findingtimetowrite

Thinking, writing, thinking about writing…

Archive for the tag “inspiration”

Those Words Again

Words have rusted in fingers and mouth

I rub their red roughness, they crumble and cling

to print-whorls

but lustre eludes and taste sharpens to metallic.

How can I restart the alchemical process?

Where can I find new words, fresh fords,

currencies not yet devalued?

Coins not rub-worn by collective wonder or greed?

I linger in surface,

afraid to leave skimming.

But dive you must to dig out pained treasure

in all its green-gold mottling

the metal out of its element now dried out to brittle snapping.

I’ve played too long with rhymes and prefixes

supped and sipped                   fêted and fated

but still I fail to breathe them back to life.

Then              when I forget to look

words ripen

thumb-grown, tendrils tumbling

from mouths in cascade of green.

Shoots spring forth

and I gape in amazement

surprise caught and filled

the wonder           the shame.

 

 

Poems to Celebrate New Beginnings

Here are a few quotes which describe my start in the New Year, courtesy of The Poetry Foundation, The Poetry Archive and my own bookshelves.

So much of any year is flammable,
lists of vegetables, partial poems.
Orange swirling flame of days,
so little is a stone.
Quick dance, shuffle of losses and leaves,
only the things I didn’t do
crackle after the blazing dies.    (Naomi Shihab Nye)
The problem
of time.          Of there not being
enough of it.
My girl came to the study
and said Help me;
I told her I had a time problem
which meant:
I would die for you but I don’t have ten minutes.
Hawking says
there are little folds in time
(actually he calls them wormholes)
but I say:
there’s a universe beyond
where they’re hammering the brass cut-outs .. .
Push us out in the boat and leave time here—
(because: where in the plan was it written,
You’ll be too busy to close parentheses,
the snapdragon’s bunchy mouth needs water,
even the caterpillar will hurry past you?   (Brenda Hillman)
How far is far?
And how many ways to get there?
We walk
and walk towards meaning
and don’t arrive    (Mahmoud Darwish)
The trees are coming into leaf,
like something almost being said. [...]
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.   (Philip Larkin)

much against everyone’s advice

I have decided to live the life

I want to read about and write it

not by visiting the graves of authors    (Sam Riviere)

Friday Escapism

Take me far away from here, in landscapes and places which make me dream.

snowboarding-skiing-moutain-snow

Mont Blanc? Not sure of source – happy to attribute correctly.

 

 

P1010604

Greece – August full moon.

Lake Geneva from Montreux.

Lake Geneva from Montreux.

 

Garden of the 5 Senses, Yvoire.

Garden of the 5 Senses, Yvoire.

Finally, to quote Borges, I always imagined paradise to be a library rather than a garden.

From weheartit.com

From weheartit.com

There is a poem in there somewhere, if only I had time to find it…

 

 

Curiosity

It gnaws in instalments

it bites in great gulps

Just when you think it’s done

the frenzy starts again      beyond

reason or caring

beyond the reach of voice.

From storm cloud to storm cloud chasing

always a step too dull

just one grasp away

 

Fear lodges its grainy head,

sometimes Inspiration follows

 

Over at dVerse Poets Pub for Open Link Night we were discussing ways of recording poetry on the go. This is one such rough draft of a poem scribbled on a plane or train in a tiny Rhodia notebook with a special gel pen (because I am a nerd like that!).

For Days Now, Mr. Bowie

Space Oddity Album Cover 1.

Space Oddity Album Cover 1.

For days now Mr. Bowie

has withered my poetic vine.

He absorbs all thought, each molecule

of passion.

So dreams turn monotonal

and pastel-grey wins mornings.

Twelve labours turn to twenty,

each step backbreaking toil.

Ears hum with his songs, not mine.

(So easy to find solace

when others say it better.)

Tempted – oh, yes! – to stop searching

for the word forever lost, crooked, faulty…

For just one minute I stopped upon a rock

with Sisyphus

lost in contemplation

of the melody of life.

Hunky Dory Album Cover

Hunky Dory Album Cover

But tell me, Mr. Bowie,

you who have known sorrow

- and great joy too, no doubt –

what do you know of my heart?

How can you show in my place

where fear fell  away,

out glistened unfettered soul beneath?

You cannot speak for me

so haunt no more my mind and senses.

Leave me to find my own laborious words.

 

Despite the pictures and the name-dropping, this poem is not really about David Bowie at all, although you know that I am a fan.  It’s about writing, finding words to describe your experiences, finding your own voice, inspiration: all the bees that are currently flying around in my bonnet.  Buzz over to the dVerse Poets Pub today, where they have Open Link Night.

