My Poetry.

Well, it’s My Poetry, such as it is…

I thought it might be an idea to put my own stuff on its own page, though it’s also elsewhere on the blog. There’s not a lot yet, but it’ll grow slowly – possibly.

I have no real talent for poetry. Sometimes, though, something will pop into my head almost fully formed, needing only a final polish. These happened that way, but it doesn’t happen very often.

m

I have remembered a thing…

A time when dawn never came unbidden, or too early; when snow could never be too deep or crisp; when the jingle of harness and the clink of milk-bottles announced the coming day, in counterpoint to the dawn chorus of birds not yet decimated by chemicals and prairie farming, and the clatter-scratch of the knocker-up, as he trod his round, come balmy dew or raging storm.

m

A time when lust and love ran side by side in my blood, and neither were sated too often; when people were old at 50, and for ever; when summer sprang to full bloom between July and September, and the seasons ran, orderly, in their allotted spans. When autumn gales boomed through the streets, demanding combs and kites, and fish and chips came in yesterday’s newspaper, all the better for it, and scratchings were free.

m

A time, when small children raced in the streets, heedless of a mother’s cries to stay close – and never came to harm; when little kids really did hear sleigh-bells at Christmas, which wasn’t Xmas; when people were nice to each other, and to themselves – a lost art; when a skinned knee was a major disaster, and major disasters happened to someone else, thousands of miles away, and the world was unimaginably huge.

m

A time when my blood sang brightly in my ears, lying quietly abed, waiting for sleep, and my bones rode easily within my flesh; when pain was a sudden, and fleeting, thing – here, and goneforgotten in a flash; when the footfalls of midnight mice rang like thunder, in the days before thunder came to sound like the footfalls of mice, and when each new day was joyfully greeted as a friend, to be enjoyed, not cursed as an enemy, to be endured…

m

I have remembered – how it was not to be old…

m

m

OK, I’m not that old, but I was having a bad day! It was prompted by a Guardian article claiming that some up-market restaurants were tarting up scratchings and charging absurd prices (scratchings are the bits of batter that litter the fryer after frying fish – if not removed they’ll burn and taint the oil, and they’ve been traditionally given away since god was in short pants as they are a waste product and have no value, except as a goodwill gesture to customers).

m

m

And this one was for an ME website poetry page (and a really bad day), which seemed to be overrun with enforced jollity. Hey, my life may be shit, but I’m not depressed, was the main message implied, while every word written gave the lie to that, so I thought a little reality was in order:-

Intimations of mortality…

m
This is the way we go on.

One day at a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time.

We turn away from all our fear, for to acknowledge it would be to imbue it with certainty.

We eschew our demons, denying them lest, in their reality, they destroy us.

But they are us, and may not be denied with impunity but, still, we try, we try.

We do not turn, as the hollow footsteps near, echoing down time’s passages,

Or at the distant swish of scythe, ever closer, as if, by our disregard, they will become unreal.

Who knows, perhaps they will?

For now…

m

I’ve had a rethink about the last one, and I feel that this works better:-

Intimations of mortality…
This is the way we go on.

One day at a time, one meal at a time, one pain at a time.

We turn away from our fear, for to acknowledge it would be to imbue it with certainty.

We eschew our demons, denying them lest, in their reality, they destroy us.

But they are us, and may not be denied but, still, we try, we try.

We do not turn, as the hollow footsteps draw near, echoing down time’s passages,

Or at the distant swish of the Reaper’s scythe, as if, by our disregard, they will become unreal.

Who knows, perhaps they will?

For now…

m

This one was written for my own website (PWME = Person with ME), as I was emerging from the bleakness of an ME relapse, and on the verge of a new relationship (at least that’s what I thought at the time – turns out I was wrong on both counts):-

Pwme’s Blues…

m

There are only so many tears you can cry
‘Til your heart stops breaking

So many nights, without sleep
‘Til the dawn’s pale waking

So much hurt to be borne
As the sun mounts the sky

Will the burden this day
Prove so hard that you die?

Would you live for tomorrow?
Your heart soar like a dove

If the chance came along
Could you live, would you love?

If the chance came your way
Could you seize it with glee?

Give it all that you can
And cry fuck you! ME…

m

I’ve never been happy with the ending of that, but nor have I found anything better than the expletive for encompassing the anger and frustration that ME can cause.

.

