Archives for the month of: January, 2014
They who serve 
	the suction of daybreak,
beneath the earth,
beneath the dew,
beneath the kitchens where there’s burning toast
	and grapefruit,
bury, with the morning light,
their hope of hearing birdsong.


My commuting is less than a tenth of many who live and work in London. But when I am on the move, I often slot in writing, people watching and eavesdropping. Journeys by bus and Tube (and occasionally, by train) have become both companions of and subject matter for my writing. The Tube in particular has featured in a number of poems. Hereunder some from the growing set of related verselets:

Tube sketch (one of a few)
The Home Commute
On the Way to Westminster
Every morning, because it’s wonderful to watch
supreme ultimate

After finishing “Tunnel Days”, I recalled that I had linked daybreak with grapefruit in an earlier poem. In “Dead Star” (2006) I referenced the fruit’s colour and palate-cleansing taste in a description of morning rays.

As @BeadedQuill I Tweet about my life in London, being a poet and my current interests.
BeadedQuill has a Facebook page. Please visit us and leave a ‘Like’.
Books:
“Dead Star” is one of twenty poems in Shining in Brightness, a book of selected poems about travel, love and growing up.
Through the character Emily, I wrote twenty poems offering insights about life, love and work for the Modern Boy. You can preview Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys here.

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A post-breakup mediation posted this time last year, but dating back further in time. The poem appears in my book Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys under the title “A quiet thought”.

I know I said I’d bring a poem
but then I half forgot –
I’d agreed to go to Ladies’ Pond
to meet a friend and swim,
Down the road and to the right.
Oh dear, there’s something left behind;
Pavement Walker
Jacob’s Dream
Huckleberry Thing
and
Pizza, Thwack!
keywords from Ninja turtles strike
supreme and back.

Ooops. Sorry. I forgot them all.

I had said I would bring a poem to read at a friend’s dinner gathering and I forgot. I wrote this on the tube in lieu. It lists some of the work I composed in 2012.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill

Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys 
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012 

What do you believe?
I believe	
	to see truth lived quietly and consistently 
	is powerful. My father died like that.
In trees we find tall truths
	deeper rooted than human folly.
I believe in stakes
	that make us choose a path
right, or left or denial.
	Denial comes back to 
	haunt us in choice, again.
I believe in money and class
and opportunity because we pretend
these things don’t matter.
	I must be Marxist. In part they do.
At sunrise, I believe in God.
Under stars, I breathe an awesome Universe.
In front of a computer’s glare, as I click the news,
	I believe there is no benevolence, no God.
What you sow, you reap. I like this as a concept.
Also Qi.
In the end, I believe I’m just little me.

9/12/12


A friend posed the question – and of course, I couldn’t resist fiddling some thoughts into poem.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness 

Cold fingers,
       the volunteer gardeners rake leaves
       from the flowerbeds 
       that circle tree-trunks.
       A last green and white hydrangea
       stares its bath-cap head at me.
       Cars hoot near Bedford St.
       There’s a helicopter overhead.
       Leaves and Tesco receipts 
       blow across the square paving-stones.
       It’s 1 minute to 10.
	  A cold breeze catches
	  the morning.


Covent Garden is my destination on many mornings when I disembark from the tube. If I have a few moments I sit in the garden of the Actors’ Church, St Pauls of Covent Garden. This poem was drafted on a cold November morning as an exercise in specificity; a careful attempt at noting sound, touch and sight sensations.

@BeadedQuill
Facebook
Books:
A volume of twenty-five poems about work, love and life for the Modern Boy and another of twenty poems about the ‘stretched decade’ of 18 to 30. 

Ah, this is a good one from the archives: Tied up in 8 Tentacles of a Goal Octopus.

As an update –

I don’t yet live in my wooden house with a deck overlooking a lake.

For travel in 2013, I took the train to Buckingham for Christmas. As a day trip I went out to Rye and Camber Sands in August. There was a little tango in London over the summer and in early November. Buenos Aires, Shanghai, Morocco and New York still await.

Yeah, well, the doctoral research…

2013 was a year of proactive companion searching which included internet dating, singles events, blind dates and being picked up outside my local  indie coffee shop. All in all, there were about 8 men across 10 months. Too much effort, though good fertilizer for poetry. I am taking a man sabbatical. Currently I am investigating oocyte cryopreservation (egg-freezing) plus fertilization and other options for the future. A different sort of proactive.

I’m still scratching on my much loved, old faithful tomato-box. Today I was focussing on a little Bach Courante. I’ve been working on my bow hold.

I certainly own more clothes than I did a year ago and have a had a few outfit compliments. I’m into wearing a bit of eyeliner. The old school pencil kind. I think it’s about an excuse to use a pencil, on my eyelid.

And as my grand finale, I note that I’m clocking up my tally of titles. I brought out a second book, Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys, in November last year.

Hooray for the octopus!

 

The man with the notebook
draws attention.
The woman alongside hum
drops her Evening Standard
to glance.
	Left-handed he is
	writing with a ballpoint
	in a Moleskine, A5-sized.

Two page turners 
	across from each other.


The poems this week centre around London and the ordinary, daily observations living in this metropolis offers. Our first poem considers a scene during a tube commute.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys 
Shining in Brightness

“His father beat him around 
the head.
Only a little bit
on Wednesdays, after pay day,
or on Friday late,
after the races.
Clean up your mess, boy!”

The teachers preferred 
her creative writing 
to include such
notable topics.
So mature for her age!


In the accompanying essay to yesterday’s posted poem, I wrote about my creative process. Today both poem and essay are a comment on subject matter.

In my youth and during my brief teaching experience, I noticed a tendency towards a certain tone of pathos favoured by school creative writing. Describing meaningful life-knowledge in correct language and with well-chosen form, students showed maturity of expression. Such were the conditions of mark allocation.

As a pupil, when I wrote to emulate the style of this School of Pathos and Poignancy, I knew very little. My own life did not seem mark-worthy for creative writing submissions. There seemed to be nothing of Pathos and Poignancy in what I did know about – my suburban home-life, our small family dilemmas, my adolescent anxieties about would it all be ok, the constant balance of schoolwork and extra-murals and monthly visits to the renal clinic. Oh, how I dreaded Tuesday nights, because it would be tomato-bean-sausage pie for supper. My worst! 

Now I have grown confident about my small life. I have also been fortunate to meet many who have shared of their lives. In these stories have I been touched by life’s school of pathos and poignancy.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill 
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

Today was the Friday
I ate only toast.
7 slices. 4 with honey; 3 with
peanut butter
a few broccoli florets raw
and an anchovy from the tin.
I drank green tea, black
tea and one cup of coffee
poured from the cafetiere.
I set out to typeset
a book – and now it’s
worse than eating nuts
fiddling with those boxes
on the screen.

When was this Friday? It was the 25/1/13. This time last year I was typesetting Shining in Brightness, my first book of poetry. I was intent on completing the book and had set myself a personal deadline. Toast and coffee are my fuel for deadlines. Consuming those seven slices and all the beverage stimulants brought back the hours of binge-typing 10,000 and 30,000 word university submissions.

You can preview some of the poems and one of the two essays on my creative process here.

I have a second book of poetry available for preview and purchase. It is Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys.
Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill

From this time last year.