Sunday Escapism: Where Would You Go to Write?

New Forest Tree House Study Centre, www.cet.org.uk

New Forest Tree House Study Centre, http://www.cet.org.uk

What inspires you most?  A tree house?

Or maybe a house on the water?

cabanesdesgrandslacs.com

cabanesdesgrandslacs.com

A castle with a garden for all the five senses?

Chateau, Yvoire.

Chateau, Yvoire.

A book-lined garden shed? (Don’t think about damp and other practicalities for a moment!)

portejardin_200

In my grandiose moments, I dream of escaping to the old Royal Salt Mine designed by that mad visionary Nicolas Ledoux.  It may be architecture on a huge scale, but it’s soothingly remote.

Saline Royale, Arc-et-Senans

Saline Royale, Arc-et-Senans

In the end, though, it will have to be sofa. Or maybe my garden deck.  Still, it could be worse, right?

Terrace

Precision Forever Eludes Us

When I swerve to pounce

I know! I am sure! I trap it with a single clasp!

Harvest-full  my hands are, with precious, rarest cargo.

Yet when I open them, they dangle

bereft and bare.

 

When I nail it on the board for spread-eagled scrutiny,

its beating heart flutters elsewhere.

Missing the target, pinpricks will render

Superficial shrills into confetti thrills.

No capture, falling,  F

all

ing

Quick shake-off -

nothing but dust -

back in ring to entice and encircle

voluptuous forevers and nevers,

untamed, unbowed, unrepentant.

 

I always fail.

Is there valour in trying?

Defeat feels anything but…

 

Next time -

always next time -

the vision will be luminous.

Sounds will surge forth, perfectly aligned.

Until then…

 

Here’s to the missing.

goliathus.cz

It is Open Link Night over at dVerse Poets Pub – and have they got something to celebrate! An anthology of some of the best works of the pub regulars is now available on Kindle and in paperback. Much drinking, merry-making and reciting of poetry will be involved, so do join us there!

Words Not My Own

I’m struggling a little to find my words right now.  6 months of corporate speak, constant travelling and consummate professionalism have taken their toll.  Writing and I have never been further apart – or so it seems.

But the good news is that the holidays have started now.  I’m taking all of July and August off.  July will be dedicated to the family, but August is mine, to read, review, blog, read your blogs and … finally nail that novel.  If only the words start flowing again.

Here are some quotes from women poets and writers which currently guide and inspire me:

The joy of writing.

The power of preserving.

Revenge of a mortal hand.  (Wisława Szymborska)

I’m not mad. It just seems that way
because I stagger and get a bit irritable.
There are wonderful holes in my brain
through which ideas from outside can travel
at top speed and through which voices,
sometimes whole people, speak to me
about the universe.  (Jo Shapcott)

For it would seem …  that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. (Virginia Woolf)

Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.  (Adrienne Rich)

 

When Lightning Strikes Writers’ Block Alley

Today at dVerse Poets Form for All, Charles wants us to go all Dadaist and use Tristan Tzara’s cut-up lines and random words pulled out of a hat so as to capture that elusive flash of inspiration.  I turned to a poem I had recently been struggling to write and mashing it up (appropriately enough) helped break down my mental barriers.  And I’ve never used spaces much before, so this was additional experimentation. This was fun!

How long before it leaves                  me

was it fevered shock

what if it never strikes again

???

It came as a gurgle – and turned into hiss

Rattled

           shook thunder

                       protest

                                     groan-heaved

And when it finally shuddered out loose

it swept all before it               ignored the well-worn

Ah, paths

Ah, old groove!

From near to afar that glisten of new

no mistakes yet to clutter

Cleanse all ye moods

longings adrift

upwind endless to explore

photos.accuweather.com

photos.accuweather.com

 

On Chasing Perfectionism

I always have to fight those perfectionist tendencies in myself (and am now horrified to find them emerging in my older son as well).  It certainly does not make for a contented, blissful existence!  So here are some quotes to remind me:

Have no fear of perfection: you will never reach it. (Salvador Dali)

Pleasure in what you do puts perfection in your work. (Aristotle)

When all the details fit in perfectly, there is probably something wrong with the story. (Charles Baxter)

The maxim ‘Nothing prevails but perfection’ may be spelled PARALYSIS. (Winston Churchill)

Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean that all parachutes are perfect. (Benny Hill)

Easier copied out than digested, I know!Image

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