Image courtesy of The Old Design Shop (http://olddesignshop.com/), Vintage Image Treasury.

In response to the questions often posed to me about my writing, I have decided to introduce a new feature on my blog:

Please explain…

Send in your questions about a particular poem, a running theme or even a line that puzzles you. If you’re curious about the creative process behind a poem’s existence, you may ask about that, too.

Here is our first submission. “Please explain…”

This month I once again
neglect to pay into a pension,
fertilize a good egg at ovulation
or further my career. Untoward

outcomes will result! In twenty years
it will not matter
that I didn’t
write this poem today

This poem (Five Consequences of Repeated Actions) covers recurring discussion points of so many of my (female) peers at present: the difficult job market, not being able to put aside financially for the future and the biological clock. The further question is – of all the things you do in a day, which one will be the most important? If you do not pursue your calling (e.g. writing), will this really have an effect in twenty years’ time. Does what one do today really have such a huge outcome on twenty years down the line?

Of course these eight lines are a little autobiographical. (Some say most writing contains a kernel of autobiography.) I question myself about my professional status. (I don’t have one at present.) I freak out about not making adequate provision for my retirement. (I’m just grateful to pay my rent, buy groceries and then blow a fiver on a night of dancing.) The ticking of my biological clock created a recent panic. (After visiting the assisted fertility specialist, I am allowing myself an 18-month/2 year window period to get my health in order before revisiting the biological clock issue.)

I write daily and try to remind myself of my commitment to this path and craft. But for what? Will the world really be any poorer for my wallowing in creative self-indulgence, when perhaps I should be paying into a pension and salvaging some sort of career track? The literal and literary irony of this little poem is that it does exist. Whether or not it hovers in the ether in twenty years’ time is an outcome yet to be determined.

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