Friday, January 04, 2008

Just start

I'd be the first to admit to a lack of inspiration when I sit down to write at times, but it's happened so often now that I know if I start writing then something will emerge. It might not be a poem, or even the seeds of a poem, only a few raggedy pages, but inevitably I leave that writing session feeling better than when I started because it feels like it might be the beginning of something. Even if it's only the beginning of getting back into the practice of writing. So if you're feeling uninspired, or need to trick yourself into writing, or need a kickstart in a different direction, choose one of the following phrases/titles/lines (chosen at random from books on my desk right now)... and just start!

  • we aren't supposed to know
  • The Regulars
  • peeling an apple
  • not enough attention is paid to the hanging process
  • mad
  • Directions for Breeding Women

As I need my own kickstart at the moment, I'll join you in this one and post what I end up with.

Haven't you started yet?


Mary Rose said...

The Regulars

They come, not every day
nor even every other day
but sometimes, these visitors,
dressed in darkness,
unwelcome, uninvited.

They threaten, challenge,
clouds that hover, defy
my efforts to dispel them
remaining at my side for days

but suddenly the breakthrough comes,
a gleam of light that’s on my side,
supports me,
whispering encouragement.
The horizon lightens.

I know they will come again, they’re
part of my life now, a necessity
for my survival.

Mary Rose.

Lynne Rees said...

Thanks for posting, Mary Rose.

margaret beston said...

We’re not supposed to know

Before she left for church
the bride lit up a cigarette.
We weren’t supposed to know
her deeply inhaled breath
concealed a sigh,
that her smoke-filled lungs
pressing on her ribcage
rekindled a familiar pain,
that her reflected image
emerging through exhaled smoke
felt like a pastiche,
someone else’s clumsy copy.

We’re not supposed to know
what goes on behind closed doors,
crumpled tissues by the bed,
trails of cigarette ash on the floor,
orange blossom
crushed beneath a heel.

Lynne Rees said...

Good to see your poem here, Margaret. I'll be posting another 'prompt' in a day or so.

Mary Rose said...

Haiku attempts

Sleep teases
hides among dark folds
lengthens the night.

She disappears
for days on end
returns purring.

Two a.m.
I turn the light on

A second Christmas
without you.

Sharra said...

White Rabbits

If they’d been hung differently
they’d have seemed frozen
in action, like long-extinct
exhibits in glass cases,
the gash in their bellies
disguised by lifelike poses.
Instead, framed by the flaking paint
of the butcher’s window, they dangle
like empty gloves
from a steel hook.

Despite the redness leaking
from inside out
my fingers itch
to bury themselves
in the white softness,
wishing I could forget
that warm blood once pumped
through their bodies
instead of dripping
onto the slab below.

Abi said...

Her Past


I’m not supposed to know, of course I do,
and I delight in the fact that she does not know I know.
When she speaks I have a little voice in my head
that shouts “liar, liar.”

I wouldn’t say it out loud, it is so much
more delicious to savour the words,
roll them round my mouth, have them on the tip of my tongue
and then quickly swallow them down.

She cannot lie any more; she struggles to gesture for water.
I put it on her tongue using a pipette. I like the word pipette.
Only three drops and no more or she
will start choking in her morphined-world.


At the funeral I meet others who are not supposed to know
and I wonder if we should compare notes, but we don’t.
We stand in various shades of black
eating impossible nibbles that spill into our hands

or get stuck around our mouths.
No one points it out of course,
so it stays there until we drink
and then floats on the top of our white wine.

I try to fish mine out with my finger,
the same finger I used to throw soil over her coffin.
I decide not to have the drink after all.
At home I pour a large glass of wine
and wonder if she knows I know.

Anonymous said...

Just needed to get writing and to get something off my chest.

Watching a film with a friend
should double your pleasure
not halve it
the person beside you sleeping through the good bits
then rushing to arbitrary judgement.
You know you are doomed
when she says "I'm sure it's very clever"
in that dismissive English way that suggests
stupidity would be better.
She can't remember a line of dialogue
a scene, a snatch of music
all she will tell you is that she didn't like it:
she's quite insistent on this point
till you realise
with terrible clarity
that you no longer like her.

Lynne Rees said...

Thanks for posting, 'anonymous', and feel free to drop in at any time.