Flight

Napowrimo day 22 – Write a poem about flight or flying.

Flight

 

We carried our clothes in Tesco carrier bags and took off on foot

staying with friends “just for a few days”

sleeping in box rooms on camp beds or the couch.

I was always embarrassed letting anyone see my faded nightdress

as I walked to the bathroom to clean my teeth.

I missed home, Grandma, the corner shop, my books, my own bed

I never understood why we were always leaving.

 

Image by Felicianose-art-hobbyist

Nic Hulme 1972 – 20XX

It’s Napowrimo Day 20 and the prompt; to write a poem with your name in it.

Nic Hulme 1972 – 20XX

 

One day a grey plaque will be engraved

Nicola Hulme 1972 – 20XX

flowers lying across my coffin, music playing

a line or two of remembrance may be uttered

and that will be all.

 

The sun won’t light up my day

the hush of the tides wont soothe my soul

stars wont inspire me to dream

buds will no longer hold promise.

 

My favourite perfume wont delight

new books wont intrigue

songs wont take me back to treasured times

your touch will leave me cold.

 

No emails will be sent, nor cards written

I wont call, there’ll be no conversation

there may be the odd mention of my name

as Mum or Nic – that will be all.

 

Will I have done all that I wanted to do?

If not, will I know? Will there be time to regret?

Will the next phase – should there be one-

be so amazing, these questions are insignificant?

 

Was it the drugs or the brain closing down

that prompted Steve Jobs to utter

in his dying breath

“Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!”?

Live now or that will be all.

Not Sorry!

I absolutely loved writing tonight’s poem, I do like a rant and felt thoroughly cleansed after this one. In response to Napowrimo Day 19, write a “not sorry” poem – here it is.

Not Sorry

 

Social distancing from an introspective perspective,

could be considered social rebalancing.

I now appreciate my immediate family more than ever,

when I’m sick they care for me

when I’m hungry they feed me.

when I’m low their hugs lift me.

This is my inner circle, my sanctuary.

So, Mr Fluff from Zero Town, from this day forward

I won’t be putting your needs above mine and my family’s.

Your emails to request X by deadline Y will be deleted.

You are an outsider from the outer circle and let’s be honest

whenever I have satisfied your requests at the expense of time

with my family, you have been grateful for nanoseconds

forgotten it soon after and only remembered me again when

you want something more.

I’m not sorry.

To those in my mid-circle; I love you

But I won’t be making myself ill running around to please both you

and my family. If you love me you’ll understand and not be peeved

if I don’t reply to your posts, comments, invitations, messages, emails

immediately or within your accepted and expected time scale.

I love you but I’m not sorry.

To society at large; if my make-up is not perfect, my “roots” visible

My weight off your chart, my diet lacking,

If I’m not quick enough, not enough – so what?

You are not in any circle of mine, just landscape, background noise.

I’m not sorry.

 

 

Art by Agnes Cecile

Aldi Sunset

Still catching up on Napowrimo, this is the response to Day 14  “celebrate a place, thing or idea” This poem evolved midway into a poetic prose…or possibly drifted into a stream of consciousness.

 

Aldi Sunset  – April 2020

 

An acre of tarmac; white lines map territorial rights

measured in inches of space filled

with the low growl of engines.

 

Security guards count single adult entries held 2 metres apart

in a snaking queue, but there’s no hurry

only patience and impatience marks time.

 

Waiting in the car, my daughter takes care of the shopping

It’s a new boundary for her to tear down.

We both win.

 

From this new vantage point, the clatter of metal

slamming together in the trolley park

seems musical.

 

Early evening light dapples through popular trees

edging the car park; a precious necklace of beauty

never previously noticed

 

As families load car boots with groceries, domestic chatter

is as serene as birdsong in this new oasis of peace

in the surburban landscape.

 

Cheesy 70s hits blare from an open car window

the driver’s paunch strains buttons on his acidic striped shirt.

He sings along, parking, reversing, correcting, reversing

aligning, reversing in time with the beat.

 

Sunglasses perch on bleached blonde hair, a dainty lady struggles

to manoeuvre an overladen trolley towards her Audi convertible.

