Category: Poem

‘Self Doubt’ – Poem by Meredith Schumann

We all have it – especially writers.

I hope this poem helps anyone else who has to deal with it. I don’t claim to be a poet, but sometimes the words just happen, then happen to mean something.

Image: Pngtree

The Voice

There’s no way you can sing and dance
Said Voice with sneering, snarling stance.
Your playing’s crap. Your singing’s worse.
Makes fingers twitch, makes eardrums burst.
– Creative stuff’s just not your thing.
– The Voice said Girl just pack it in.

Your needles break, your knitting sags.
Failed projects lounge in patchwork bags.
Your hemming rips, your beading flops
Applique flakes, and stitches drop.
– Creative stuff’s just not your thing.
– The Voice said Girl just pack it in.

And writing? Girl, for goodness sake,
You’re barely literate. You’re fake!
You self-indulge. You scrawl your name
With fallow dreams of shallow fame.
– Creative stuff’s just not your thing.
– The Voice said Girl just pack it in.

I’ve read your awful stuff, Voice said
You’re destined never to be read.
Remove the stories from your head.
The only decent scribes are dead,
– Creative stuff’s just not your thing.
– The Voice said Girl just pack it in.

What makes you think you’ll ever scrawl
A story strong, a tale not tall?
And why would any person buy
Your ‘Camping Tales’ or ‘Baby’s Cry’?
– Creative stuff’s just not your thing.
– The Voice said Girl, just pack it in.

So, when I’m low, the Voice is loud.
And when I’m strong, the Voice is cowed.
I’ll do it even if it’s bad
Cos if I don’t I’ll just go mad.
Yes. When I’m low, the Voice is Loud.
But when I’m strong, the Voice is cowed.
– Creative stuff’s just not your thing.
– The Voice said Girl, just pack it in.

#poem #selfdoubt #thevoice #lesleyatherton

Minute Poem – ‘Upside Down’

Minute Poem

1 (8 syll) The straw that broke the roofer’s back

2 (4 syll) A roof of thatch.

3 (8 syll) With match to watch, his aerial 

4 (4 syll) Came unattached.

7 (8 syll) First mend the fault, then watch the sport.

8 (4 syll) That was his bid.

5 (8 syll) First roof, then tile, then aerial,

6 (4 syll) That’s when he slid.

9 (8 syll) He clung to life on gutter weak.

10 (4 syll) And fall he did.

Review of ‘Moving Times’ by Phoenix Writers

‘Moving Times’ is a book put together to celebrate the decade-long existence of the Phoenix Writers group, from Horwich Lancashire, and the contributors should be highly proud of what they’ve achieved.  

The first thing you notice is that it is a very attractive book with a simple but well-designed and effective cover. This really does the contents justice, which is something not achieved by all small press and writing group books.

As a member of three/four writing groups, I really do identify with the sentiments expressed in the book’s foreword – ‘What moves you, gets you out of bed in the morning, drives you to action? For us on a Thursday, it’s Phoenix Writers. We meet as friends, share ideas and get support and inspiration’. Yes, that’s what a strong and healthy writing group does for the usually lone creative. Such a group provides a stable and caring home for people who, by the nature of their pastime, can feel rootless and isolated. Phoenix is clearly a great base for many thoughtful and interesting writers.

This book contains just over 100 pages of stories, poetry and thoughts, and style/content-wise, there really is something for everyone. When reading a book of this type, I always begin with the poetry.

Ann Lawson’s ‘Iambic Tetrameter Rules, Okay?’ is a clever and amusing poem about the frustrations of forcing your creativity into a restrictive art form, and am sure the sentiments expressed will resonate with most poets.  With a completely different feel, ‘S is for Sharing’ is a short and life-affirming verse by Tony Nolan about all the positives in the world. This joy in living can be in short supply at times, so it’s pleasant to read regular reminders. In a similar vein, Joy Pope’s poem titled ‘Horwich Times’ made me proud to have connections with the town, and even more keen to produce my own book about Horwich – ‘a town of bustling resilience’. Kathleen Proctor’s poem, ‘Alexander, My Grandson’ is the most beautiful recollection of love for a grandchild who is ‘snuggling, nuzzling’ and ‘Chubby, chunky, comfortable’. Jeanne Waddington’s poem ‘The Contrariness of Young Love’ is about insurmountable contrasts between a young couple. It’s a regular enough subject, but the style lends it originality – ‘She’s a summer’s evening, he’s a cloudy day.’

