Writer’s Block

Everything’s off.
In the white heat of construction
thoughts fail.
The computer blinks:
other words beckon,
in books and stories I wish I had written.

But too late, for time works relentless,
tick-tocks like sand particles,
granular time. In time,
on time, outside in the grass
where childhood books were consumed,
pages torn and chewed in my desire
to absorb their worlds.

Old books with embossed covers.

Hand-me-down stories, solid stories
published by Children’s Press or Blackie
and glued to the fly leaves, glossy award plates
named and dated prize pupils
from an age of geometry, matriculation and scriptures.

Their pages were thick and soft.
I got close to those fibres
and the sharp edges of graceful alphabets,
racing from illustration to desert Island
breathless, as footsteps stretched across empty beaches
and bloody cries echoed through pristine glades
the sunshine hot on my neck.

Are you ready? I think I can write, now.

 

*(As mentioned in my last post, a poem read at the festival)

On Leaving School

He grew strong on the farm.
Was handy shovelling on the right side
or the left.
‘Worth a bonus, that,’ old Fred said,
as they emptied the pigsty,
‘if we were navies.’

Best of all he liked tractor work,
sitting in the cab with a fag
and the radio.

His world was the turning of turf,
a shiny plough-share slicing a neat row
from hedge to ditch.

Years disappeared that way.

Group Sequence Poem

We’ve just finished a Writing Residential in North Wales – a great week, thank you very much, to all involved.DSCF6077One of the challenges I set the group this year was to contribute either a haiku or tanka to a Japanese style sequence poem.  A pad containing the first three lines was left on the coffee table.  This is the poem I picked up on the last day:

Voluptuous waves

matted fibres lift from the rocks

a forest wakens.

Carrying the soft waters

a spiral of tide and light.

Silver fish fly through

laughing green seaweed branches

dancing in their sky.

Infiltration of the stones

seaweed scent released to air.

Small stones roll to beach

children throw them at each other

no more smell of weed.

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