Percival provokes poetry

February 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm (Uncategorized) ()

Struggling with The Waves

is akin to batttling

a tsunami of words,

metaphors and similes

wash over you,

wash you away.

Mrs Dalloway drowned me

in the intimate thoughts

of too many passing strangers,

but now

precocious children spout

pretentious claptrap,

and there is no sign of the sea.

The book is old,


and has been on loan

many dozens of times,

the corners folded

to mark the frequent pauses

of many dozens of readers.

But page 69

is the last one

with a corner fold,

so I think that perhaps

others have similarly struggled

and abandoned the fight,

or simply allowed themselves

to go under.

(“This I see for a second, and shall try tonight to fix in words, to forge in a ring of steel, though Percival destroys it, as he blunders off, crushing the grasses, with the small fry trotting subservient after him. Yet it is Percival I need; for it is Percival who inspires poetry.” p.29 of The Waves by Viginia Woolf, The Hogarth Press)


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in my pocket

February 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

big fat rubber band:

possibly a sign of insecurity

like the huge knots

on the back of my primary school embroidery.


my mum always had one

up her sleeve

the lump of it an abiding childhood memory.


better than paracetamol

and take three says my sister’s consultant

why does advice you pay for seem more reliable?

nail file:

found on the street

but kept

because I try but I’ll only start biting again

when one gets broken.

one pound and five pence:

for milk

ordinary is only eighty five pence

but the organic is a pound and three.

gloves with holes:

in fact more hole than glove now

hoping to make them last the winter

not mean, just frugal.


(Linking back to TFE and the Poetry Bus)

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fourth monkey

February 21, 2010 at 9:55 am (Uncategorized) ()

three wise monkeys

seeing no evil

hearing no evil

and speaking no evil,

but how would it be

to smell no evil.

Surely not much of an affliction,

spared  the acrid waste bin

on a warm summer day,

the  dog turd on the pavement,

or the sour lingering odour

of the unwashed masses

in a stationary underground carriage.

But think,

wake up and smell the roses,

the new mown hay,

the fresh baked bread,

and morning coffee

on your lover’s breath

as he kisses

mingled with the warm scent

of tousled sheets.

(thought process: ‘you smell’ counts as a greeting from teenage daughter, so I said, imagine what it would be like to have no smell, that would be a good title for a poem, and then it went off at a tangent a bit.)

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investigating blood

February 15, 2010 at 7:47 am (Uncategorized) ()

a single splash on the sheet.

definitely a splash,

because there is splatter

(I watch too much CSI these days),

implying that it dropped from a height.

definitely human,

(the cat sleeps on the landing).

he did cut himself shaving Friday night

but returned with the obligatory tissue swab

(and annoyed,

it seems to make him annoyed,

out of proportion with the blood loss.)

but perhaps it could be mine


neither pregnant nor menopausal,

at that stage where either might be

a possibility.

still wondering how it got there,

all by itself,

not a smudge or a smear,

but a single neat drop

(with splatter).

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how do I love thee?

February 13, 2010 at 7:02 pm (Uncategorized) ()

let me count the ways

one two three four

that you drive me crazy

five six seven eight

dirty underwear scattered

nine ten eleven twelve

relentless channel flicking

thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen

never really answering

seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty

a question you don’t like the sound of

twenty one twenty two twenty three

your resistance to change

twenty four twenty five twenty six

of any kind

twenty seven twenty eight twenty nine

secret fears you will never share

thirty thirty one thirty two

leaving me all at sea

thirty three thirty four thirty five

when I reach out to you

thirty six thirty seven thirty eight

but then

thirty nine forty

I think of you

forty one forty two

anticipating my return

forty three forty four

and your smile

forty five forty six

lighting up when I arrive

forty seven forty eight

so when I count the steps

forty nine

home from work


I am always so glad that you are there

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caged wild cat

February 12, 2010 at 3:02 pm (Uncategorized) ()

I have read what he has written

but cannot take it in.

I want my brain to shut down

but instead it races,

full of things I do not want to think.

So I pace.

It  keeps the panic at bay somehow,

giving my body something to do.

From the kitchen,

it is tiny, so only three steps,

through the back room,

diagonally across,

past the bottom of the stairs,

into my bedroom,

which strangely occupies the front room,

then arriving at the front door,

my fingers meet the textured glass

where they rest for a split second,

and I then turn,

back past the stairs,

back through the back room

and back into the kitchen,

And then I turn,

again, and again.

(Thought process: I saw tabby cat on the way home from work, it reminded me of a Scottish Wild Cat we has seen at the otter sanctuary, where we saw some other animal, I can’t remember what it was now, pacing in the obsessive repetitive way that caged animals sometimes do, signifying some mental disturbance caused by their imprisonment, and I remembered doing the same thing, when the letter from the solicitor arrived containing my ex-husband’s court statement, that would eventually lead to him taking my children away. The thoughts connected so rapidly it was frightening, and I was transported right back to the way I felt in that moment.)

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February 9, 2010 at 8:17 am (Uncategorized) ()

I can see the future in my veins.

When I was little I used to stroke

those on my mother’s hands

and wonder at them

and my grandmother’s,

her skin fragile as tissue paper.

Now mine bulge gently against my skin

to the amusement of my daughter

and my mother’s

resemble my grandmother’s.

So as my skin

becomes more delicate

with the years,

I do not worry

where it will all end.


inspired by Rick at Words are my Drug of Choice

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