Tag Archives: poetry

Thrips In My Tea

I hate thrips/thunderflies/thunderbugs/corn flies/whatever the heck you want to call them, they’re little bastards.  I find them EVERYWHERE and it makes me mad.  So mad that I wrote a poem about the little feckers.

Thrips in my tea
Thrips in my tea
Thrips thrips thrips
Thunderflies
One just went and died
Inside my computer screen
Broken pixel trail left behind
Like snot from a snail
Backwards and forwards
Frozen in the pixels
Bastard thing
Couldn’t have gone
Another three inches
And out of sight?
A tick on the white
Just upwards from middle
Slanted
But always in sight
Thrips in my soup
Thrips in my soup
Thrips thrips thrips
Thunderbugs
I’ve eaten three today
At least

Leaving the House and Inspiration in Spoken Word

I’ve been working slowly through the ideas in my head, and I feel like this novel will either be pure madness or absolute brilliance.  I’m doing something I’ve never done before, and maybe has never been done before.  It’s definitely forcing me to think outside the box, at least.

And I found myself struggling, as always, and so I made a point of leaving the house as much as I could last weekend.  I think I spend Friday through Sunday mostly elsewhere, with the Munchkin in tow.

I know that when I’m having a tough time, whether creatively, mentally, emotionally, I hermit.  And while hermiting is all well and good at times, it doesn’t ultimately help things.  I also realised that over the last few months I had barely left my house apart from grocery shopping and dog walking.  Even as blind as I can get to my own problems, I knew that wasn’t a good thing.

So I squared my shoulders, put on my brave face, told myself I was a big girl and could face the world outside my front door and did things.  I was social, I talked to people (real, grown-up people!), I wore outfits that were not chosen based solely on comfort or how quickly they’d stain.

It was kind of a big deal.

And in the car on the way home from Somewhere, one of those days, I felt inspired.  Inspired in a way that I have not felt for all my hermitage.

I have this weird thing where I sometimes feel self-conscious even if I’m alone in my own house, as if some nebulous consciousness is aware of what I do and say, and I’m aware of the possibility of that nebulous consciousness.  So I never feel like I can read out loud, or sing to myself, unless I direct it as a silly ditty to the dog or baby, because that’s safe and okay to do.

But I had been given a fantastic book, Steering the Craft, an Ursula Le Guin writing workshop in book form.  The first exercise was to enjoy spoken language, to play with word-sounds, as language was always intended to be heard.  I hadn’t been able to get up the nerve to start speaking, or reading, out loud to myself at home.

But I was out, in my car, with Munchkin sleeping in the back seat and the dog in the boot.  I was on a road that was winding me between hills and then suddenly opened into flat fields on either side.  I had an amazing view of the quintessential fine Scottish summer day – that is to say, it was threatening rain and brilliantly sunny at the same time.  In the distance there were swathes of purple-grey clouds with discernible downpours falling in straight rivulets, but clear bright blue behind me.  It was really breathtaking, and if I’d been able to stop and take some photos I would have loved to.  I’d never seen a sky like it.

It inspired a poem.  I love poetry, it’s something I do for myself when I want to write but don’t have a full story.  It’s a snapshot of a moment.  And this moment was spectacular.

I started composing, out loud, in the car.  I repeated phrases and tweaked them.  Past tense, present tense, adverb, adjective.  If anyone had heard me they would have thought I was suffering some kind of mental breakdown.  I worked it aloud in spoken verse, and when it was done, I told it to myself again, and again, and again, for the rest of the journey home.  I didn’t want to forget it.  And I haven’t, since.

That moment of inspiration would have never happened if I hadn’t left my house, no matter how hard I sometimes find it to do that.

Apocalypse, Part 2, and An Ode Most Deserving

Ok, so just after posting my spiel about the apocalypse, we found ourselves in a rather apocalyptic situation:  FLOODING OF ALL THE ROADS EVERYWHERE.  We were driving from our village in Fife to see The Husband’s family in Perth.  What is usually a 30-minute scenic journey became an hour and a half of white-knuckled danger (with subsequent adrenalin high and slightly hysterical laughter!).

It’s the typical problem of snow that hasn’t really melted, plus torrential rain and wind.  Drains aren’t clear, rivers and lochs break their banks, and driving becomes much more of an extreme sport than you’d bargained for.

But through it all, there is a hero of the hour.  And this is for her:

To Our Tiny Purple Car

 

Edna scoffs at danger –

Ha! She fear it not –

When hills are steep

And ways are fraught.

 

Every peril in our path

From snow to mud

Rain, potholes, ice

And the latest – flood!

 

We saw the road ahead

Choked by nearby loch

Its waters run over-ground

But Edna laughed and mocked.