An experiment with the haiku form:-

My Home…

Bricks in three tiers

Piled near the road

Though Spring, my soul withers

.

Garrison Keillor writes of a Japanese form, the zazu, which is a three-line form, like the haiku, but without the strict 17-syllable format. Sadly, it doesn’t exist. It should, though, as imposing the 17 onji (phonetic symbols), of the Japanese haiku onto English as 17 syllables is plain foolish. Not that what I think will change anything!

39 thoughts on “My Poetry.

  1. The poem isn’t bad but I am not crazy about the end. But that’s just me. Poetry is personal and it is yours so if you like it, leave it be.
    I am fairly new at poetry myself. I find that on my blue days, I write the best.
    Feel free to ck out my writings at http://karadouglas.wordpress.com/

    Keep on writing!

  2. Ah, damned with faint praise! But as I said, I don’t like the ending – despite the vehemence, it rather fizzles. It’s been very well received, though, by people who have suffered through the rigours of ME, like me, with whom it resonates deeply (and the weak ending doesn’t seem to matter), which is what I was aiming for, in much the same way the music of Floyd resonates more with stoners than straights. It helps if you’ve been there…

    May 30 2010

    With hindsight, I think I over-reacted just a tad here!

    Ron.

  3. Response to “I have remembered a thing…” copied from its original page in this blog…

    Absolutely beautiful. Too bad we got so old so fast…never saw it coming.

    Joellen

  4. Ron,
    Pwme’s Blues…Not to worry, the beginning, the middle, and every other line make up for the last (the ending). Had I written this, I wouldn’t say that I don’t like the ending. Excuse me while I read on.
    Donald

      • Pwme’s blues,

        Thanks for that one, yes there are so only so many tears or so you think and then there are some more. Learning the blessing of tears. They wash you and cleanse you.
        Have been very ill twice in my life, the second time was, starting around two years ago. On my fiftieth birthday I was writing my will and testament and deciding what to do with my ashes.
        Now two years later, am back again. Kept the will but re-wrote it. Now reading that will made me cry buckets.
        This week I cry because ill be a granny next year.
        Tears yes they wash and cleanse us and they help us move on.
        Good luck, keep crying and keep laughing too, laughing till you cry

        • Thanks for that – makes up for this morning’s troll!

          PWME’s Blues still has the ability to move me to tears – and I wrote the damn thing!

          • Ron
            This is my first (but certainly nor my last) visit to your page. I’m unable to empathise with you and your fellow sufferers as I am (thankfully) free of debilitating conditions such as ME, MS, COPD, Addison’s and the like. I have my own crosses to bear, but they are as nothing compared to the daily endurance that the aforementioned curses inflict on their victims.

            Now to the point of my writing to you.

            The debate surrounding the end of PWME’s Blues astounds me. Poetry, in my very humble opinion, is written from and with the heart. Your conclusion to the poem I found to be an extraordinarily evocative demonstration of your feelings towards the condition. It ended angrily, resentfully and defiantly. Job done, I say. Leave it alone.

  5. I think you REALLY write poetry. I go on to a lot of blogs which require me to delve into someone else’s psyche before I can enjoy the work. Your first piece, in particular, is a gem. I read it on someone else’s blog and paid you a visit. I wasn’t disappointed.

  6. Thank you – glad you like it. I think that’s my favourite, too. I wish there was more but there hasn’t been the slightest hint of anything for quite a while…

    There’s no deep psychological process going on – I have remembered, for example, was triggered by a news report that restaurants were tarting up scratchings and charging for them.

    Scratchings, for those unfamiliar with the term, are nothing to do with bags of bristly bits of fried pig-skin, but are fragments of crisp batter that come off fish in the chip-shop fryer. They have to be scooped out or they’ll burn and, when I was small, they were free for the asking. They still are, in some areas, I believe.

  7. Hello, Here by chance, trying to work out the very difficult benefits. But, I have to say what wonderful work , I really loved your poetry, especially the first one , The line about when it was old to be 50 is so true…I loved it I actually felt like I was in it, if that makes sense. as for the ending that you are not happy about ,,well its excellent ,says it all really .f….. you . is your way of dealing with what life has dealt you … m.e can be a bastard , & the trouble is you cant really see pain .I dont have it but I do have cervical spondylitis, among other things & I can relate to anyone that has those kind of health problems where ignorant people can just label you with being a miserable old git . without thinking that you might actually be in the most terrible pain..that no ammount of pain killers will take away..who called them that anyway , all they do is make you drowsy.Also you will be ok , you will love again & be loved .just try & draw a line through this one , after all even yesterday is history… lots of love & luck to you, take care x

    • Hi Linda,

      Very pleased you like it. Oddly, it seems to be sick or disabled people who respond most positively to it (I suppose you’ve gotta be there to understand).

