Sometimes writing – what I think of as ‘proper writing’ goes a bit awol. It happens to the best of us I think… life gets in the way, we’re tired, distracted, anxious, or all of these. Sometimes we have to push through this and there’s no doubt in my mind that writing is a discipline that can do this. That said, this week, I confess, I have struggled. The YA is no closer to being finished than it was a week ago. The new novel is shaping up nicely, piece by piece. But concentrated writing has been difficult. I’ve let my demons get on top of me and the evil Self Doubt has raised her very ugly head. Even this post is being written on Thursday, 9.30pm… I never normally leave it this late!
Poetry always comes to my aid at times like this. It’s how my writing life started and when all else fails, a poem comes. Wrote this on Tuesday evening over a glass of wine. I don’t normally air fresh poems, unedited, just written, as it was written then, knocked up in about ten minutes. But sometimes poems seem to fall from a special place and hold everything that needs saying. This was one of those. I hope you like it, and I hope it makes you think a bit and furrow your brow.
A buzzard died in my dream last week,
floated, headless towards my less than perfect slabs.
I saw her the next day, head in the correct place,
sat atop a hedge, not a cracked slab in sight.
Three white doves flew, not in a dream,
out of a hedge, across my path, across my wide open gasp.
Is it time? I think. Is this the time? Now?
Is this when everything changes?
So I follow the signs and I link them with feathers
and I tie them with silk, loose so that they can still fly
and not for the first time I ask myself why
Why me? Why now?
And the answer is…
they come because they need me to listen.
So I take a trip across a field and gather mud
and thoughts, unzip my coat and leave it trailing on the floor.
Is there more? Oh yes. There’s always more,
until legs become so light you cannot feel them.
The wine is empty. My tears are dry.
My path is as unclear as it has ever been.
Two arms held me in my dream last night,
held me so tight that when I woke I was clutching at my breath.
What do you do and where do you turn when life gets in the way of the words?