Archives for posts with tag: friends
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Image from the February 1912 issue of Pictorial Review, courtesy of the Old Design Shop, a vintage image treasury.

These days I refuse to sigh
for cooked up futures.
Potatoes from a friend
and a bag of mixed root veg for £1
assure companionship.
This bounty grated, cooked with stock and bay leaves,
will be ladled out for half-a-dozen bowls
dressed up with haricot beans.
The appraising birds perch in the top bare branches,
more interested in other messes.

London kitchen, January 2015

I cook a great deal from scratch; partially because I have the time, mostly because it’s an attempt to stretch my budget. In autumn and winter, soup-making is a regular activity. Last winter (2013/2014), all my soups were restricted to three items from the grocery aisle, and cooked up with either red or brown lentils. This year I have discovered the mixed veg. packets at budget retailers, so I have broadened my ingredients list. Whatever the concoction that results, half is put aside for the freezer. This way I have a couple of flavours on rotation.

Chopping or grating vegetables for soup is both a mindless and thought-encouraging activity. I’ll think about things in my life, and I’ll think about nothing except scooping up the peelings for the bin. The other satisfying bonus of soup is that you can leave it to simmer while you continue with other tasks, like writing.

Today’s poem is a response to “In this place, I eat butternut soup,” written in 2012. You are astute readers, so there is no need for me to hammer home the points of contrast between the two poems. If you would like to share your own observations, please do so in the comments. I would be interested to read them.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

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A grocery receipt from the 1860s courtesy of the Old Design Shop, my go-to treasury for vintage images.

a documentary poem based on true texts

Leaving now

15min

Here

I’m across
the road

Just at till

In café

Will wait.
No stress

That was Thursday’s shopping trip

I love text poems – or SMS poems as I called them in a 2007 incarnation. On a short cob-house building trip to the Eastern Cape that year, I sent text poems from an old-school silver Nokia to various recipients. These became “From the Bathurst SMS Poems” (and may now be read in Shining in Brightness). “Pavement Walker” and “Now here is something to marvel at…” also started their lives on a phone, this time my little Alcatel from Carphone Warehouse.

This poem documents a morning shopping trip.

A friend of the poet’s offered to lift her to a retail park. Imagine the sender corresponding that she’s en route. The friend arrives but the poet is still pulling on obstinate boots. Then at the shop, the sender’s long completed their shop while the poet continues to wander Sainsbury’s aisles seeking quinoa, spelt and Morning Detox tea.

In my text poems the phone functions as notebook and layout randomiser (I recall the Dadaist word games). Line layout, full-stop location and capitalization all count towards meaning in my poems. So it fascinates me no end how the words create different combinations on different screens. Sometimes it’s the juxtaposition of words that pull at my eye and ear. For example, this evening on my packet of Iceland blueberries I read:

Eliot
Romania
Wash before use

These are my documentary poems of quiet suburbia, where Romanian Eliot’s blueberries arrive in my kitchen via Iceland, to be washed before use.

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill
Books:
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012

This image is from the October 1902 issue of “The Delineator” magazine and features courtesy of the Old Design Shop.

I love hearing about the antics of raucous older people – those humans who have made it to their eighties, nineties and beyond. I met Klara last year in a queue at the Cadogan Hall when we were both waiting to buy £5 day tickets for a Proms chamber concert. This was her story.

You’re all my favourite readers, but… I have a particularly ideal reader. She is well read and articulate and to her wise critique I have entrusted a few unpolished drafts. Her first response to this poem was a giggling, “Hehehe, you put ‘cock’ in the title.”

Well, dear other favourite readers, the two of us had watched a great many seasons of Sex in the City together. Although the original poem was not written in Carrie Bradshaw’s pun-ladled tone, for fun you may read it so. Kindly then imagine further, this poet musing at her laptop on manboys, love and life. Throw in a stylish and quirky wardrobe and fabulous shoes. These props definitely help the writing.

“The Old Cock and the Younger Hens” found its way into my book published in November last year. Please preview Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys here.

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 

Image courtesy of http://vintagefeedsacks.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/free-vintage-clip-art-vintage_27.html

Image courtesy of vintagefeedsacks.blogspot.co.uk

In which the superhero of pre-used words makes a re-appearance

The superhero of pre-used words 
met watermelon boy.
It was summer.
They had pips to spit
But also fruit to eat and

The superhero of pre-used words 
and watermelon boy
arrived at the driveway, 3 quite sharp.
Between them half a shell of watery sweet
	summer joy
“You first!"	

The superhero of pre-used words 
has met with Watermelon Boy.
They spit pips
at the wall
A noun; a verb;
	too many adjectives

The adverbs sweetly steep the fruit.
They ingest those.
It’s how it’s done,
not what, that counts.

The superhero of pre-used words 
and melon boy
spit pips –

the champion is melon boy
      his best is 2m .03
(quite impressive!)

On a sunny Sunday
the watermelon pips
hit
leftover rinds – green happy smiles

Follow me on Twitter. I tweet as @BeadedQuill.

My first volume of poetry, SHINING IN BRIGHTNESS, explores the quiet pleasures and experiences of suburban life and travel. Preview it at blurb.co.uk