The stories are also lovely to read and insightful. Bernie Jordan’s story ‘Time Moves’ begins this collection with a vivid recollection of a moment in the life of a crane and a railway bridge at Lostock station. 

‘Turning Left,’ Janet Lewison’s unpretentiously written tale, immediately drew me in with its endearing dialogue about a woman who ends up in a hired home that comes with its own snazzy car. She is changing her life, and the Cobra she now drives provides its own form of liberation.

‘Newfoundland’ by Elaine Hamilton is a short but lovely tale of boats, and it really conjured up a misty and weird atmosphere.

‘Going to Waste’ (by Dotty Snelson) is one of the longer pieces in the book, about recycling, hoarding, skip-diving and the make-do-and-mend ideology of a man, Gordon, his wife Sheila, and their personal tragedy. I really enjoyed this touching story.  

Barbara Oldham’s story ‘Stolen Bikes’ was about that very subject – or was it? Reading it, you really get a feel for the woman behind this very witty monologue.

Terence Park’s story ‘Wild Mouse’ tells the story of Mags and Rebecca on a day out at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. They take in all the pleasures and try to defer their ride on the ‘Wild Mouse’. The characters leapt from the page, especially their dialogue.

‘What the Spider Said’ by Phil Chrimes is an insightful tale of a conversation between Boris, a spider, and Humphrey. Their conversation is simple and so endearing. Pam Hunter provides another spider-related piece of writing as she relates the tale of ‘Little Miss Muffet’ and gives the reader the story behind it. There’s a lot to learn from how fairy tales and nursery rhymes come about.

Alan Gibbs’ piece ‘It Started Well and Just Got Better’ is about a campervan trip to Mull to view white-tailed eagles. This gorgeous personal recollection was good to read and really encourages the reader to visit this area of the world.

Lastly. Margaret Halliday’s piece, ‘My Home is in India’ did bring a tear to my eye. Margaret passed away in March 2019, and also attending ‘Write You Are’ – another Horwich-based writing group of which I am a member. I knew Margaret’s writings well, and this appreciation of her life in India was Margaret to the core, and a lovely, though unintentional tribute to her.

Thanks, Phoenix, for this book. Greatly enjoyed!

Christmas Card Rhymes

I was asked to put together a few very simple Christmas card rhymes – with a Christian rather than a secular feel. These were what I came up with. Feel free to use them on your own Christmas cards, but do credit me!














This card is sent

This card is sent with tidings
True strength and joy it brings.
For there was born a Saviour,
For there was born a King.

Could he be my Saviour?
Could he be yours too?
The crying baby born that day
Would grow to speak the Truth.

Could he be my Saviour?
That boy, God’s gifted son?
Yes – on that day, a boy was born
Who would save everyone.


No room at the inn

No room at the inn,
But the stable was free.
The first home of a boy
Who would soon die for me.

No room at the inn,
But God’s house isn’t there.
So where is God’s house?
It is everywhere.

No room at the inn,
But my heart has room free.
And there’s room in the Church.
Both for you and for me.


A stabled lamb

An angel speaks
To shepherds, awed.
“A boy will come.
Your God. Your Lord.”

A stabled lamb.
A newborn boy.
Three wise men visit
Full of joy.

The son of God.
He has arrived.
To influence
So many lives.

A mother’s pride,
A father’s love.
A precious gift
From God above.


More than

More than – a baby born.
More than – a prophecy.
More than – God’s child on earth
More than – what eyes can see.

Love – how we live our lives.
Love – how we spend our days.
Love – how we talk to God.
Love – how we learn to pray.

