What Smashes Me Will Make Me Strong

Tonight I’m hosting the wonderfully talented poets over at the dVerse Pub. No big-screen sporting events there, but instead a drink, a shared joke, mutual support and a poetic prompt. This week I’m asking everyone to write about what shatters their world to pieces, or else what helps them to rebuild their fragmented world. Here is my response, a simple list poem.

Sculpture made from Sheffield cutlery.
Sculpture made from Sheffield cutlery.

It’s the little, the minuscule, the itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny

they always catch me out.

For the big disasters I can prepare, shut up my stall,

batten those flimsy hatches, but what defence do I have against

the thoughtless word in the midst of safe harbours?

Everyday forgetfulness,

the cups of tea never offered, iced cocktails never mixed,

the thoughts unshared or opinions unasked.

Banter with a core of heartless

mission with a sense of flight

running on lonely past a destination so wrong.

 

What patches me together? Small things as well.

Playing with words is helpful,

a smile sometimes more.

Smell of rain, the first bird in the morning.

Often the silence, a lull in wild thoughts.

And… always… amnesia of things past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things I Have Lost

The lovely and inspiring poet Holly Anne inspired me with her clever list poem .  I have never been able to make this work in the past, but felt she had laid down a challenge.  So here goes…


Things I Have Lost

 

Socks in the laundry too numerous to mention,

keys and their copies, wallets, post-it notes

and once –mortification! – a book from the library

which I paid thrice over

then found behind the wardrobe.

 

Shopping lists and pictures, love letters and a cow

(she found her way to church

to moo till kindly neighbours brought her home to Gran).

My heart to a hopeless cause,

sense of humour for weeks at a time.

Prescriptions and receipts – and shouting cannot replace them –

money, houses, contracts, insurance documents.

All good working pens, broken pencil stubs,

my capacity to wonder,

time, when I could have been writing.

my temper, oh, at least once a day!

Three lovers, two friends, a husband.

Jobs – yes, in plural, you heard it right –

business cards and phone numbers of key networking gurus,

the respect of the corporate world.

But the feeling is mutual.

 

The will to live.

 

My respect for politicians

blind belief in science or doctors or the bank

sense of worthiness, still searching, still in need of daily airing

when and if and ever found.