Monday, 7 April 2014

Blue Lilies, For David

When I am ill or sad you scour
the supermarket shelves
to bring me the blue lilies I adore.
Even though, as you remind me,
they speak of death,
their fragrance never fails
to make me smile.
Now the evening lengthens
and you are elsewhere
but your lilies watch my back like blue angels:
fiery-eyed and golden-tongued,
to my ears, they will always
speak your love.

Abigail Wyatt

Monday, 7th April: So Far, So Good.

So, we have arrived at Day 7 of NaWriMoPo and I am pleased to report that, despite having picked up a rather nasty vial infection which laid me low from Saturday afternoon until lunch-time today, I have managed to produce a poem a day and without resorting to a haiku or a limerick, though I do not deny, of course, that these are perfectly valid forms which 'count'. That I have been able to achieve this is partly due to Lapidus colleague, Jane Thomas, since it was her workshop on Saturday morning that provided much of the raw material for these poems. It really was very supportive and friendly so, if any of my friends, reading this, thinks they might like to go along next time, there is one scheduled for Saturday, 17th May and another for 21st June. In the meantime, I am publishing in a separate post one of the pieces I have re-visited today and made my NaWriMoPo poem for Monday. Now what will it be tomorrow?

Heather Bloom (A poem prompted by a paint chart)

Heather bloom: shades of something like purple
fading through maroon and muted mulberry,
on to lavender, lilac and wisteria;
and then on, on, on again
to a series of paler almost-pinks.
These are the shades I come to late;
so much kinder than the colours of my youth,
they are fairy hues, airy with sadness,
and more fragile than I ever dared to be.
Always on guard from age thirteen,
I had a tongue and I wasn't scared to use it.
I can still hear and see the ghost of that girl
who fought - and then wept - far too much.
Heather bloom: hardy and low-growing,
prettier and stronger in the wild;
not a plant really for gardens and borders,
prissiness and afternoon tea.
Heather blooms yearly beyond my open window
on the grey, bouldered slopes of Carn Brea.
No matter how often it is wasted by wildfire,
always, come May, it springs back.

Abigail Wyatt

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Wednesday, 2nd April: Small Stone and The Salpêtrière

Today has been a day of good news and also of odds and ends. My 'poem of the day', I suppose, has to be the one I mentioned yesterday, the piece about Théroigne de Merricourt which I have now completed, revised slightly and - I am slightly surprised to say - even submitted.  It is very close to the deadline so it is possible I will be too late. Never mind, if that is the case, then at least I won't have a long wait before I find out the worst.

The other thing that I have written today was a 'small stone' for Small Stones: A community for Mindful Writers which was a little piece about watching the birds come back to the garden following a heavy shower and wondering where Rabbit had gone because I had not seen him since Tuesday morning. I was worried that he had missed his supper and his breakfast. I am pleased to report, though, that Rabbit is safe and well . I saw him later in the afternoon. I think he may have a certain delicate doe on his mind. We have seen her several times in the garden. Meanwhile, here is a picture of Rabbit just because he is cute.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

1st April: And they are off!

So, the first day of April and the first of my poems completed. It is a piece about the life, or perhaps I had better say the death, of Camille Desmoulins who, together with a group of Dantonists and, indeed, Danton himself, went to 'sneeze in the basket' on the 5th April, 1794 having first appeared before the Revolutionary Committee in Paris. The 'trial' was less criminal than political in nature. The Dantonists had fallen foul of Robespierre by their opposition to the work of The Committee for Public Safety. Desmoulins conducted himself courageously throughout his trial but, privately, he gave expression to his sense of despair in a letter he wrote to his wife, Lucile Demoulins , formerly Lucile Duplessis.  This poem is the second to come out of my recent reading about the women of the French Revolution. The first poem, which is still being tweaked, was 'At The Salpêtrière: Théroigne de Merricourt (1797 – 1817)'. It may yet turn up as my 'poem of the day' tomorrow.  The picture below depicts the execution of Robespierre who in this picture is sitting on the cart holding a handkerchief to his mouth. The man being led up the steps is his younger brother, Augustin. The man who has already been executed is George Auguste Couthon.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Advice from Auden

'One demands two things of a poem. Firstly, it must be a well-made verbal object that does honor to the language in which it is written. Secondly, it must say something significant about a reality common to us all, but perceived from a unique perspective. What the poet says has never been said before, but, once he has said it, his readers recognize its validity for themselves.'

It's a tall order but I shall try to hold this in the forefront of my mind throughout the month of April. A poem a day is difficult enough; a poem a day that meets these criteria may be too much for my inadequate instrument. :-)

Friday, 28 March 2014

We are just a couple of sleeps away from the beginning of NaWriMoPo and this is where, in the days to come, I will be keeping a record of the poems I write. Last time I did this, which was in 2012, I finished with a respectable haul of work that, after some revision, eventually found homes in various publications; and it is for this reason that, I am continuing the practice of keeping this a mainly private record.