as a group before and wondered what my obsessions are outside the confines of the poem I’ve been working on. I realise that isn’t how it is for many writers: they write to a theme when working towards a collection. But it hadn’t occurred to me I was……..
I’ve been thinking how discovering one tiny thing, one obvious to anyone who has done it all before, can make a huge difference. Yesterday I had several files of poems (the physical kind, in poly-pockets. I like things physical) lurking, filed by date, 2012 to the present. I submit poems quite frequently, so the published ones are all highlighted so I don’t send them elsewhere; I note down where and when published, because that’s useful. But, now I’m getting a collection together, (it already has a home, so it’s a matter of deciding the order, chucking out or grabbing back others if I realise they don’t work together.)
So, the small but mind blowing discovery? Collate the poems like a book. Have them face each other, find where they are happy to partner up with another poem. So damn obvious, but what a difference it’s made 🙂
At the tidal point where ripples run like dominoes
from sea left to sea right, memory offers up decades
of misunderstandings, trying to make things right,
managing to never be right. Reality pounds in my ears
leaving no room for imagination, the crest before anything
happens is the only time our power seems matched.
There’s no turning back, no gentle retreat to look forward to,
just being plucked like a bruised whelk from its shell.
I learn my lesson over and over again, but every wave
is a little different, shifting grains into distinct patterns,
hitting new rhythms, shuffling another set of broken dreams
to fold in on themselves.
First published on: I am not a Silent Poet, 2017
Sitting on her doorstep, the neighbour is forming traps out of rusty wire and baiting them with something that appears to be potato peelings, but could be a more tempting lure. I see the twisting, the pliars busily snapping. I imagine the blood reddening her fingers, the tetanus jab she didn’t have; her shying away from contact with anyone ‘in authority’ makes that inevitable. Her dog, a Golden Labrador, bred to respond, is quietened by a slap of her hands. My dogs are noisy and neurotic, silenced by the promise of treats. I keep coercion close at hand, in a jar.
For days at a time they’re the only living creatures I talk to; they’re easy to understand, uncomplicated, ready to forgive without bearing grudges. The neighbour isn’t so transparent. Whatever it was that turned her against me after the first couple of months, she isn’t letting on.