deadlines

converging railway tracks

Once again, there’s an email in my inbox telling me that the deadline for a poetry competition I have entered has been extended. Organisers usually do this when they haven’t had enough entries; this time, they say it’s ‘by popular request.’

Since I made a concerted effort to send off my entry at 10:30 pm on New Year’s Eve – the deadline was midnight – I am a little bit peeved. I could have had another drink instead of remaining sober enough to negotiate yet another illogical on-line payment and submission system.

I don’t really know why I always leave things till the last minute whatever the project and whatever the deadline. Maybe with competitions I’m hoping to have written a better poem in the meantime, but realistically that’s not particularly likely and, if I do, there will always be another competition I can send it to.

It was Douglas Adams who said, “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”

I’m sure many writers have thought something similar – the photo is for those who’ve compared deadlines to speeding trains. I don’t think I’d heard the quotation when I wrote this verse back in early 2000:

Theory of Relativity

Deadlines speed towards me ever faster,
I hear their beating wings as they pass by,
Last dates for competitions follow closely:
There is no doubt at all that time can fly.

A finished article has been submitted
I’m waiting for the editor’s reply;
Another’s published; when will I get payment?
Time has become a snail: it’s creeping by.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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