Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Dementia.

Those days of blues and greys fading into black
are waiting in anticipation just behind my back,
gathering momentum
before they swoop in to attack
my equilibrium
and dash and smash my days into the ground.
Without a sound they rent the greys to shreds
and blood is running
red, red, red inside my head.
Ribbons of silk and sorrow leaving no trace
of who I am or where I've gone, as they erase
and conquer the essential me at last.

VS March 1 2016.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

The Art and the Act of Writing & Reading

I love the act of writing whether putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. All of it  - whether I am creating poetry, essays, copy or ghost writing. And I love writing letters  as well as receiving them. I wish this had not gone out of  style or been replaced by the quick soundbite or messaging. I love the process.

Writing for me is tactile. Poetry for instance must first be written with pen and notebook. There is something particular about physically connecting to the paper and it must be the right paper. I have many notebooks for this purpose and they are chosen very carefully for size and feel and sometimes for a message they might have imprinted on them. Similarly, the pens must also be special whether by colour, shape or a unique design. How they feel in my hand and how fluidly they write is very important to the process for me. 

When I am writing it feels the same as if I were painting with a brush on a canvas. The page is my canvas and the paint translates my thoughts into words. 
I wonder sometimes if I have an alter ego conducting this orchestra of words working independently of me.

The poetry and the personal  essay writing come from a unique place which is completely separate from my conscious, rational mind. It’s a very still and quiet place, a dark pool into which I can fall freely and am allowed to swim like a water-baby unfettered by thought or will. I feel that I have been gifted with this special access to what feels like and seems to be an unearthly and spiritual space within me. It allows me to be better than I am. More than I am. It gives me the essence of “I Am”.

There is a similarity between the feel of writing and reading a book for me. True I occasionally read books on my iPad but a printed book evokes a completely different sensation. It brings me literally into contact with the actual words on the page. The feeling of holding the book in my hands and being able to touch and turn each page seems to make it more authentic bringing me closer to the author, as if I might be sitting next to him or her and having a conversation. It has an immediacy and an ease of access which heightens and intensifies my sense of enjoyment. 

Both writing and reading, for me, seem to be a complex sensory experience and both are ultimately pleasurable and frequently inspirational. To mangle a famous phrase by Samuel Pepys: “When one is tired of reading, one is tired of life”.
________________________________

January 2016.


Saturday, 4 October 2014

Creation or Destruction.

Poets and writers are thieves,
designing private worlds
which they inhabit.

They build houses
with many rooms
constructed
from the bits and pieces
stolen from your life.

Silently
they suck the marrow
from your bones and
leave you dying in the street.




Sunday, 11 May 2014

Not for the Faint of Heart

Love is not for the faint of heart.
To allow love, 
answering its only need
takes courage and a willingness
to surrender blindly to the journey
full of rocks and stony places.
To stumble but not falter
certain that love is a constant 
which will carry us to safety,
a straight line to the beloved 
our ultimate destination.



Friday, 11 April 2014

Unravelling Time
(For my mother lost to Alzheimers)

The knot that holds all my days together
is coming unravelled
and all the roads I have travelled
are separating, dispersing
and fading into forgotten days;
and all the ways of remembering
are dismembering themselves
like limbs lost in an accident,
scattering across the landscape
of a forgetful mind. 

I wonder if the transition into oblivion
will be painless.
Will I know how to go 
“gentle into that goodnight”
and slow the pace, concede the race
allowing amnesia to be my blanket?

Or will I fight, as the poet directed, 
for a reprieve, for more days 
to learn new ways to build a wall 
and forestall the unwanted invasion
of my wandering senses. 

It will be a prison without walls or wardens
yet when I am finally lost I will still be me.
Until then, I will be my own gatekeeper
while I am still free - 
and I can dream of better days.



Thursday, 20 March 2014

Longing

Longing slides through my veins -
molten lava instead of blood.
A slow process that threatens
to clog my arteries and,
far from setting me free,
will cremate me where I stand
in fiery bondage.

Saturday, 8 March 2014


Take me to the Edge

Take me to the ledge
of reason.
Dance me over the edge
of the precipice
into the unknown,
the danger zone,
where love lies waiting.

Surely it is waiting
and looking for me
to cut myself to ribbons
on its sharp edges.

Caught up in its thrall
I might fall - 
into that place
where there are
no prisoners.