To Redemption

He flounders through the white rooms
of ubiquity
whilst stars falter
and sink into the weeping dark
and night will become day
only when that child opens his eyes

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My Daughters

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My sweetlings.
Commas wrapped in crochet shawls.
Cradled, they knew not what lay ahead
in this desperate world,
only the soft strokes and gentle voices
Of love.

Rosy cheeked
they fell into the rhythms of childhood,
with it’s classroom wars
and playground battles.
They learned to navigate their own steep road
And won.

Their prize?
Independence and freedom
from the happy home.
That cosy ancestral cave
Whose walls housed secrets, and memories,
And me

How they grew,
my little sweetlings.
Confident, funny and smart,
they are brilliance in these dark days,
shining their light on every distant path
they take.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But is it art?

Just over a year ago, my husband and I decided to join the local art group. We’d wanted to find a hobby we could enjoy together in our old age (!) and having explored various ideas including sporty stuff, choirs etc, art seemed to be the least exhausting option.

It has been great. Really wonderful. The other art group folk are a fantastic bunch and we spend a lot of time laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Which is just as well, because pretty quickly it became obvious that I do not have a natural talent when it comes to putting paint on paper. In fact, I’m pants at it.

Irritatingly, my husband has proved to be astonishingly good, and the art group has rekindled his old passion for painting. He’s churning out lovely pieces at such a rate, we’re going to have to move soon to accommodate them all.

The opposite side of the coin is me. I’m plodding away, churning out rubbish. It is just so frustrating. In my head my picture is going to be a beautiful dancer poised in a perfect landscape. On paper it’s a lumpy out of proportion excuse for a human on a muddy blur of greenish stuff. My pretty flowers aren’t. My trees are lollipops painted by a three year old. You get the gist.

It’s even more annoying since I know I can draw passably with a pencil, it’s just the bloomin’ paint not doing as it’s told. It has often made me grumpy, sometimes tearful, and occasionally violent.. towards the paper anyway, ripping pictures up in a stormy huff and flinging them in the bin with venom. This was supposed to be enjoyable…

Anyhoo… as I say it’s been a year now, of me trying but totally losing confidence and being heartily embarrassed by my efforts during the art group sessions. But yet I’m still plugging on.

Just lately, I’ve had one or two things that I’ve been vaguely happy with. Mostly when I’ve been trying the least, just sort of doodling. My watercolours are still a bit washed out, but coloured pencil work is coming on a bit better, and over the last couple of weeks I’ve ventured back into acrylics, which previously has been the medium that has made me the crossesist (yeah, I know… but it’s perfect, and should be a real word even if it’s not).

In the past I’ve tried to actually copy something. Do something realistic and beautiful, but not so long ago I realised how miserable the failures were making me, so I started just sloshing on paint and seeing where it got me. D’ya know what? I had fun! And actually, the pictures have started looking like I want them to. Maybe not brilliant, but they look like mine. Like I have some sort of my own style.

I admit, they, like my poems, are a bit dark and broody, but that’s it. That’s capturing what I’m aiming for. Sometimes I think we need to embrace our limitations. I may never be able to paint a pretty flower, or a magnificent animal. My trees may always be lollipops, but they are my lollipops.

So, I am taking a leap here. A big leap. A very big leap. I am going to share some of my pictures with you on this blog, and hopefully, hopefully, you will be able to watch me improve and grow, and maybe, in the not too distant future, I will start to gain confidence and be proud of my creations. In the meantime, here are some of my recent attempts with acrylics….

p.s. to see some of the beautiful work other members of our group produce you can visit the ‘our art’ page on the Sutton Art Group website at https://suttonartgroup.wordpress.com/our-art/

Dried Up

My sea of words
ebbs and flows.
Today my tide is out
the grey sand is dry,
and though ideas float on
the offshore breeze
they fade into dust
before they land.

Perhaps tomorrow
gentle waves
will send them home
to this blank white beach.

 

 

(yep, tip of the day… if you’re stuck about what to write, write about being stuck about what to write 🙂 )

 

Lucky Little Lady!

I’m not in the habit of entering competitions, from past experience it’s a recipe for disappointment for me.  However, this weekend I was encouraged to enter a photograph in the ‘nature and wildlife’ category at the local village flower and produce show (mostly because I wasn’t up to entering a painting and the rest of my art group were tsk…).  Anyhoo… hey… whatdayaknow… I won! Not exactly international success or fame and fortune I know, but nonetheless, I was quite chuffed, and got a certificate and everything!! So here she is, the lucky little lady:

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Dead Head

Captive in a comfy chair
in the resident’s lounge,
she serves me bitter coffee
with watery milk.
Not the way I like it.

The others stare absently
at their sippy cups,
remembering
the days of dancing
down the aisles,
deciding what’s for tea.
choosing favourites,
The ‘meals for two’ special offers
that came with a bottle of wine.
To share.

No alcohol here.
Dining room misery instead.
Tasteless food, mushy in my mouth,
school dinner puds
washed down with childhood squash,
all consumed to the tune
of coughing and cursing,
and the shout of instructions,
and endless questions from
lost minds.

Wheeled back to the room
for my ‘nap after lunch’
we pass the locked route to the garden.
The clematis needs pruning,
and the dead roses still droop on the bush
out there, in that life giving air
that once I breathed
in my own beloved space
of borders and pond,
and sandpits and slides.

I stare from the window
people pass below.
They hurry to work
clutching their coffees,
driving their cars,
catching buses,
pushing prams.
Their hectic lives an inconvenience
but what I wouldn’t give to
be busy once more.