      It’s a shame I’m not able to write more poetry, but it really is an extremely intermittent “talent”, rather than something I can do on demand. Being depressed helps, but since I found the cause of my depression (one of my meds), that doesn’t happen now (not that I’m sorry about that!)

      Right now I’m sitting here wondering why I’ve never got around to buying snow-spikes for my crutches, because it’s snowing like hell. Oh, well, never mind the weather – I’ve got soup, and bread, to make (just bought a mixer for bread-making, so I need an excuse to play with it).

      Take it easy.

      Ron.

  8. Your poems are well written .. and i enjoyed reading them .
    the poem ” Pwme’s Blues… ” is so touching these line i won’t forget :
    ” If the chance came along
    Could you live, would you love? ”

    Keep writing and i salute you for this blog :)

  9. I think you do have a talent for poetry! I loved the first one and must say I had totally forgotten about scratchings – I must be getting old! ;o) Have been really enjoying reading your blog too.

  10. Ron ..I see you have not writen in awhile.Poetry that is.Try again. I learned a lot about you from the last one. Boots

  11. hi, i came across your poems accidently, i dont have m.s. –thankfully–but ay! I LOVED the sentiment -never mind the ending–thats how you feel, thats how you say it,- i have a thing like you about poetry but i would never get anywhere as i too, have little moments were i could just –srawl one down! r even short storie, —–here is one i taght my children, grand, children, great ,& grandchildren——-I KNOW A LITTLE PUSSY, HIS NAME IS” SILVERY GREY”—HE LIVES DOWN IN THE MEDOW ,NOT VERY FAR AWAY,—–BUT ALTHOUGH HE IS A PUSSY–HE WILL NEVER BE A CAT ————-FOR HEs A PUSSY WILLOW—-WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT! ha,ha, hope it cheered you up, love, luck, & happiness xx

    • Glad you liked it.

      And I’ve just found a comment I missed, asking me to write more. That’s a first! Shame I’ve not been able to.

  12. Am glad I got round to reading your poetry – better late than never. The only one I wasn’t keen on was the experimental one, but I love the others.

    • Ah shucks . . .

      The haiku was intended to be stark and bleak, but I can see why you wouldn’t like it. A tad too bleak, perhaps . . .

  13. Just found your site, already “hooked”. Love your first poem here..says it all so very well…..”A time when my blood sang brightly in my ears, lying quietly abed, waiting for sleep, and my bones rode easily within my flesh”..ahhh memories of youth and of a previous life..before M.E….thank you :)

    • Hi Susan,

      I hadn’t seen that in terms of ME before but, yeah, I suppose it does fit quite well . . . Anyway, glad you like it.

      Ron.

  14. Isn’t it strange that those who ‘claim’ not to be able to write poetry come out with the most sensitive and striking works? Maybe to be able to write such words you need to be able to really feel them and you so obviously do Ron. Xxx

    • When I say “I can’t write poetry” what I mean, I suppose, is that I can’t do it on demand, only when the muse strikes, and that happens only rarely – those few items span a period of about 6 years.

      It helps, too, if I’m depressed and, on the whole, I prefer not to be. Not that it’s under my control . . .

      And it moves me – even though I wrote it – so I suppose it must have some merit. And the responses are universally positive, so maybe I’m better than I think I am. I just wish I could sit at my computer and decide “Today, I’m writing poetry”. Sadly, though, it doesn’t work like that.

  15. Hello Ron, you come across as a really well-rounded person with a great mind. Your tips have been invaluable regarding applying for DLA and I have followed them religiously in my applications. Can I say I think you have a fantastic gift for poetry too. The above are really powerful and I read it twice, I was extremely impressed and moved by it. Maybe we can look forward to some more in the future. Keep your chin up sweetheart, and I wish you good health always. Dangleberry

    • Hi Moira,

      Well, I’m not going to argue with an endorsement like that. Thank you.