 

Call this a flood?!

She seem’d to say

Her engine roaring

Like a lupine bay.

 

And indeed, like a puddle

Over which we soar’d,

Past loch, hill and field

and through a nearby ford.

 

Ahead a sign warns:

Flood! and others heed

By slowing to a crawl

But not our steed!

 

Aha! She cries

Revving high

While others crawl

Edna flies!

 

Across this inland lake

Others stop and stare

Too timid by far

Too afraid to dare.

 

But Edna, laughing still,

Says, You Dolts and Fools!

Your chassis is taller than I

To take you across these pools!

 

And thus we exited

Back onto drier street

Shaming those onlookers

Into attempting the same feat.

 

And so my advice to you,

If the Apocalypse is truly nigh:

Find yourself a Nissan dealership

And a Micra you should buy.

True story.

To Our Tiny Purple Car

 

Edna scoffs at danger –

Ha! She fear it not –

When hills are steep

And ways are fraught.

 

Every peril in our path

From snow to mud

Rain, potholes, ice

And the latest – flood!

 

We saw the road ahead

Choked by nearby loch

Its waters run over-ground

But Edna laughed and mocked.

 

Call this a flood?!

She seem’d to say

Her engine roaring

Like a lupine bay.

 

And indeed, like a puddle

Over which we soar’d,

Past loch, hill and field

and through a nearby ford.

 

Ahead a sign warns:

Flood! and others heed

By slowing to a crawl

But not our steed!

 

Aha! She cries

Revving high

While others crawl

Edna flies!

 

Across this inland lake

Others stop and stare

Too timid by far

Too afraid to dare.

 

But Edna, laughing still,

Says, You Dolts and Fools!

Your chassis is taller than I

To take you across these pools!

 

And thus we exited

Back onto drier street

Shaming those onlookers

Into attempting the same feat.

 

And so my advice to you,

If the Apocalypse is truly nigh:

Find yourself a Nissan dealership

And a Micra you should buy.

Thank You, Adventures in Advance Planning and Ode to a Bunch of Grapes I Bought Today

Thank you all for your support of yesterday’s whine!!  I feel a lot better just having said it all, and actually woke up this morning with renewed determination to write Cobault.  I’ve now re-read all that I had written and re-written previously, editing and notating as I went.

Now I’m trying to do at least a little bit of advance planning for the rest of the action, since I realise that one of the harder things to do as an amateur writer is to handle the passage of time.  In an effort to not write an endless litany of every character’s movements in tedious minutia, I’m outlining the essential events and I can fill in more detail later if need be.

To address the main part of my whine, however, I’ve decided to do some research.  There’s an important central event I still need to rewrite so I’m trying to find some literature, particularly of the time of Wollstonecraft to tie into the feminist ideas I’ve already used, that deal with similar themes.  This way I can trick my subconscious into making some interesting parallels that my conscious mind wouldn’t have thought of!

So all this bodes well, generally.  I’m sure I’ll continue to have periodic wobbles of Blah from time to time, but that’s just how it is.  You can’t be creative, and thus exposing your most private thoughts, hopes and dreams to all and sundry, without a bit of self-doubt from time to time.

And thank you in advance to anyone who talks me down in any of these future moments of doubt and woe!  You’re the best!!

I think I will intersperse different kinds of posts from time to time, however, to break up what kind of writing I do.  Maybe this way I can keep myself from getting too bogged down and depressed about feeling like a current project is getting stalled.  I can have breaks and come back to it refreshed.  I’ll take your advice to heart, Ali, and perhaps do some some literary reviews and Odes to Inanimate Objects.

I’m starting right now, with:

 

Ode to the Bunch of Grapes I Bought Today


Juicy Orbs, your skin conceals

Spherical refreshment

To burst forth with succulence.

 

Why then, I ask, do you seek

To hurt me so? Hiding demon

Seeds which choke and anger me.

 

Devil’s own fruit! I love you so,

Except for those vile attributes.

Why must you possess them?

 

When I purchased you from

the store your packaging proclaimed:

Seedless! What lies!

To A Spoon – An Ode Most Heartfelt

As someone mentioned looking forward to odes to inanimate objects, I feel the need to oblige.  This, my friends, is:

To A Spoon

O’ lovely Spoon, it’s roundness pleasing,

From a jar, its contents easing

Delights, for my delectation,

The vehicle of this revelation.

A Spoon – such a simple artifice!

From a handle a scoop doth kiss

Upon merry ladies at their tea

One sugar, my dear, or perhaps three?

At this convenience I cannot say

But that I knowest mine heart doth stray

Upon a Knife, or Fork, it’s true –

When a Spoon just will not do.