Poetry

Elastagirl

In the spaces of my sockets (shoulder

sockets, that is, not eye)

the dust of all the things I’ve reached for

collects; the joints are loath to return

to face the withered evidence of so many bursts of hope.

No, they prefer to float away, striving for that bit of extra stretch

that will let me grasp those

teasing, nearly there, fluttering dreams.

I wouldn’t mind, but the sinew is wearing thin

and I need my arms to work properly

to embrace those bubbly moments of now.

Poetry

Cursed ground

It’s just a patch of grass, as

green as that around it, yet

yellow and black tape cordons it off.

Why? What is so different, so dangerous, so other

about this patch?

Is something buried underneath,

alive still, twitching, itching to reach out,

grab ankles, uproot itself using umbrella mushrooms?

Maybe the other grass blades

simply decided they didn’t like that little patch,

that tiny section, that huddle of earth and sprouted seed.

Perhaps they can see something I can’t,

trapped in the details, their canvas of perfection rattled

because of the few individuals declared

broken who refuse to wilt under their gazes.

Or perhaps those cordoned blades

decided to erect a barrier themselves,

electric anger spiking

at being stepped on one too many times.

Poetry, Uncategorized

A complete ramble, plus the first piece of writing I had published…

Hi everyone, I’m happy to say I’ve now finished the revamp, line edits and proofreading I was doing on one of my books and sent it off to my publisher.

I’d like to say it was a pleasant experience – and parts of it were, like getting acquainted with my characters and falling in love with the world all over again – but on the whole it made me question every aspect of my writing ability, particularly my grammar. I didn’t know it was possible to spend hours agonising over the correct usage of was and were (look up subjunctive mood, and you’ll see what I mean – technically the rule is fairly simple, but I have oodles of self-doubt), but apparently it is. Even after I sent the manuscript off (after reading and re-reading and fretting back and forth), I was still worried I’d got it wrong (‘it’ being the entirety of my grammar usage).

So my conclusion regarding having to do line edits and proofreading on my own work is that I never want to do it again. Hopefully, this was a one-off scenario and whatever is happening with the editing team at my publisher gets sorted, so I won’t have to. Still, I honestly felt like I was losing my mind.

The other side of it is that now I have finished, I’m not sure what to do with myself. Which is a little ridiculous because I know full well that I need a break, but for some reason my sense of self-worth and achievement is so thoroughly linked to my productivity that I can’t shake it. I think I was relieved for all of ten minutes after I hit send, then the overwhelming heaviness of ‘What am I going to do now?’ hit me and I spent a good few hours stimming and being lost in my thoughts.

Anyway, now I’ve expressed my thoughts on all that, it’s time for something a bit lighter. I thought I’d share with you the first piece of writing I had published, which is a poem I wrote when I was ten.

My primary school encouraged years five and six (I think it was both, but I’m not quite sure) to write a poem for an anthology called Poetic Voyages, created by an organisation called Young Writers. I think quite a few kids in my class submitted a poem, but only some were chosen. This is the cover of the one my poem is in, as there were separate anthologies put together for each region. It was published in 2002:

20200822_120845

On the back it says:

Young Writers was established in 1991 to encourage the reading and writing of poetry by young people.

Young Writers’ books nurture interest and confidence by giving young people the opportunity to see their work in print in a series of regional anthologies.

The books represent a generation of voices having their say on a wide range of themes from home and school to the environment and sport.

These anthologies are a showcase for the writing talent in schools today. 

And here’s a bit more info:

20200822_125753[1]

Lastly, here’s my actual poem in all its glory…

20200822_121006

(The note about whisky in the last line was supposed to be in brackets, but my pa said it’d look better without. I still think brackets would be more effective.)

It’s interesting that, considering the wide range of topics I could have written about, I chose to write about ghosts and school. Perhaps my ‘ghost’ was actually a metaphor for how terrified I was at school (if you haven’t seen my previous posts, I was severely bullied at school by one of my teachers, and quite a few of the kids too. It was not a happy time for me). That, or I’d just been watching Ghostbusters or The Frighteners. Who knows.