She pauses to consider how her bulk bought goods will fit

into the postage stamp boot. After 3 bags fill the space, she loads the interior

propping up wine with frozen peas and cartons of lemon sorbet.

 

Her sultry daughter remains seated throughout, scowling at a world

which doesn’t sufficiently entertain, glowering at the domestic inconvenience,

wondering why no-one has responded to her latest Instagram selfie.

 

A Lesson In Victory

#Napowrimo Day 7 – Victory

A Lesson In Victory

 

The Defeat:

“You’ll never make it at Art College.

Others are more talented than you.

Choose something more academic”

Dreams massacred, self-belief brutalised

 

The Wasteland:

30 years passed without paint touching canvas,

Without pastels blending, charcoal shading,

pencils sketching, or clay fired.

A hollow career followed; haunting a soulless

corporate 9-5 graveyard where the dreamless roam.

 

The Victory:

An opportunity presented was seized – carpe diem.

My paintings hang on Art Gallery walls

not Picasso, not Monet, but they hang among artists.

 

The Tragedy:

With education, training (dare I say encouragement?)

would I have trodden a path of art, culture,

of colour, imagination and expression?

 

The Gift (to others):

The truth – if you love it, do it.

Never let a sun set without trying.

 

 

**Image Jonathan Mannion On Capturing ‘Victory & Strength’ For Gucci Mane’s New LP Cover

Expect Miracles

Napowrimo Day 5 using Christina Thatcher’s prompt, based on the poem by Ellen Bass “Relax”: Include the phrase “Bad things will happen.” My thanks to Randy at

https://ethicsbeyondcompliance.com/

for suggesting Christina as an alternative source of prompts for the challenge.

Expect Miracles

 

Is your glass half full or half empty?

To paraphrase, Einstein said your life experience is based

on whether or not you view the Universe as kind.

Growing up, no-one paid much attention to Einstein

in my household, nor the Sufi poets who decreed

“This too will pass.”

My family worked all hours and missed these valuable insights.

Instead, they settled on a twisted, self-limiting prophecy

of their own making:

Expect the worst then anything good that happens is a bonus.

They aspired to nothing more than survival of dark times,

an unquestioning acceptance that bad things will happen.

Ironically, their neglect regularly left me alone with books.

The ability to read allowed me the freedom to choose another path.

Positivity is my conscious choice.

If this is the progress made by one generation,

imagine the possibilities which open up to the next.

To expect miracles? I hope they do.

 

I know how JK Rowling must have felt…

I know how JK Rowling must have felt…

 

when she first heard the musical score to her Harry Potter film.

I’ve always wondered how it must feel to not only have your novel published, or to have global success, but to hear an orchestra play the theme tune encompassing the landscape and emotions of your story.

As a fan of the Halle Orchestra, I’m always moved when I hear John Williams’ “Hedwig’s Theme” and its magical melody cut through the reverent silence of The Bridgewater Hall. To be the author of the story and hear the music must be of another dimension entirely.

But now I have had a brief glimpse into this emotional experience.

This morning, as I drove into work, I turned on the CD player and listened to a track composed in response to a poem I wrote entitled “Wild Horses”. The ludicrously talented surrealist painter, composer and polymath Mark Sheeky has composed, performed, illustrated and created the CD “Music Of Poetic Objects” and there on track 6 is my lowly poem transformed into captivating music.

Earlier this year, my poetry group Write Out Loud based at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery, collaborated with the resident Art’s Guild and with Mark, to create an exhibition of Ekphrasis Towers. Put very simply, the poets wrote poems based on objects they had a special attachment to, the sculptors and painters of the Guild then created works of art based upon the poems. The poets then wrote more poems in response to the sculptures and paintings thereby building a “tower”. Finally, Mark selected objects and poems to compose music to.

