Monthly Archives: October 2012

SECRET PLEASURES

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I’m concerned about the plight of the elderly, especially when people are stuck in residential homes. I have never been in a pleasant one, ever. If only the residents could speak up for themselves, but often they can’t. And they cost a fortune!

SECRET PLEASURES

 

I keep this trolley by my chair,

It comforts me to know it’s there.

There’s a tatty bible and a pair of specs.

A Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex.

But best of all there’s my ginger wine,

Stowed in a teapot –  well a secret’s fine!

 

 

When you’re stuck in a Care Home,

And you’re troubled with gout,

It’s one of life’s pleasures

To drink from a spout.

 

SKYDIVER, SKYDIVER

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Today I’ve been trying to write Twitter poetry, reducing myself to 140 letters in total. What a discipline that is, and I don’t know whether it’s possible to say anything meaningful. What do you think?

TO FELIX BAUMGARTNER

Skydiver, skydiver,

Just  wondering why,

You flung yourself out,

Into infinite sky.

Try it again?

Are you insane?

I’ve also noticed that ‘short story’ competitions are getting even shorter. There are quite a few around that require 250 words, 100 words or even 50 words. Why is this? I fear the judges can’t be bothered to read much… too busy and all that. Soon I’ll have completely lost the art of writing at length and all my work will sound like old telegrams. It’s going to be quite a task to carry on with my  150,ooo word novel, still languishing on the bookcase.

LET ME SWAP MY BEIGE FLATS FOR YOUR DOC MARTENS

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Yesterday I was in Birmingham at a writers’  festival. I enjoyed it even though the rain was hammering down on the marquee and everyone looked about forty years younger than me. Ruminating on age made me think of this:

 

AGE SWAP

 

I turn to the girl beside me

the girl with the festering hair

and a dress in a drift of orange and pink

[It’s odd- but I really don’t care.]

And I  say…

Do you think perhaps I could borrow

those boots you’re wearing today

I’ve never before worn a turquoise pair

and I think I can safely say

that if you’ll  swap with my sensible  flats

in a middling kind of beige

everything else might sort of change –

 we could forget the taboo about age.

 

 

THE MISSING

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MISSING

 

Light a candle for the missing,

For those both young and old,

Send blessings through the darkness,

For those out in the cold.

*

Light a candle for those waiting,

Who never cease their search,

With hopes that soar like rockets,

That fall again to earth.

*

Light a candle for those hearing

The endless ticking clock,

Who dread the evening’s shadows,

And the dreaded unknown knock.

*

Light a candle for the searchers

Who hunt in  fields and streams,

And comb the whispering woodland

Where watery sunlight gleams.

*

Light a candle for the steadfast,

Who believe beyond all hope,

Who  keep the still-life bedroom,

The slippers and the coat.

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Light a candle for the missing,

Light a candle clear and bright,

Light a candle for the missing,

Tonight and every night.

 

Thinking about April Jones today….

POETRY’S MAKING ME WORRY.

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In this National Poetry week…..

 

THE MODERNS

 

Poetry’s making me worry,

There’s lots I just don’t understand.

Why can’t the ‘moderns’ just say what they mean

in phrases not ever so grand,

but clearly, as if the words that they like,

are the ones that I’ll care about too?

Or must we admire their jumbled refrains

and forget what is simple and true?

 

There, I’ve said it!

WHYFULLNESS

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Here’s an interior view of one of my kitchen cupboards. Why this? Just because opening doors, any doors, can make me think…

 

 

WHYFULLNESS

 

I placed them there,

side by side,

in time so long ago.

Clear jars of

sugar, flour and oats.

 

And  now my memory floats,

between the sweet and light,

the  rough and dry,

the weary why,

of long ago.