‘Book of Longing’ by Leonard Cohen

 
This attractive book of Leonard Cohen’s poetry, prose-poems and artwork, was taken from content that first appeared on http://www.leonardcohenfiles.com.  Some became song lyrics, and many in their current form, do have that feel.  Indeed, it is these shorter and more lyrical pieces of writing that speak to me the most.  Consider stanza 7 from the poem, ‘Better’.
 
better than darkness
is darkless
which is inkier, vaster
more profound
and eerily refrigerated
filled with caves
and blinding tunnels
in which appear
beckoning dead relatives
and other religious
paraphernalia
 
Some of the poetry is bewildering and clever, and I become overly aware of how many references I don’t understand.  This is nobody’s fault but mine. The poem, ‘Fun’ is about believing in God.
 
It is so much fun
to believe in G-d
You must try it sometime
Try it now
and find out whether
or not
G-d wants you
to believe in Him.
 
And another short poem is called ‘Thousands’. It simply reads:
 
Out of the thousands
who are known,
or who want to be known
as poets,
maybe one or two
are genuine
and the rest are fakes,
hanging around the sacred precincts
trying to look like the real thing.
Needless to say
I am one of the fakes,
and this is my story.
 
Shorter still is ‘Sorrows of the Elderly’.
 
The old are kind.
The young are hot.
Love may be blind.
Desire is not.
 
The shorter and snappier poems appeal more to those of us who aren’t poets and aren’t that well informed either.  However, I intend to pick up this book on future occasions and attempt to understand more of what I haven’t already picked up! 

#leonard cohen #prose #review #short story #short stories

Sea Green Girl

Look at her hair, I whisper, green

With envy at her auburn curls.
They spread, those mermaid’s tresses seen
On Titian’s Venus, bathing girl.
She sprawls, she basks, she swims ahead,
To shallow, lime green water bays.
I gaze as she lays down her head
On sea-weed beds where sea-sprites play.

I watch as she lays down her head
On sea-weed beds where sea-sprites play.

Her glist’ning skin, I need to feel
That pearlised glow, that olive sheen.
She bathes, that graceful, lengthened seal
And I conceive her eyes of green.
Their shades of em’ralds, shades of teal.
Long lashes, droplets clinging fast
What things she knows, what things she feels
Of future, present, sea-times past.

But radiant mer-girl disappears,
Without goodbyes.Takes to the waves.
Bereft, I view her head that rears
As dolphin-like she leaps.I save
Her hair of auburn, eyes so bright
For later date, I’ve memorised.
I’ll draw, inspired by her sweet sight,
I’ll paint her curves.Her hair.Her eyes.

To draw, inspired by her sweet sight,
To paint her curves.Her hair.Her eyes.

Her piscine curves, no legs apart
Just incandescent tail of jade.
Its scales will shimmer from my art
I must not let her image fade.
Sea-green, sea-green, those wicked waves
That upped and took the girl to sea.
I hate them for the help they gave.
And wished she’d stayed to swim with me.

I hate them for the help they gave.
And wished she’d stayed to swim with me.

‘Goblin Market’ by Christina Rosetti

 

I am not a big reader or writer of poetry, finding much of it too obtuse and unintelligible.  I enjoy reading that transports me to places without too much effort from me.  I was a little unsure, therefore how I would cope with this poem, but, open-minded, I began to read.
 
My first impression was the simplicity of structure and the ease of general understanding.  Despite my now being aware of some of the words’ meanings (ratel, for example), the entire feel of the poem was still strongly flowing.  The words in this case were decorative and attractive as well as functional.
 
My primary thought was that the writing was not aimed at children, though could be read and understood on an alternative level by them.  To me, the work was a salutory warning for young ladies not to become involved with rough young men for fear their health, complexion and hair will grey and age and that ultimately death will occur.  Cherries, plums, peaches and melons are all sexually charges words now and they abound within the offerings of the goblins.  The addictive power of sexual gifts threatens to overtake Laura till she and Lizzie stand strong against it – and their sisterhood defeats the forced, bullying manipulative goblins.
#christinarosetti #goblinmarket #review