I was honoured when one of my poems was selected and also intrigued to hear what Mark would produce based on feelings evoked by the poems “condensed and re-expressed” When I was handed the CD with its beautiful cover artwork and booklet pages, I was amazed at its elegance, although this shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Write Out Loud had previously been asked by Mark to take part in his 21st Century Surrealism Exhibition. We wrote poems based on Mark’s paintings without knowing the title or inspiration for each piece. We wrote “blind,” if you like. This was our first venture into Ekphrastic poetry as a group and an experience that generated such excitement and enthusiasm we knew we would have to explore the activity more. Mark’s artwork is so dramatic yet sensitive, so bold yet with woven with intricate subtleties, it was a pleasure to study his work in such detail. Having the freedom to express emotions generated and imagined backstories to the origins was incredibly liberating and inspiring.

So although heard through my modest car speakers, whilst embroiled in a hellish commute, rather than sitting in a luxurious orchestral hall, time stood still and I was held captivated. The traffic melted away, the grey tarmac disappeared and for that brief 5 minutes a Savannah sunset appeared with hooves thundering across a desert plain, dust flying and hearts beating. It was a dream come true, an ambition realised as my thoughts transferred to another and were expressed anew. Definitely an “other-world” experience. Mark I cannot thank you enough for the pleasure you have brought.

I look forward to future collaborations which I do hear whispered within the Art Gallery halls…

zebra stampede

Wild Horses

A wind borne scent triggers primal instincts.

Survival screams through constricted veins

hooves thunder, pulses race

legs tangle in the stampede.

Disembodied by adrenaline they run

across the Savannah Plain

aware if caught, they may ascend to the next.

A black and white dust cloud rises

against a burning umber backdrop.

Wild horses pray

this sunset wont be their last

 

Music Of Poetic Objects by Mark Sheeky is available from his website via this link: Music Of Poetic Objects

For more information about Write Out Loud please visit their website @ write out loud

Special thanks also to John Keane Ekphrastic Towers Exhibition Curator for “herding cats” whilst gathering poems from the poets and to Katherine Rosati of Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery for her endless energy in coordinating events.

 

Dust

A shirt is shaken, sprawled over a board.

Her smile is fixed, eyes glazed

hours pass by as the iron runs.

Life evaporates with the steam.

The corpse is well turned out,

the headstone reads “she kept a tidy house”.

 

Dust piles upon dust

falling layer upon layer

dancing on sunbeams in shafts of light

piercing silent rooms.

Bed clothes lie ruffled.

breakfast pots sit in the sink.

 

No-one cares they run through fields

climb over styles

gather mud on their boots

eat picnics on blankets

whilst the tap drips into a bowl

waiting, waiting, waiting.

 

Wind-blown hair, sun burnt skin,

smiles light up the meadow,

birds chatter along with laughter

on the breeze, the dandelion clock

sends parachutes to mark the hours

of this endless day.

fun in fields

46

I’m 46 for goodness sake!

Where did those years go?

I was 20 only yesterday

full of vigour and gusto.

I’m closer to the grave

than the cradle which is mad

I haven’t even started yet

wasted youth is pitifully sad.

I should have sailed around the world

raising Hell everyday

been a rock star filling stadiums

instead of shuffling life away.

But had I been that rock chic

I’d never have met my man

or held my babies in my arms

and heard them call me Mam.

But Bloody Hell, I’m not ready!

for wrinkles and support tights

I’ll not go gently into bingo halls

and fade into goodnight.

So crack open the Southern Comfort

add a splash of coke

there’s still life left in this old girl

before I finally croak.

Drink up and let’s be merry

raise a glass or two

to living our lives fully

before we bid adieu.

The Topline

It’s tough out there.

Really? Once More?

As it was the last year

and the year before

and before and before and before?

 

It’s guaranteed we’ll smash our targets

we’ll exceed every goal

the bar charts show

every year in growth.

The percentages are permanently  flashing

We gave the competition a thrashing

although….

 

One thing intrigues, regarding your peaks

of the increases you frequently speak;

surely they emerge from troughs?

but they’re  not spoken of?

 

We lead from the front,

we’re leading the charge

we’re grounding our clarity

we’re driving hard

we lean in and rise up

a positive outlook

in the right direction

gaining more and more traction

we come to the table

we’re ready and able

in a tough landscape

a snapshot in time…

will always see us

deliver the topline.

For goodness sake man!

Give it a rest!

It’s tough in here too,

let’s just do our best.