Buried Treasures, the title of this blog, is also the title of a poem I’ve just had published (oh yes oh yes oh yes) in Hearing Voices Volume 4, a magazine put together by Crystal Clear Creators based in Leicestershire. To say I am overjoyed is an understatement, especially as a lot of the other contributors are published poets, which makes me feel kinda proud to be rubbing shoulders with them, and especially as it’s the first time I’ve had a poem published anywhere like this.
I’ve written poetry for years, although, over the last couple of years it has had to shape itself around writing the Ruby and Grub books, not to mention all the unpublished picture books I have scrawled. And now the Buttercup Magic books are taking up a lot of my time, which is fantastic, as, apart from anything else, they are great fun to write. I’ve also started a YA novel and a second novel (my first attempt is pretty rubbish and is hiding, quivering, in a dark cupboard!), but poetry has always been my first love as a writer and I keep coming back to it – it’s like a comfort blanket, or a snuggly pair of pyjamas – it’s something I know I can always come back to and feel completely at home with.
One of the most wonderful thing about poems, for me, is that they blur the lines between fiction and reality. The reader is never quite sure whether what they are reading is autobiographical or not and can never be sure of the full meaning. I like this. Poetry is about uncertainty. It breaks down barriers and says that nothing is as it seems. A poem can be straightforward, but doesn’t have to be. I like that the reader has to work at it, to ask questions, to unearth the meaning – or at the very least, to try. And every word, every comma, every break at a certain point, should be there for a reason. So I shall tell you no more about Buried Treasures – the answers are in the poem.
I look into her room and
it is empty, still,
though the mobile swings
and memories sing inside my head,
the lemon icing cover smooth and flat.
Only longing pinches and clutches
the places hands should be,
as the teddy in the corner
gathers up the light.
I buy bunches and bundles
of presents, stuff them deep in drawers
beneath my bed,
then a rush,
fingering the casing, the crust
in search of a beat or a pulse
to chase away the slack.
In secret silence I lay them out
touch each and every one with a solitary word,
clothe and cloak in glossy wrap
with a twist of silver swirl.
Then, I have a cup of tea
and look at what I’ve done.
Softly, gently, each gift slumbering
in boxes tucked in tight,
each waiting for the ebb
before I carry them out to the garden
Do you have a preferred writing choice – a genre you feel most at home with? Or, do you enjoy the challeng of writing different genres?