Yesterday was December 25th, Christmas Day. Which makes today St Stephen’s Day; it’s the second day of Christmas, the day on which my true love sent me a pair of turtle doves, and in the UK it’s also known as Boxing Day.
There was a beautiful blue sky earlier today, the kind that makes you wish you could just reach up and take flight, to soar with the white-winged gulls.
I’ve said before that I’m no good at taking pictures of birds, but I did manage to take pictures of some other things with wings in the wild park near where I live. Continue reading “things with wings”
Last Thursday was National Poetry Day in the UK, so I am feeling very guilty that I haven’t got around to posting a poem to mark the occasion. It wasn’t simply that my head has been too full of wispy clouds to focus. Even on Saturday, a day when I usually post, I was busy, not just with the usual domestic nonsenses, but also preparing to present the guest poets at an evening of readings at the local bookshop and community centre. Continue reading “a little light poetry”
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. Continue reading “in the clouds”
This week I had to fill in a form to register for a new doctor. Last time I registered was when I returned to the UK after 25 years living abroad; that was a fairly painless process, the only confusion being when they asked for my National Health number and I gave one in a format that they stopped using last century.
This time, although I had the right format number, I had to fill in a ten page questionnaire with all sorts of slightly bizarre questions. The one that caught my attention most was:
If someone cares for you, what is their name and telephone number?
A heavy storm has made the flat roof leak
and in the small hours, memories drip
from the bedroom ceiling.
Unlike the rain they cannot be absorbed
by piles of folded towels, or mopped into a bucket, so
I paddle through them, barefoot, towards dawn.
Flower stalls sprout on street corners and blossom
with chrysanthemums and wreaths
for loved ones’ graves.
I skirt the queues and wonder, should I buy
for the ghost of a relationship
The poem is from the collection Around the Corner from Hope Street.
Read sequentially, the poems reveal a narrative thread, covering a period of 15 months in the life of the female narrator; they deal with themes of alienation and isolation, recovery and renewal, and, of course, love. The book is illustrated in black and white by graphic artist Lance Tooks and available in various digital formats from the Tantamount bookstore.
(A draft of the poem was posted on the blog a few years ago.)