Thursday, 18 April 2013

Day eighteen!  Really rough draft of a poem I want to edit, haven't had a lot of time again but wanted to get some ideas down.

Body: Missing

She's lost her body sometime
over the last couple of years.
She's not exactly sure when; it
edged away gradually, leaving
a doppelgänger in its place.
She'd like it back, if found.

It was always elusive, its
dualist mind freed from flesh
through ascetic detachment.
She miss the paradox she
never knew existed; floating
numbness cut by sharp awareness.
Noises jolted her heart in a
prison of ribs framed by
coat hanger collar bones;
hyperaware, she slept
as if on a cliff top.

This new body seems a lot more
forceful than she's used to; she's
conscious of it pressing against
her clothes, reflecting in windows.
It's much more muchier,
to use Alice's terminology,
ever-present, material, materialist,
grounding perceptions with desire,
strange sensations, emotional nausea.

So she runs through the vertigo,
running as if to find her old body
but now she can hardly picture it.
She runs to feel free, to escape
herself, her new self, create
new paradoxes.
She's both detached and physical,
mind lost in movement.
Egoless and free,
she keeps running.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Day seventeen and another haiku, sorry, today's poem is still half-written and will probably take a while and re-surface later on in the month!  It's a response to yesterday's one- realised the opposite poem could mean the same thing from a different perspective which I found kind of interesting.  Might try a 'mirror poem' at some point :)

Others you want to
curve inwards like a black hole
away from people.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Day sixteen- just a haiku today, been working all day and haven't had a lot of time.

Sometimes you feel like
you want to run forever
away from yourself.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Day 15- half way!!  And two poems this time, although one was definitely not written today, or even this year/decade/millennium...  When I was in primary school, I was obsessed with Formula One- I could recite stats from 1996 onwards (and from before that if they were in the F1 books I read) and can still describe most races from 1996-2000.  When I was in Year 6 (1997-8), I wrote a poem about F1 which I recently found.  It's embarrassingly bad and I cringe a bit when I read it, so have tried to write an updated version for today's poem.  Have included both here :)

The Grand Prix (age 10/11, 1997/8)

A peaceful track
All nice and smooth.
Then, all of a sudden,
things start to move!

Engines rev up,
What a noise!
Ear-bursting sounds,
The drivers poised.

A chequered flag waves
As cars move along.
A red blur passes
On and on.

People cheer,
Jordan!  Ferrari!
I can't wait
Until the finale.

The excitement bubbles,
It's getting tense.
Look at the fog,
Isn't it dense!

At last it is
The final lap.
The winning driver
Raises his cap.

A storm of clapping,
A lot of cat-calls.
The flag rises,
Then it falls.

The track is silent.
It is hard to believe
That only ten minutes ago,
Twenty-two drivers had to leave.

[irony is that, even though it's not great, I don't think I could write a rhyming poem now!]


A race is a driver's life
in microcosm.  Five lights signal
release of revved potential
cut with strategy and chance.
It's a series of split-second
concrete moments; time
stops and contracts as present
flickers to future and back,
mediated by adrenaline.
All emotions are played out
and suppressed at once.
It's a game of chess; drivers
move like pawns towards
a predestined chequered flag.
The best drivers know the
importance of detachment,
the apex of free will tempered
with team strategy and skill.
Selfish loss of ego.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Day fourteen and for the first time, I'm posting a poem that's not technically new...  I know it's cheating but really haven't had time to write a poem today and it's one I wrote a couple of months ago and haven't used in a 'formal' sense yet.  Needs a lot of editing anyway!  Will make up for it by trying to write a 'good' poem tomorrow, feeling v guilty now...  Managed two weeks though :)


Some say it’s in their genes,
alleles coded like a map.
Others swear by flashbulb memory,
geomagnetic homeland fields.
It was my grandmother,
recently widowed though you’d never guess,
who wanted to watch the salmon leap.
I waited by the door as she folded
blue and pink dressing gowns,
shook the duvet across the double bed.

We took the high road,
stumbled over October-damp rocks -
Nanny in her quickstep heels;
I in my unremarkable wellies.
You’re so like your Gotchogo, she’d say,
so practical and such patience as I stared
through his blue eyes.

We stopped at his tree – rowan -
sapling potential burning gold
amid rotting leaves and moss.
I watched the Ben in the distance,
russet and pine against grey Scottish sky.
We walked on towards the burn,
rippling in the distance.

The glen thinned in shafts of shadow.
We waited for a flash of quicksilver.
The first thud of failed fish spun my head with nausea;
I watched them float, flow and sink.
Nothing prepares you for life’s futility,
shock paralyses the mind with guilt.
I don’t know if any made it upstream.
Time suspended in an endless cycle
as Nature dashed its infants against the rocks.

But time’s not a snapshot.
Even now, decades on, I can still hear
the constant rush of water.
The suicide-slap of salmon on rock.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Day thirteen!  Not a massively symbolic or interesting poem today, v tired and brain not thinking metaphorically at all.

Guitar Lessons

Fingers fumble over frets, jar
discordant sounds as I try to
learn the language of chords.
You're fluent in finger-picks and
strumming while I'm still stuck
on notes, never mind the grammar
of guitar tabs and chord patterns.
Minus the visual pattern of words,
the guitar language blurs in my mind.
Listening was always harder than reading.

Practising one evening, something
shifts.  A slip in thoughts and
sounds merge into something
intuitive I didn't know I knew.  It's
magic, a rush of vertigo through
the bloodstream and I'm high on
free detachment usually linked to
long runs or bone-dark nights
where the sky's a pattern of stars
and you can breathe infinity.

Logic can only take you halfway.
It's the wonder behind science,
the strange alchemy of patterns.

Friday, 12 April 2013

Day twelve!  An attempt at describing watching the comet Hale-Bopp when I was ten and space-obsessed. Doesn't really convey what I was trying to, but enough there to rework at some point :)

Hale-Bopp,  1997

I liked the stars because of maths.
Year 5 times tables challenge won
a book of constellations- all stickers
and glow-in-the-dark pictures and myth-
and I was obsessed.  Science and stories,
fiction and facts fused with wonder.
The book stayed in my schoolbag till Year 9,
long after I knew it by heart, tracing
Braille-like stars with nervous fingertips.

Homework was less scary against
a backdrop of darkness and infinity.
It's amazing what a ten-year-old
can absorb, swallowing information
with the intensity of black hole gravity,
freaking out to Bowie's Space Oddity.
Even as an adult, the song still spins
my head with nauseous vertigo.

We watched the comet through the gap
of curtains in my parents' darkened bedroom.
Lights out and shadowed, I stared at
the fuzz of two and a half thousand years.
Leaning out the window, I breathed in
the wonder of millenia, willing my
stardust cells to merge with comet magic.
I could sense Bowie's Starman waiting
in the sky.  Now, years later, I still
feel the vertigo of infinity, the sense
of everything and nothing at once,
your own contingence in the universe.
In the scheme of the cosmos,
you hardly even exist.