Archives for posts with tag: coffee

Anthurium at lalbagh flower show 7109

Anthuriums from Lalbagh Garden, Bangalore by Rameshng (own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


This greeting comes cold from the residue
of morning, 3rd October. Last draff of coffee
in the cup on a saucer that would rather be
the stippled salver that serves red
to passersby and those who scan
the street for things to watch
and then behold anthuriums
for sale at the florist.

“Paris”
2014


On relocating to London, I jettisoned my personal library. Since then I have forbad myself from spending on books. As far as possible I beg and borrow. On a few rare occasions I have caved – for Zadie Smith’s essays, Chinese poetry and a tome of Charles Bukowski poems, The Pleasures of the Damned (Canongate, 2010).

It started with ‘hell is a lonely place’ which punched me in the stomach. There in the bookshop I decided that I had to have the whole book, at £15.99. I didn’t care what else was in it. It turned out Bukowski is quite well known. I was a latecomer to his work.

Bukowski’s poem ‘the last generation’ introduces the literary scene of Paris in the 1920s, a time when writing “was a romantic grand game…, full of fury and discovery”. In short, “it was much easier to be a genius in the twenties”.

Part tongue-in-cheek (I’m guessing), the poem suggests:

.. if you sent your stuff postmarked from Paris
chance of publication became much better.
most writers bottomed their manuscripts with the
word “Paris” and the date.

I’ve paired this little joke with today’s prompt: “Write a poem in the form of a letter to someone”. I guess you, dear reader, are the someone.

I love writing letters, and the subject has featured in other poems:

In the unposted letter
It should not be polished
Pavement Writer
Things of the heart told in quiet

I have also written about Paris.


Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books

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Fish_scales

Look At“, a poem posted this time last year, is a combination of a journal poem and a pavement poem. Derived from mental notes taken during a walk along East Finchley High Road, it documents the comings and goings of an ordinary morning.

Observing the ordinary and everyday is a recurring theme. “Look – really look” takes a similar approach, but places the entry within a specific season (summer) and circumscribes it to a smaller location (one man’s balcony garden).

Look At” is one of the 104 poems that feature in my latest book, In the Ocean.

The image of fish scales is courtesy of Wikicommons Media and photographed by Rajesh danji. View the original image here.

vintage mens clothing image, victorian era man illustration, antique catalogue page, free black and white clip art, old fashioned mens clothes

Image courtesy of The Old Design Shop, a vintage design treasury.

Buzz.	
Ping. 
Hit.
Aaah!
‘Phone 
Coffee
Cigarettes 
Skin

High Dependency Units


Another quick read poem/ non-poem, which uses a list format.

See, gentlemen, poetry isn’t such an effort to read. And there’s so much more left of your day to do other things such as check your ‘phone, drink coffee, smoke and check some skin.

(The impressions for this piece came while I was sitting at a coffee shop watching the men come in, buy their espressos, sit outside with their cigarettes and then pour over their ‘phones. An ambulance, with the words ‘High Dependency Unit’ painted on its side, drove past.)

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill

Books:

My latest volume, based on my year-long 2×52 project, will be available at Blurb.co.uk in June. In the meantime, please preview my two other titles.
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness

This poem is based on the day in 2012 when I finally took the plunge and bought a laptop in London. The incessant “£299 on Strand” echoes my personal obsession with the cost of things, which I really am trying to transcend in 2014 (…both the cost of things and the obsession). This close attention to price minutiae has proved fruitful for writing, though. The tallying has found it’s way into other verses: At the moment £2 and Now here is something to marvel at…

While my favourite blend of coffee is still £2,30 at my local Sainsbury’s, fortunately soya milk is back at 59p. My palate has had enough of sultanas, so now I bypass that shelf. More recently I’ve been into dates with my morning oats. Waitrose does a 250g bag for 99p and my local Cypriot greengrocer offers two trays for £1.

1.
Wake up.
Work hard.
Plan and strategise.
Talk to someone who
     has done it before.
Find a mentor.

2. 
Protect its pollen from the wind.
Blow on the quills when they
   erupt.
Wrap it in this moment
and suspend it from but what if?

It might rest its weary hope 
in a chest of velvet lined

for the unsplit bean alone 
is the treasure


During a very happy and productive year of my professional life, I used to spend Sunday evenings assessing the week that had passed, plan the week ahead and review my life, especially in terms of where I was in achieving my goals. I felt so wonderfully smug and on top of things. Yes! I was making things happen in my life. Yes! Through strategy, persistence and application I was helping my dreams to come true.

Life, they say, is what happens when you make other plans. I left that particular field, moved from the town and no longer pursue many activities with which I was then involved. Half a decade later there are only three outputs that I hold dear from that organised and hyper-functional period of my life: 1. a couple of special, enduring friendships; 2. a few poems and some essays of interest; 3. that I wrote regular letters to my Dad, who was ill at the time.

I mull much over society’s sanctioned notions of success and achievement. The product-driven pressure that a dream must be brought to fruition follows me like a shadow. If I dream of being A Writer then I must schedule writing time, move towards products and a business plan, target a definable readership, join one of the professional writers’ associations and ideally land a contract or an agent, and if not claim a stake in the indie market. This is The Way to Make a Dream Come True.

