Saturday, 22 January 2011

Must have done something right

Amongst all my efforts, my children stand as the work I am most proud of. Oh, I know it's not fashionable to celebrate our work as parents, but I think that's short sighted. So, today, I want to celebrate the latest child to make me proud, Sophie B, who is finishing her degree this year and has a lovely, lovely boyfriend and to cap it all, has a plan to go WWOOFing with him for the summer before getting a proper job/flat/debt/life or whatever the future has in store. This means they have applied to various smallholdings and farm to take them on for a week or two or a month to teach them about sustainability and being grownups in our deteriorating ecosystem. Hard to believe she was just a bouncy, noisy little scrap a few years ago. She's my inspiration...well, one of them, anyway!

Meanwhile, I have set myself a deadline to finish all my MA assignments - a bit of a long shot, admittedly, but if I get all my homework done, I will get my husband to come down from Devon for the second half of next week, and then take me home for a week! Could be nice, especially as no. 1 son is off skiing. So, back to poems. I seem to have ended up with a  lot of overblown nature poems, commonplace at best, because they aren't saying anything new. I like the jackdaws - but they are only 19 lines. I have created a little aide memoir to help me work out how many lines I have to write to go with my short story. 

That's 150 lines. I have a poem about Harvard referencing (but that's down to 25 lines after a bit of trimming), a buzzard poem that was fun to write but isn't very good and will end up at about 20 lines; a poem about a walk I took in November that is quite good and is 43 lines long (yay!), a cyberpunk cut up poem that no-one understands but I quite like but is only 16 lines. That's, um (adds up on fingers, gives up, uses calculator, gets 13240.88 as answer, laboriously counts of fingers again) 123 lines. Assuming they don't get edited further (which they will be) I'm short at least one poem. Which means I have to put the second wife one in which I like, it came out of the toolkit but how on earth is my tutor ever going to know that! 

While looking for my notes I did find a couple of short (very short) poems that I wrote along the way. 

Men are like string

Men are like string,
you spend ages untangling 
but they tangle back up in the drawer.
The string gets longer as they get older.
Some of the tangles have been there since childhood.
You can use your teeth on those. 

Some poems

Some poems are spaniels,
they attach themselves to you,
bound ahead, take landscape sticks
they roll and beg for hefty pats
and bark at passing cars.

Some poems are strays, spotted
in alleys, under cars, up trees,
part wolf, part mystery, part memory.
Sometimes a single paw print
left in melting snow.  



  1. I really liked the second wife poem. I don't think you need to show an obvious link to Toolkit - who ever knows where the muse takes us?

  2. Sadly, I'm 15 lines short even with the second wife poem! I have a few freewrites to play around with, but time is running short as I need to hand it in before I go back to Devon. It will be nice to get back to class again and at the other end of a module, 12 weeks from the assignment!