Friday’s Commute

The passing glare of headlights

Is interrupted, through the side

Window flames lick the horizon

Like dragon’s breath has set alight

That perfect point where land meets sky

And it is beauty, breath-taking,

Enough to make you want to stop

And pay attention. A new day is dawning.

You should celebrate, do something

Significant, mark the moment,

But you have work to go to, so you drive

On, reluctant, take one last glance

In the rear-view mirror as the sky

Explodes in crimson colour, hues

Which seem to scream murder

As you round another corner

And flee the scene.

~The H Word~

Christmas Eve

This night, I lay worry down,
slip out of stress, let it pool
behind. The hush of sleep
from little ones, gentle breaths,
pillowed heads dream of magic,
spells weave weblike until spun
hope, silk-thin, compels belief
from all of us.

~The H Word~

Fear Not My Darling

We wait together, you and I

as night falls, light dies, extinguished

day’s death never grieves us

illuminated in moon’s torchlight

we navigate night’s crippling darkness

find shelter in its blank canvas

and feast on fear, you and I

swallow bitter disappointment until

satisfied enough to try again.

~The H Word~

Attention!

The gatekeepers are working overtime,
again. They’ve polished their swords
with blood, sweat and tears collected
from those they deem less than themselves.
They’ve upgraded the locks, see how
they capture the light. Let them stand
for attention, guard all they can.
No-one wants to gain entry
to a poisoned domain.

~The H Word~

Where You’ll Find Me

Used to being on the outside
looking in   observing all who
seem to fit with no difficulty
how I wish it were me   just
once   to feel like I belonged
not bystander or onlooker or
never truly part of it   maybe
my time will come or maybe
it won’t   so for now you will
find me on the edge   waiting
patiently for a sign it is okay
to come inside and join you.  

~The H Word~

‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver

Happy Friday Folks! I hope you’re all having a fab evening whatever you’re doing. I’m going to do a wee extra bit of posting tonight as I’ll not be updating over the weekend due to assessment deadlines and my brain already protesting that it is being overworked and underpaid.

The first poem I am sharing tonight is by the wonderful Mary Oliver. I could not celebrate National Poetry Month without paying homage to a poet whose work always leaves me thinking far deeper than I was before. The hardest part is choosing just one to share! Her poetry is timeless and I hope that one day my daughter will rifle through the pages of the collections I own and find her own favourites that speak to her and bring her comfort and pause for thought.

I hope you enjoy the poem I have chosen to share for you all.


‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with you one wild and precious life?


References:

Oliver, M. (1992) ‘The Summer Day’ from New and Selected Poems: Volume One. Boston: Beacon Press, 94

‘Late Poems’ by Margaret Atwood

Speaking of late… I appear to have missed another day posting, oops! In my defense, it is a little hectic at the moment with end of semester assessments and also coming to the end of 4 years studying! I can see the finish line, just need to make it to the end.

The poem I am sharing this evening is from Margaret Atwood’s collection Dearly (2020), which contains poems written between 2008 and 2019. It had been over a decade since Atwood had published a poetry collection which made it all the more special when Dearly was released. There is the sharp eye (and wit) we have come to expect and also reflection, as she says in the introduction, “Poetry deals with the core of human existence: life, death, renewal, change; as well as fairness and unfairness, injustice and sometimes justice. The world in all its variety. The weather. Time. Sadness. Joy” (Atwood 2020).

I hope you enjoy the poem I have chosen to share tonight.


‘Late Poems’ by Margaret Atwood

These are the late poems.
Most poems are late
of course: too late,
like a letter sent by a sailor
that arrives after he’s drowned.

Too late to be of help, such letters,
and late poems are similar.
They arrive as if through water.

Whatever it was has happened:
the battle, the sunny day, the moonlit
slipping into lust, the farewell kiss. The poem
washes ashore like flotsam.

Or late, as in late for supper:
all the words cold or eaten.
Scoundrel, plight, and vanquished,
or linger, bide, awhile,
forsaken, wept, forlorn.
Love and joy, even: thrice-gnawed songs.
Rusted spells. Worn choruses.

It’s late, it’s very late;
too late for dancing.
Still, sing what you can.
Turn up the light: sing on,
sing: On.


References:

Atwood, M. (2020) ‘Late Poems’ from Dearly. London: Chatto & Windus

Depression Interrupted

For days I’ve felt your presence    lurking
just out of sight    hidden in shadows
growing in strength as my mood darkens

tentacles of torment twitch    aching
to touch    a low hiss escapes cruel slit
of a mouth    back arches    skin stretches

shivering with need   ready to pounce    any
minute    now    my melancholy state
the nourishment you crave    and for a moment

I’m not sure I’ve got what it takes    lungs
freeze    inflated    space between us    closes
nothing I can do to stop this    until  

you’re interrupted    a hopeful sound somewhere
in the house    seems to travel through time
to where we are now    is it music or laughter

or both    who can tell    you flail on the floor
lips curl back in pain    there is joy in this home
you cannot control    like a slug bathed in salt

you fold in on yourself    this will not be the night
your misery prevails    the shadows devour
what remains of you now    I go to the source

of that magical sound    who has managed to save
my life once again    without knowing how close
their mum came to the end.

~The H Word~

#NaPoWriMo

Parenthood

No-one tells you how it is.
How it truly is. This
motherhood business.
It’s all sleepless nights,
terrible twos, teenage angst
and empty nest, they warn
you of. No-one mentions
the guilt. The constant
worry. The searching
of faces for signs they
are happy, or not. I do
this last one, a lot.
They think I’m annoying.
Sigh in frustration
at my maternal questioning
‘Is everything alright?’
But I cant help myself.
Petrified I’ll miss
something important,
some crestfallen moment,
some revealing expression.
How could I forgive myself?
No-one warned me of this.
So, now I warn you.

~The H Word~

Lack of Notice

I’m not sure when I lost you.
There was no defining moment,
no grand departure, just absence
apparent after you were gone.
No goodbye, no get out of my life
but you got out, regardless
and I don’t know what’s more sad,
you being gone or neither of us
noticing until now.

~The H Word~

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