Thursday, 8 October 2009

National Poetry Day

This is another post that is mostly Nick Baines' fault.

Eighteen Years On

When I was ten
I carried a notebook --
     thin, yellow
     ruled pages curled by
     jostling books and
     red lunch bag.

In it I wrote poetry. I didn't
about quality, cliché, technique.
I didn't
about what people might think.

I just wrote.

Some of that poetry was good
or so I was told
by teachers, grandparents. I hugged
their praise close,
but that wasn't why I wrote.

Our semi-nomadic family
moved on
the notebook was
     among pens
     school books, permission slips
     math tests
I didn't write much after that.

I never found the book but I knew I wrote, once.
I knew that notebook held hopes, dreams, wishes.

I'm twenty-eight now.
I carry
     a notebook
     tear-out sheets
     the best paper I can afford
In it I write
     shopping lists
     concert plans
     directions, maps
     things to
          look up
          cross out.

My notebook holds the
wordy detritus of a worldy life
and today


Ernest said...


This is a lovely poem.

It fits into the pattern of your earlier post.

I need to think it through a little before I say any more.

Song in my Heart said...


I probably should have thought it through a little more before posting it, so fair enough!

Ernest said...


I come back to your poem after reflection.

Two lines stand out:

"I never found the book but I knew I wrote, once.
I knew that notebook held hopes, dreams, wishes."

It speaks of something lost and what is missing your 'hope, dreams and wishes', what your life could be.

Your situation, painfully spelled out in your blogs, demonstrates that those hopes, dreams and wishes have not been fulfilled in a way that you thought of in those far off days of childhood.

I celebrate your life - which is one giving an example to those of us more fortunate, that pain, loss, suffering, fear, and anxiety, while agonies that we suffer can be overcome (even partially) by a sense of joy, awe and wonder in Creation and all that God has given us.

I sense that things will continue to move on as space and time between the past and now, will allow you to arrive at a situation which gives you peace. Your path will be rocky, but your determination to tread it shines through.