Birthday poem

This one is from just after the 19th, the day marking half a century of being alive.

Birthday 

White and yellow and
red flowers for my birthday
My heart overflows.

Such riches, and such
good company. A meal together
warms me for days to come.

Being driven about,
and shown secret places from childhood
Precious gifts. And ice cream!

 

Angela McG, 25.4.16

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Gardening

So, I have some more poems to share, after a bit of a break. This one is from the 16th. I would like you to know that the German word for allotment is Schrebergarten. While ‘garten’ is somewhat self-explanatory, I don’t know what the word ‘Schreber’ means exactly, but I think it’s related to the word ‘verschroben’, which means eccentric! I take that to mean that getting an allotment is the first step to becoming an eccentric – bring it on!

Gardening poem

Squishy muddy stuff
squelching between my fingers
Like messing by the stream as a child

Standing by the window of the shed
watching, and being watched,
my dog, the allotment neighbours

Pushing tiny seeds from packets
into the brown mess in front of me,
not very tidy, but who cares?

Covering them up with more dirt
and a big lid on top
placing them on a shelf, in the sun

And looking forward to the day
when we get to our Schrebergarten
and little tomato and bean and herb plants have appeared!

 

Angela McG, 16.4.16

Day eleven

I have written one poem in the last three days. And I tell myself that that is okay, better than okay, better than no poem, better than not eleven poems so far.
I have learned that being too poorly to leave the house takes away a lot of inspiration and oomph from the poetry writing, whether the poems are about the outside world or not.
And I have learned that as with everything, I have to take it one day at a time, and not fret about the other days.
This poem was written following the optional prompt for day 11 on the NaPoWriMo.net blog: “a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. I think of the “surprise” ending to this James Wright Poem as a model for the effect I’m hoping you’ll achieve. An abstract, philosophical kind of statement closing out a poem that is otherwise intensely focused on physical, sensory details.” Thanks for an inspiring prompt!

Morning

Wrapped in many layers,
but still cold.
I stroke the creature lying in my lap
with icy fingers;
fur the colour of sand and feel of silk
covering the Klingon-like forehead.
I touch it with care, its bony fragility.
His neck has more layers,
a multi-coloured, coarser,
fuzzy mane to dig around in,
trying to warm up my hands.
I don’t like Mondays.

Day 10 – Wild life

Lovely weather here in Blackpool today, and I saw a lot of it, walking out with the dog and my friend, and sitting in the sun on the bench in the garden. So I thought I would put down some of the things that fascinate me when I sit still and watch nature around me.

Wild life

I see a bird in the bushes
A robin, red chest glowing
Then another bird next to it
Next to it?? They must be family

A little wren, hopping in and around
dashes to the feeding table
back and forth.

The dog warming my feet watches quietly with me,
his tail flicking.

 

Day nine – Flowers

Last night, inspired by a very nice comment from a fellow poetry blogger, I had another look at the site that added the Writing to National Poetry Month (NaPoWriMo.net), and made it global (Global Poetry Writing Month: GloPoWriMo). I noticed that at the end of their daily blog post is a prompt, a start for a poem for the next day. Last night’s prompt was: flowers.
As a gardener, herbalist and overall plant enthusiast, this was a great inspiration for me, and so I managed to write two poems today (yay!) So, a day late, but hopefully not a penny short (was that the saying?):

 

Flowers 1

My love’s no red rose:
Dark purple Knight’s Spur*
and Forget-me-not.

*Translated from the German for Larkspur/Delphinium

 

Flowers 2

Flowering currant
dripping with bumblebee and
raindrops: so full and so wet.

Day 6, 7 & 8

So I have not posted any poems yesterday or the day before that. Such is life. Instead, there are 3 poems for the 3 days of the April poetry month project. They are all short, all haikus. Longer, or rhyming poems, need more time and energy than I can spare at the moment. Life needs to be lived as well as written about, especially when the sun is shining.

World inside

Speck on the window
lit up by the evening sun –
my whole world today

World outside

Too fragile to go out?
A friend’s company eases
the step, all else follows.

My work

Baking my own bread –
Pleasant to the senses, and
food for tomorrow.

Day five

Today, I tried my hand at one of the poetic forms with rhymes in them. This turned out to be really quite difficult, and I suspect this may be to do with never having written rhyming poetry before, not in any language, but also because English is not my first language.
So I took refuge in one of the non-rhyming forms, this time a Lune poem, similar to a haiku, with length and number of lines prescribed, but no other rules.


Garden

Black jumper for warmth
sun in spring
not strong, but lovely

Day 4

It occurred to me this morning that what I am doing is occupational therapy for real: learning how to write poems by trying out different ways of doing it every day, working to get better at it – towards ‘mastery’ (a long long way away I think), and building a positive habit indeed, by committing myself to spending time creating every day, knowing that writing poetry makes me feel excited and joyous and proud of my achievement when it’s done! If you are an OT or other therapist/person trying to help yourself and other people, you may recognise lots of good elements from different theories and therapies there. To be living this myself in my own life rather than telling other people about these things is so good, and fulfilling, I am struggling to find words to really put this across! (So I use an exclamation mark, because that’s what I do! :-))
And so today’s effort, an acrostic poem (found on the Young Writers’ free poetry glossary at youngwriters.co.uk), bit of a first draft but hey this will happen when you try to write one whole poem every day!
I may come back to the acrostic form later on, really wanted to write one with Weltschmerz (a very German thing apparently) as its spine, something I came across in my research yesterday. If you need any other hints at my country of origin, just look at those long, long sentences up there..

Acrostic poem

A life purpose I sought
Clerical work was not rewarding
Really wanted to work with people
Occupational therapy seemed like a dream come true
Studying taught me so much about the human race
Thinking I could make a difference, helping people to create
Independent lives for themselves. But now I want to
Create my own, independent, livelihood.

Day three

So yesterday I read a lovely post on facebook on The Writers Circle page that gave these six tips on How to write more:
1. Make time. (This is more difficult than writing.)
2. Protect that time. Murder anyone who interrupts you. Use the murder as story fodder.
3. Turn off. Your Goddamn. Phone.
4. Write down your ideas for later. No, you won’t remember them. Seriously. You won’t. Write them down.
5. Remember: a first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done.
6. Be kind to yourself.
Good advice, I thought, and quite funny. Poignant perhaps, I thought about number 4. I read the whole thing to my husband, out loud, highlighting how clever and useful the tips seemed.
So then this morning, Sunday, leisurely pace, some plans, no times set, I am thinking about what poem to write and post on here today. Even do some research into different types of poems, and which ones I would like to try. Have some quick ideas for some of the poems. In the shower, I have another idea, for a poem, more like a theme, a beginning, to the point where I am quite losing track of time, spinning different thought ideas and following them, feeling inspired, and energised by the shower and all these ideas. And then chores are completed, journeys, more tasks, some TV. And suddenly it is half past five, and I have not written anything down, and am no longer feeling energetic, and can’t remember my ideas from this morning. Because I didn’t write them down, not a note, nothing.
Thankfully, I have little helpers called Haikubes, basically dice with words on, which I bought some years ago on holiday. Never used them before, another first. Designed to help write a haiku, I rolled them, and ended up using only of the cubes, which gives a theme or direction for the haiku to be written. The theme I picked was

A desire for

You in your smelly
Star Wars T-shirt drumming my
back to cheer me up.