Three weeks ago I wrote that my external hard drive was refusing to boot. Faced with the prospect of losing ten years worth of photos, writing and other memories, I managed to remain optimistic.
I finally took the drive down to the shop earlier this week and have spent a tense few days waiting for news. The chap now tells me that he thinks he has managed to recover everything. To avoid a repetition of the problem, he recommends that I start storing things in the cloud.
Thinking of clouds, and of optimism, brought to mind an old poem, published in 2009 in the South Bank Poetry Magazine and also included in my book Around the Corner from Hope Street.
Although I posted it here a few years ago, I suspect most current readers haven’t seen it, so here it is again:
Nine o’clock in shades of grey
The sky, a solid lid on thoughts, constrains
and limits flights of fancy as I ride the bus
to work on Monday morning. I watch
through mud-spattered windows, jolted
past gravelled parks where leaden evergreens obtrude
from fog. In high-rise flats, once-snowy nets
are turned to slush behind dull glass. Stone walls
and pebble-dashing act as magnets to attract
the dust. Grey-skinned commuters wait
at greyer bus stops.
Outside the Town Hall,
laurel lollipops stand sentinel around
the corporation buildings, dull as salmon
caught in a bad still-life.
Inside, I know it smells of stale ash
and the cold-coffee paintwork of my office
flakes in silence.
Even my new business suit
is dark, sensible charcoal.
hidden from this colour-sapping world,
I sport a satin petticoat and panties
with pink roses. My step is light,
the half-smile ready
to blossom into song.