      As for poetry, that really is something of a rarity, but you never know. It depends mostly on my being depressed (a lot of art, of all kinds. comes out of depression – about the only good thing to be said for it), but I’m only rarely seriously depressed and what I’ve mostly been lately is angry! And, to tell the truth, scared. See the Chronicles of the Heart series for why. I really must link them together, but if you type (or copy and paste), the title into the search box it’ll bring them all up.

      If your DLA claim gets turned down – it’s getting harder, though it does vary across the country – do appeal, don’t just walk away. Many claims are granted on appeal so it’s always worth it (in fact, if you live in Scotland, most claims – 70% – succeed on appeal). The tips – I’m sure I’ve said this somewhere – are what worked for me, and I know they’ve worked for others, too, so you may well have a better than average chance, as from what I’ve read here, many people just don’t work hard enough at completing the form, and you really must, given how much depends on it. (I know you’ve figured that out – comments are for the benefit of others, too.)

      By the way, if you, or anyone else reading this, is involved with ESA, check this out http://www.abcofesa.co.uk/board/index.php You’ll find me there too, as a contributor.

      Good luck.

      Ron.

  16. first time ive looked on this page Ron, its not the sort of poetry i used to write but i can certainly see where you were coming from and appreciate your writings as being pretty good. i certainly think that poetry writing is something that comes from the heart more than the head, but emotions play a big part in it. being in love,feeling very sad,being depressed, elated, motivated, strong feelings about something. so yes even anger. if you feel angry about something write it down. you might be surprised at what materializes.
    i have a book, an exercise book with all mine and some of my dads (written by him whilst in the trenches of Belgium in WW2) in it. maybe i should publish them as a blog now, mum died in 1977 dad in 1999, so wouldnt be upsetting anyone, ill see what my brother n sis think cos i know theres one about my beothers birth. and mine for that , not my sis as dad was home when she was born in 1947…….. you see youve inspired ME to do something different now.i havent written anything for years now, but then ive not felt or had any reason to feel anything much for years. nothing strong enough to bring forth poetry anyway.

    • Go for it. Setting up a blog is easy enough – I believe Tumblr is pretty simple.

      My problem is that, while I can turn out words by the thousand with little provocation, I just can’t write poetry on demand. It either pops into my head almost fully formed, or it doesn’t happen at all. And it mostly doesn’t happen. There’s about 10 years’ worth on that page.

      That’s probably down to how I write, which is mostly on autopilot. I’ll sit down with an idea, and just let the words come. I’ve no idea how the process works, and if I try to figure in out it stops. It’s like riding a bike – if you over-think it you wobble all over the road. So, my mind wants to write, I just feed it a subject and let it get on with it. And apart from correcting typos, and maybe rearranging a few words into a more pleasing sequence, that’s it. I go with my first draft and never rewrite. I learned from experience that rewrites are never as good as the original – some vital spark gets lost.

      And I can hear someone, tomorrow, or next week, reading this and saying, Hell, it’s just a blog. And so it is, but that’s no excuse for it not being the best I can make it. Far too many bloggers have the Hell it’s just a blog, attitude, and it shows.

      “I have remembered a thing” was inspired by a restaurant review that said they were selling scratchings at vastly inflated prices – it grew in both directions from “… and scratchings were free”. That was the year I turned 60, and I was deeply unhappy about it. The rest, well, like Topsy, they just growed.

  17. well i have one thing to do before i start,,, just received copy of series 2 of Downton Abbey. must see what happens to Bates the butler………. yes i know pretty naff. a prog. and i thought so at first, that it was a poor replica of Upstairs Downstairs which i loved. my interest in history is mostly around the Victorian/Edwardian eras because the biggest area of my genealogy research was around those eras tho does go back much further.
    one thing…………. you are the only other person that i have ever known in almost 70 years to use that saying………” like Topsy, they just growed”…..other than my mum………. do you know what book it came from? i know mum once told me but i know I never read it ,
    I think most writing, poetry or prose, novels or short stories or blogs flows once you get going. but something has to trigger it off.
    once on night duty, when everyone was asleep, believe this or not, I was sat on the loo and the quietness was overwhelming till i started to hear small sounds on the ward and from the kitchen/ i wrote a poem there and then on loo paper then copied it out properly before i went to bed that morning.was only 2 hours later so fairly fresh in my mind.that’s one that will go into my blog and shows that the “muse” can come on you in the strangest places.lol

  18. I really like the first piece. Beautiful imagery. I developed ME aged 8 – be so glad that you can remember a time without it!

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