 

Poetry

Trust exercise

Experience minds, not just their vessels.

Let them help you peel away your layers

while you do the same for them.

The walls of your fortress will crumble, but that’s okay.

Share the past; stinging words, flashbacks. All.

Allow the memories to be, allow them to mature

and disperse into momentary fizzles.

Know that time eases, but is no ointment.

Keep a jar handy to soothe the welts if

and when they rise.

And communicate. Any way you choose.

Being voiceless does not make you mindless.

Understanding is sourced from so much more

than words.

Poetry

Lullaby (to the tune of Frozen 2’s lullaby)

When the dreamer is close to waking

there’s a secret place of their own making.

Stay a while longer, do not run,

for once your eyes open, all is gone.

 

In your imagination, bright and true,

hide new places and a choice for you.

Immerse yourself deep into its sands,

but be wary of ticking hands.

 

Yes, it will create whatever you wish,

and in this world, nothing is banned.

But can you release your bound hands?

Are you ready to explore these lands?

 

When the dreamer is close to waking

there’s a heartland of their own making.

Come now, be brave, don’t turn around.

Let yourself go; make yourself proud.

Poetry

The pleading of characters in my books

[From a book under edit]

I’m hidden under the print,

reaching, reaching

clawing for my right to show on the page

and not just in the channels of your brain.

Hints and likenesses are what I have,

yet I yearn to be presented as I am.

Clear a path for me, I’ll give the depth

you’re seeking, I promise.

 

[From a book currently being drafted]

Ah, but at least she already exists,

life laid out for her paragraph after paragraph.

What have I got after me?

The empty whiteness under the last sentence.

Hurry up, author, her story is done.

I’m the one you want to work with,

spend time with me and we’ll see where we go.

 

[From the author, weary from juggling]

That’s enough, I won’t have any arguments.

You’re both important, both of you will shine.

Her story isn’t done, there’s more of her I can show

regardless of our knowledge of where she’ll go.

And as for you, I’m doing the best I can.

I’m crafting out time and space for you to grow,

to ink away the white until you’re satisfied.

So let me carry on as I am and stop moaning.

I’ve got work to do, you know.

 

Poetry

The smallest touch

The air rushes past and I can see

the silhouette I’ve left in the gust.

Arms spread, in flight (if it were possible I could muster it)

reaching for the ripples that play about my fingers

as if I might grasp them and pull them in close

to feel their warmth and smell the journey they’ve taken

to get here.

After, I wonder

if they have met me before and that is why

the wind comforts me so.

Poetry

The Monster Inside

The monster inside is restless.

It’s been kicking around all day,

talking to itself and grumbling, never wanting to settle,

never wanting to stay calm or focused,

refusing point blank to relax in any way.

 

The monster inside is doing handstands.

Climbing the walls, the door, the frame!

One minute it wants to scream and shout,

the next give up and lie on the floor, staring at the ceiling.

Oh, how I wish it would end this game!

Poetry

Why gnomes wear diving helmets.

It was all going peacefully, life.

Or so the gnomes thought.

Then one day the gnome king announced

that gnomes were a fragile species,

and garden and ornamental, bearded and not,

should wear diving helmets for protection until further notice.

Gnome kind grumbled and groaned,

and some flatly refused to adapt their style –

why cover up their signature ruddy cheeks and bright caps that had remained unchanged throughout the ages?

Then the kids playing in the school field across the road

kicked their football too high,

which swiftly decapitated an unprotected gnome

in the final arc of its descent.

The other gnomes were sad, but it was a chance in…well, however many gnomes their were!

There was more probability that their paint would flake and smiles crack

before a tragedy like that would occur again.

But they didn’t account for the glorious sun,

which brought footballs raining down ten a day

leaving only those gnomes with helmets on

safe from the barrage.