See how easily I can write about that? I have been avoiding the business plan for nearly a year. Instead, I have been writing poems, drinking coffee at my laptop and watching Bachata videos on YouTube. (Bachata is a style of dance from the Dominican Republic in which one steps to beats 1, 2 and 3 and adds a tap on beat 4.)

So now I have these additional, distracting dreams. One is of simply writing and writing and writing. The result may be endless waffle. Another is to spend time in my local indie coffee shop up the road, as an out-of-jail option when I’m feeling cabin fever. And then there is the dream of dancing like this – so much happiness on such a small square of stage above the earth. That would be treasure indeed.

Follow me @BeadedQuill on Twitter where I get carried away with YouTube forays into Argentine tango, Systema, Krav Maga and, most recently, Bachata.
Or, if you prefer, follow BeadedQuill on Facebook.
My two creative ‘babies’, my published books, are my successes of 2013. Preview them at Blurb.co.uk by clicking on the links:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys 
Shining in Brightness 

A quality beverage enhances your life
and social opportunities.
Consider,
	coffee,
	wine
	and clean drinking water.
Of a high end luxury brand
might be the water 
as it flows from a crevice
in a rock
on a mountain
 in the sacred hills 
of a dew-studded place.


This is a companion poem to yesterday’s “the currency of sugar”. Written around the same time (original notes probably originated at the same sitting), it also explores the theme of consumables in human relationships, and our relationships with the consumables.

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

Oh, good. For now 
sultanas are back at 84p.
(Bizarrely, they were 92p for a while.)
Coffee, my favourite blend, now
ONLY £2! That’s a 28p saving

but coffee’s not on my list 
for today… Kiwi fruit –
Enjoying those at the moment 
(since “basic apples” – I know
they’re the windfall ones –
have risen from 68p in the summer to
the current £1/kg)
Kiwi fruit at the moment: £2 
for 2 bags. So, a 25px2 saving.

Only will I get through x2 bags 
in a week? Fruit budget is £2.
A whole week of kiwi fruit?
But a 50p saving on kiwi fruit
plus a 28p saving on coffee
gives us a total 78p saving!! On a £3 spend
on two items
I had no intention
of buying this week.

4/12/13

Today’s lines bring to a conclusion a week of poems connected by the subject of London life. As you will note from the date, these thoughts were penned at the end of last year. I had relegated them to the not-to-be-seen draft papers thinking that readers surely didn’t want another poem about the minutiae of a poet’s budget. (See earlier offerings “Now here is something to marvel at…” and “£299 from Strand”.)

I was reassured otherwise by a chance reading of Gogol’s “The Coat”.

(Here, a diversion as to how I arrived at Gogol’s short story. My reading had been spurred by online video versions of the famous tale. I stumbled upon these after watching – at @brainpicker’s recommendation – Yuriy Norshteyn’s animated classic, The Hedgehog in the Fog (1975). Hedgehog is beyond enchanting. Watch it now if you have 11 minutes to spare. )

At least a third of “The Coat” concerns itself with the minutiae of salary and budget and the cost of things, notably the title coat. This gave me courage. If Gogol could put such in a story, I could type up about my Sainsbury’s shop and the kiwi fruit and coffee on special.

P.S. I should have bought more of the coffee at £2. It’s now £2,30/ 227g. Happily, a bag of kiwi fruit is still £1 for 6.

I have published two books of poetry:
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
AND
Shining in Brightness

Follow me on Twitter as @BeadedQuill.

BeadedQuill is also on Facebook.

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

Summer_Vintage_Woman_by_CherishedMemories

This image, ‘Summer Vintage Woman,’ is courtesy of CherishedMemories.

A few recent poems have orbited around summer. 29°C captures some moments from the July heatwave. Another Summer’s Day explores more delights of the warmer season. Summer food and outdoor eating, which we enjoy at such times with childlike relish, are enacted by the child characters who feature in Packed Lunches and Summermelon. Tightly Sealed and Look At draw on observations of ordinary days as they continue to unfold during a suburban summer. Leftovers accumulate in the ‘fridgeResidents must still go to work and pick up groceries on the High Street.

An Arrangement of Strangers, a poem about some childhood fears, proved the wildcard.

I consider Recycled the most beautifully put together of them all.

Today
the sour faces coming out of front doors
of those who must go to work

the pinched looks of those shuffling
with shopping trolleys; 
those who must buy groceries

Look at Grey Mullet
laid on ice at the fishmonger’s

Look at whole others who 
smile weakly and wave 
that magazine for the homeless/unemployed
outside where I buy stamps 

Broadest of coffee smiles 
         - another  
a flaky-rimmed pasteis de nata
         - time, thanks  

Yeah, yeah
he growls today and shakes his whole self on that concrete pavement
rousing the pigeons, in the rose bed, who then flap at the petals

and the thorns and leaves, but they are smaller and less interesting

like the work-faces folded away in drawers
or the pure bliss of 59p to buy soya milk
         for seven days of breakfast joy
a coffee smile and through a window,
a fishmonger’s whole plaice on ice

Preview my first volume of poems, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS, at blurb.co.uk.
Follow my traipsing around London’s suburbs and high streets on Twitter. I tweet as @BeadedQuill.
BeadedQuill also has a Facebook page. You’ll find it here.