Bounty – haiku

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A laden table
heavy with spring’s sweet nectar
is a gift to share

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To think or not to think?

Ah well, I’ve just started the new year of my course, and I’ve seen the course materials and the assessment requirements, so anxiety is setting in big time.  I decided to change my primary genre this year from fiction to poetry, ‘cos basically I like writing poetry more. Besides, it takes me ages to think of plots for stories but I can write a poem on practically anything you throw at me (it might not be a good poem, but it’ll be a poem – I give you ‘ode to my knickers‘…)

I do have the odd existential crisis around poetry though. I wonder what its for. Am I just writing it to show how jolly clever I am?  To share a mood, an emotion? How my brain works in weird ways? (Certainly that last one is apparent in much of my work!)

I am thrown by some of the comments at my writers group too. I am one of only a few poets there, and some of the aspiring writers just don’t get poetry – ‘if it doesn’t rhyme it’s not a poem and you are not a poet’ was one memorable comment.  And yes, I know, much as I love ’em all, they are heathens…. 😉

Of course, I can’t agree with that at all, I know it’s not correct. I read a lot of poetry both modern and classic and enjoy the free-verse and rhymes equally, as long as they connect with me in some way –  make me think, bring a tear, make me laugh. And I love layers to unpeel, deeper meanings to uncover, thought provoking ideas, and beautiful use of language.

However, I have to agree, that for many people a quick ditty that doesn’t require analysis is the only poetry they understand and therefore, enjoy.  For instance, who doesn’t like Pam Ayres and her ‘I wish I’d looked after me teeth!’, a poem many of us can identify with I’m sure.

On any creative writing course I doubt very much that this would be described as ‘good’ poetry, and I imagine I wouldn’t get a particularly high mark if I chose to submit something along those lines as part of an assessment. But hey, it makes us laugh, we understand it and empathise, and with it’s tumpty-tumbness, it’s memorable.  Shouldn’t we appreciate that just as much?

But as I said, this was a brief crisis which has now been sat on.  I work hard to write poems that require some reading between the lines.  I like to find rhythm where there was none, and to play with words, spending hours finding the one that’s just right in that particular line making it delicious and dripping with meaning. I don’t often get that right of course, and some might say it’s not worth the effort, but I enjoy the process.  And yes, I’m quietly pleased with myself when the whole thing comes together.

Last week I read an allegoric poem at the writers group which I was really pleased with, and the best they could say was ‘it’s good’ and ‘to the point’. I really wished they had had the time to check it out a bit further, given it just a little more thought. But in this world of rush and instant gratification perhaps allegory and metaphor are too time consuming and are a bit too much like hard work, so I’ll take the approval, albeit for what I consider to be, the wrong reasons. Of course, it might just be that the allegory is all in my head. At what point does it become clear to everyone I wonder? Its ok to have a blanket of layers but I guess it doesn’t need a whole bloomin’ duvet!

Oh dear, I fear all this studying is turning me into a bit of a thinker! I’ll keep on doing what I’m doing and work towards improving and expanding my writing and my thoughtiness… (and perhaps, my vocabulary!)  🙂

Teeunes on Teeuesday

Yes, I’m in a music mood today. Although not sure this entirely counts as music.  They were talking about this record on the radio this morning and I hadn’t heard it for absolutely ages. So I gave it a listen on youtube and found it to be still completely relevant. Ok, I’m not in the class of ’97 but most of this advice is spot-on.

Actually, we have an unexpected scorcher of a day here today, so it’s even more apt!  Have a listen and you’ll see… oh, and always wear sunscreen…  Have a lovely day x 🙂

Slap it on

Here’s my latest bit of ‘art’. To be honest, I really enjoyed doing the drawing but then didn’t really have a plan of what to do with it. It was ok as a drawing, but just a picture of a naked blokey in the middle of a white page, so not terribly inspiring (though one or two of the ladies in the art group did comment on his nice bum – what can I say…they’re getting on a bit, don’t get to see that sort of thing very often!) Anyhoo… the other morning I was in a slap-it-on mood, so went for the acrylics and an old credit card and hey presto… a piece of art… well sort of.  It’s definitely under the right heading of ‘is it art?’ I actually quite like it. What do you think? Be nice… I’m a bit self-conscious about me paintin’!

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The age gap?

We had my brother-in-law and his family over on Sunday.  They don’t come very often, and it is lovely to see them, but we do have to brace ourselves a bit for our big, boisterous, and loud eight year old nephew’s visits.

His sister, who turned twelve on Saturday (happy birthday to the fabulous Miss V) tends to sit and stare at her laptop with her earphones on for most of the time.  Goodness knows how addicted she’ll be in a couple of years time, but as my brother-in-law once commented ‘you shouldn’t poke a sleeping tiger.’

Anyhoo, my nephew’s energy levels are something to behold, in fact, I think he got Miss V’s share. He bounces around begging us to play with him.  Anything physical, it doesn’t matter what, as long as it’s by his rules. He is in the school rugby team and likes nothing better than a ‘bundle’.  Sunday was a hot ‘un and really not conducive to running around much, but despite his endless complaints about the heat, it didn’t stop him.

By tea time we’d all had a go at tennis, or cricket, or throwing balls, or chasing, tickling, whatev’s and were fairly tired of it. The dog had hidden.

Bored by our needing to replenish with tea and cake, he begged his dad to play with him.

‘I’m tired, I’m too old.’ Said my brother-in-law.

Now, I was the oldest adult there, by several years. I am positively ancient, but one thing I will not tolerate myself saying is ‘I’m too old’. I absolutely and completely refuse to be too old to do anything. I believe once you get in that mind set you can never crawl your sad old way out of it.

