Well, hello! You may (or more likely, may not) have noticed that things have been a bit quiet around this blog for a while, since November in fact. My apologies. Life seems to have got in the way quite a bit lately.
‘Why, what have you been up to?’ you may ask.
Really there is a variety of reasons, however probably the main factor is that I have rather rashly, begun a Masters degree in Creative Writing with the Open University. Not only does this, unexpectedly, take up a disproportionate amount of my time, but also, I’m not allowed to use for the course anything I write once it’s been published, even if that ‘publishing’ is only on this wee little blog.
Now, my writing being a bit hit and miss, I can’t afford to use any of my poems or short stories just in case they turn out to be the best I can manage and I want to submit them for assessment at some point. This leaves potential content for this site a somewhat dry area.
Nonetheless, I’m quite enjoying the course and learning a lot, even though I’m finding it pretty challenging. The content is all on-line and you are expected to contribute to the forums regularly, thus meeting some like-minded, like-baffled peers, which has been fun.
Whilst the course is keeping me busy, I’m still trotting off to the art group every Friday. I’m not sure there is a lot of improvement in my artworks, but painting alongside such jolly and talented friends is always relaxing. This week we were all doing our own thing, and producing this little flight of fancy in watercolour and pen work kept me quiet all morning! :
I wrote this poem after the death of my mother-in-law on 16th October 2018. I was really pleased that the family liked it enough for my brother-in-law to read it out at her funeral this week.
In her youth she learned to make things,
Oh yes, her boys were testament to that.
Her needles clicked to keep us warm,
and her machine trundled stitches,
turning tailored suits for working life
and childhood clothes for grandchildren.
With painted nails and silk threads she wove
bright flowers, embroidering colour
into all the corners of her home,
where friends and family shared the yarns,
those times that knit a life
And all the while her garden grew.
Every plant, she knew, by name,
their differing hues and habits,
like children sown with confidence and skill
the clematis, fuchsias and scented stock
all flourished in her daily care.
Her nimble fingers now lie still,
the crafts she loved abandoned,
and in that belovéd garden
the last roses sadly droop their heads.
Yet her flowers will still bloom in spring
and fond memories will forever warm us.
I didn’t have a sixteenth birthday party
I’d fallen out with me dad
Over a Beatles song
Who knew a man could be so mean
To snap his purse shut
For being proved wrong
Did he love me?
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Well, he said he did
But he wouldn’t pay for a party
For an ungrateful girl
Who disagreed with her dad
So while hippies swayed at Woodstock
And the man walked on the moon
I sat in my room and cried
Over my own stubborn streak
And a dad who didn’t
There were geese this morning.
In the field behind my house.
I heard the noise first.
That cackling and squabbling
of disgruntled old ladies.
Then through a gap in the hedge
they came into view.
Sixty or so I should think.
Fat Canada geese lost in the dry fields
I rued my lack of long lens
as ten took to flight,
gliding not six feet above the ground until,
daintily lifting their undercarriages,
they cleared the boundary on the Eastern side.
Ten more followed the first, while
the others waddled on,
‘til, in synchronicity, they rose
chattering and flapping and nimbly forming a line
that went clear across the morning sky
Their bodies, too heavy for the ground,
looked sleek in the currents.
I waved them off, though they didn’t see me,
aimed as they were, with their arrow heads pointed
towards their mysterious, distant, destination.
Often things go wrong.
Look for the silver lining,
there you may find gold.
Neatly, tidily tuck away the treasures
Fold and press out the creases
Polish those brass memories
as though they were gold
pick up the broken pieces
close the curtains, shut the doors
and turn the key in the rusty lock
trip down the fusty garden path
Move on to clear spaces
open roads and green fields
where soft breezes cleanse the air
to give an oxygen high
The cottage by the sea
barefoot on the sand
dancing in the dark, simple,
grow your own life