Archives for posts with tag: house

If the sky was perfect
inside the house finch
he would not
beat the red thoughts
around his feathered crown,
nor collapse his brown-grey wings.


This poem, like a few others written during this month, was inspired by a writing prompt provided by Poem A Day October. The prompt provided an online random image generator and suggested choosing a visual. It was a toss up between a pair of wizened hands and this handsome house finch. The finch came with a poem, which isn’t surprising as I have used bird motifs in my writing before. See
Sky and Hope have disappeared,
Nearing the End and
Recycled

I have written drafts in response to all the Poem A Day October’s recommendations. However, not all these attempts have passed the benchmark I set for work worthy of public reading.

Contrary to what some may believe, I do not post any old bunch of lines. Not all the words I have thrown together do I declare poetry. While I do ease up a little on my personal standards (otherwise 80% of the writing on this blog would not be online), I also set high ideals for my writing. For example, I wish my work was more literary. I wish its craft was more dazzling. (Sadly, my attempted poem in iambic pentameter terza rima resulted in a mess of scribbles.) If my poetry was more politically engaged or socially critical, perhaps it might also be more useful to the world.

As a perfectionist who also happens to work as an artist, I spend a long time judging my work as inadequate. The fear that the public and critics will spotlight flaws compounds my panic. (An early poem, “To whom it may concern”, explores this.) Such fear is debilitating. While housebound creativity satisfied me somewhat, it did not wing in the world. How would anything take flight? After years of filling up notebooks I decided that it was time for creation to be shared.

This is why I share my poetry online.

Here are the other poems inspired by Poem A Day October prompts:

Highest Priority
Transition/ Disclosed
Postmarked from a Café
Headlines
A cooking attempt for colleagues
You cooking me


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, which includes “To whom it may concern”

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!

 

‘Tis the night before
I head off to find Christmas.
with an inflatable bed
and homemade biscuits.

All through this lodging
there is hardly a clatter;
only Depeche Mode on my laptop
and my landlady’s patter.

To the front door she shuffles
and hooks up the chain.
Yesterday’s outside,
while we’re bolted in.

22/12/13

My paternal grandparents had a beautifully illustrated copy of The Night before Christmas published by Little Golden Books. To me those pages smelt of sweeter Christmases in the past where children ate candy-canes and hung up stockings over a fireplace. This was the same Christmas of The Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy, so it is not surprising that sweetness filled the nose and tempted the taste-buds. Magically, unlike the other books in the dust-coated shelves, it did not smell musty. The paper itself was sturdy and even in those days, to my childish eyes the illustrations had an old-fashioned look about them.

I’m sure my father read the long poem to us. It’s his voice, with a little added theatricality, that I hear when I recall the famous opening lines:

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
not a creature was stirring not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung from the chimney with care
in the hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The atmosphere of expectancy and magic built up at the poem’s opening inspired my musings on this quiet evening. With gifts wrapped, cards distributed, Christmas baking done, bags packed, and now even the front door bolted, it seems that all that there is left for me to do is board my train at Euston tomorrow.

The second part of The Night before Christmas bounds with abundance and jollity. With St Nick and the reindeer enters a quicker pace and the energy of the festival. It is that part of the holiday to which I’ll be travelling. However, here in the quiet before the fracas, here I write next week’s posts at my desk, muesli consumed and coffee at hand.

“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

I’ll be quiet on Facebook and Twitter over this festive season, but I’d be delighted if you’d look me up:

Twitter: @BeadedQuill
Facebook: BeadedQuill