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Archive for April, 2007

I started blogging on 23 September 2006, just over seven months ago, as I was coming to the end of a creative writing course I’d been doing. I think that blogging is a great way to share writing, be it prose, fiction or whatever. Part of me would still like to break into print but I seem to lack whatever it takes to keep on trying despite the rejections. There are so few of my poems that satisfy my own criteria let alone anyone else’s. I was, however, disappointed when one I do like didn’t make the short list for this month’s Guardian Poetry Workshop. The exercise was to write a triolet and I still think mine is as good as some of the ones that did get published. I suppose it’s all down to individual taste in the end.

There do seem to be signs that set forms in poetry are making a come back. This weeks totally optional idea over at Poetry Thursday is the villanelle. This is a re-working of one I made earlier (as they used to say on Blue Peter).

It’s not for publication that I write,
in order to bring in my daily bread.
To wrestle with words is a worthy fight.

Hunched at my PC until deep in the night,
bucking the need to take to my bed.
It’s not for publication that I write.

This is for poets. It doesn’t seem right
to apply it to fiction. As I’ve said,
to wrestle with words is a worthy fight.

By playing with words, I hope that I might
learn about language and thoughts in my head.
It’s not for publication that I write.

To expect to be published is the height
of delusion. I may never be read.
To wrestle with words is a worthy fight.

Emily Dickenson kept out of sight;
her poems were published when she was dead.
It’s not for publication that I write.
To wrestle with words is a worthy fight.

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Oh dear me!

I seem to have lost my resolve somewhere along the way. Today I was supposed to be getting a new kitchen. Well, the start of a new kitchen. The joiner who is doing it for me should have arrived at nine o’clock. I waited until 10.30 only to find that he’d left a message for me at 8.45 am: the kitchen people can’t deliver until tomorrow morning so there’s no point in him ripping out the old one today. So I have no excuse: I can do today’s prompt and get on with my essay on T S Eliot

Yesterday, the prompt was ‘doggerel’ – I mean ‘misplaced’.

Your entrance was – mistimed;
My trust in you – misplaced;
Beguiled by the flotsam of life,
You vanished without a trace.

My message was – unread;
My dulcet tones – unheard
But that didn’t stop me trying
to reconstruct your words.

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Half way stage

We are half way through National Poetry Writing Month so today I will review my progress. Since I decided to join in America’s MaPoWriMo and got myself added to the list of participants over at Poetry Thursday, I have manged to produce something most days. My output has ranged from a couple of re-edits of poems already written to free writes that will be developed later, and haven’t got as far as my blog. I’m most pleased with the poems that I’ve produced on the day even though I know they need to be edited further. So far, I’ve found ‘broken thread’ to be the best prompt and I look forward with eager anticipation to what lies ahead.

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Day fifteen: Pearl

His mouth grasps air to fill his concave chest, as the blood pulses blistering his veins; the fever spreads by spinnning iridescent layers around a grain of sand finally swelling to a throbbing black orb. His five friends wear straw hats to protect them from the sun’s ferocity as they prise open the shells with flat wooden implements and pile the husks on the decking. He knows that his life is dispensable and his time has come. He digs his nails into clammy palms, before his body goes down through the warm Tahitian waters.

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Standing on the Edge

I’m standing on the edge,
toes snug to the wet surface,
eyes transfixed by white tiles.

I’m wearing my red and white polka dot
with the frill round my bottom and
two orange sacs around my biceps.

I bend my knees, raise my arms,
lower my head, and tip my body forward,
letting imagination pull me in …

But I can’t do it.
I can’t surrender solidity
to the clinical underbelly of deceitful water.

I jump feet first,
chlorine flushing my nostrils
as I plummet.

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