My body might not be quite what it used to be (actually it’s considerably more than it used to be, but that’s another matter…) but I still can’t quite get to grips in my head that I’m supposed to be grown up… a pensioner even, a senior citizen, a twirly (we had a bus driver friend who called all pensioners ‘twirly’s because they were always turning up with their bus passes before they were allowed to use them and asking ‘am I tooearly’ (twirly). It’s stuck!)

In my head I’m still silly me. I’m still up for adventure, having fun, adrenaline rushes, and yes, just running about and being daft and having water fights. I still want to dance wildly and sing loudly and out of tune. I want to wear clothes from young folk shops, and laugh…. laugh lots and lots.

To this end I try and keep myself a bit fit, the dancing around the kitchen helps, as does my daily walk with the dog, and of course, yoga. I also try to eat well, and enjoy food and drink without pickiness or guilt. Do you know, despite being the elder by some years, I was the only adult there on Sunday not on medication for anything, so something’s working. Maybe I’m just lucky and have good genes. 

So I advised my young nephew never to accept ‘I’m too old’ as an excuse from anybody, he’d be doing them a favour. Neither my brother-in-law, or his wife (who is some eighteen years younger than me) agreed, so aaarrgghhh…. Of course, it was me who had to get up and go run about again.

It took me most of Monday to recover 😊

Light Bulb Moment

This week I was reminded of the value of proper shopping. You know, not the pressing a button and getting it delivered kind, but proper, driving into town and walking all the way to a particular specialist shop, choosing something then bringing it home, sort of shopping.

I’m a geeky type, albeit an old ‘un. I was all grown up with a house and a family before t’internet was born. And let me tell you this now, and in no uncertain terms, I think the internet is GREAT. Ok, there are definitely some caveats to that, but life is so much easier these days. We have on hand, in our own homes, without actually moving from the sofa – a source of information, friendship, jolly silly stuff, and of course shopping opportunities its just, well, GREAT. But saying that, it does have its limitations. Apparently, it seems, almost infinite choice is one of them.

We wanted a new lamp for the sitting room, and wasted hours looking through endless pages of them on various websites (Wayfair has thousands!) but were still not able to find the ‘ideal’ one, that being a mother and child type, you know the sort, the ones with the little reading lamp and the uplighter. Trouble is, they all looked the same and pretty uninspiring.

‘We could go to the lamp shop’ I said

‘What lamp shop?’

‘You know, the one at the outlet’

‘Ugh, that’s a bit of a drive and it’ll be packed on a Saturday morning’

‘Yeah, but you never know..’

So off we trotted. It’s only a little lamp shop, but it glittered with bling so brightly you could probably see it from space.  We had to blink quite a bit to acclimatise but managed to resist the temptation to don our sunglasses. 

We’re not blingy people. Don’t like sparkly stuff and doubted that we’d be able to find anything amongst the chandeliers and ‘diamond’ encrusted fixtures that covered pretty much the whole shop.  Still it was fun, icking, yucking and ‘definitely not’- ing our way around. Then we found it. The one. Standing quietly in a corner. Understated without a bit of bling it was an upper class piece of totty amongst the chavs.  Just tripod stainless steel legs and a white pleated shade. Smart, modern and understated, and of course, nothing like what we’d come to find.

Readers, we bought it.

On the way home we agreed that we’d probably ruled out many of its sisters while we were browsing, but online you can’t see proportions properly, or the soft glow of the light (enough to read in, but not too bright) so we would never have gone for it.

I think I’ve learned a lesson from this, yep the light has come on. It is, of course, ok to buy stuff on-line (though I still hate my self every time I use Amazon… which I do… frequently), but when it comes to aesthetic requirements, it’s got to be better to see the choices in the flesh, as it were, before you purchase, because sometimes, a picture just doesn’t speak to you the way the real thing will. 🙂

Missing you

Hmmm…. just looking at me little blogs stats and realised that it’s been a dry year so far. Mainly, as I explained in an earlier blog (you remember… I’m sure you do…), that I can’t post any of my writing because of publishing restrictions on the course I’m doing (an MA on Creative Writing with the Open University since you ask). I actually daren’t post any just in case they’re half reasonable and I can fish them out when I’m in dire need halfway through next years module. But anyways…

Looking back I can see that actually when I first started this ‘journey’ I wasn’t posting that much creative writing stuff, more a mishmash of things I like, moany posts about life in general, and some photographs. The most activity was around the events hosted by wordpress, such as photo101 and writing101 which encouraged me to post every day. They were most excellent at keeping me on track and a lovely way to meet new online friends and get more followers. They were my most productive times on the site.

Oh I know I shouldn’t need that push and shove, but you know what it’s like, life gets in the way and there’s all sorts of excuses I could use – for instance, I have to take the dog to the vets in a mo’ and I’m busy bracing myself – it’s fair to say she doesn’t like it much! Anyone who’s met my dog knows she is a nervous sort and that’s enhanced a 100 fold on a trip to the you know where’s. It’s emotionally draining. No, not for her.. for me…

Anyhoo, I digress. One of the other reasons I haven’t been around here much lately is because I’ve taken on a couple of other sites (suttonartgroup and retwords) so have been busy making them look all pretty and alive whilst letting my poor flower die off a bit. This needs to be redressed methinks.

Therefore, I hereby promise to prattle on and post more frequently despite the limitations, and one day, when I eventually finish this darn course, I’ll be able to share that mountain of poetry and prose that is building up on my laptop.

Hope it’s worth the wait….