Where Are The Rats To Race

Keyboards lie on sanitised desks – untapped

Chairs unspun, un-sat upon

Desks un-leant upon

Carpet pile untrodden

Blinds frozen in stasis

Printers silent

Photocopiers still

Scanners lidded

Drawers unopened

Ink and gossip dried up

Chatter a mere memory

Celebrations unmarked

Frustrations unheard

No banter

No politics

No coercion

No persuasion

No orders

No edicts

No KPIs

No targets

No graphs

No trackers

No visits planned

No meetings booked

No greetings

No snide looks

No passing in the corridor

No coffee shop chat

Lift doors unopened

Car doors without chips

Carpark without cars

The sun rises and sets

Shadows cast unwitnessed

Rush hour slow

Abandoned roads

Traffic lights flicker

No drivers to heed

Where are the rats to race?

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

Don’t Make Me Go Back

Almost back on track with Napowrimo, Day 17 – a sequence poem

 

 

Don’t Make Me Go Back

 

I

 

A smooth soft wrist, warm to the touch

with a healthy pulse, smiles back at me

it hasn’t seen a watch in 3 weeks.

 

II

 

I’m late!

For what?

Nothing

 

III

 

A 6am alarm triggers rocketing blood pressure

Lobotomised drivers with hollowed faces and deadened eyes

commute on the 9-5 M60

a cacophony of sirens and horns their weird theme tune.

A 6pm return of my fractured shadow

 

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.

 

Dream Home

Napowrimo Day 4 – Write about a dream

 

It started with a dream

of a home in the forest

with a ceiling of stars

of a life non-conformist

 

I climbed a great oak

there I laid the first planks

made a bed in the boughs

with moonbeams for a lamp

 

I drank from the waterfall

I ate berries from the bush

I forgot about the city

its pollution and the crush

 

Time evaporated into air

joy took its place

I was living without a care

I lived at my own pace

 

Wild roses were my perfume

small animals my friends

birds serenaded daily

leaving my soul fully cleansed

 

My pulse did not race

my arteries didn’t harden

I was healthy, I was happy

In my rustic home and garden

By Gum!

Day 3 of Napowrimo – use rhyming words

 

My resolve I now need to harden
Got the look from my prison warden
Was summoned to tackle the garden
The weeds she sees cannot be pardoned

Before this beautiful day closes
She kindly, thoughtfully proposes
I should prune and cut back the roses
Their fragrance will once more thrill noses
So I’ll summon my strength and amass
The inner strength to mow the long grass
Perhaps I may scrape by on a pass
Though the neighbours compete and outclass
Kneeling weary on two creaky knees
Carpe Diem! This day I will seize
Though I huff and I puff and I wheeze
I’m determined to win by degrees
Such joy now the long winter is done
Mopping my brow I turn to the sun
Need a massage and bath but By Gum!
I came, conquered, I weeded, I won!

The Fickle Hypocrite

It’s Day 30, the final day of Napowrimo, 30 poems in 30 days. I may have let a few slip, I was busy living so I have experiences to write about. I’ve enjoyed the challenge and I’ve hated the challenge, I’ve found it easy, I’ve found it difficult. The objective of writing every day has been achieved and I feel better for it. My grey matter has been exercised and stretched.

In true hypocritical and fickle style, after two days of ranting and protesting about form, I’ve attempted a Haiku. No doubt the purist academics will point out where I tried and missed, (the last line may be a scandalous 6 syllables?) but that’s never stopped me doing what I want. I’ve also written the same poem in my “unclassical” way. The prompt; “a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion.”  (and yes I told a story because I am a storyteller)

I Dream of Devon (Rickety Haiku)

 

Steam train whistle blows

Sea breeze, tugging kite, baked sand

Rockpool discovery.

 

I Dream of Devon (My Way)

 

Steam train whistle

Sea breeze

Tugging kite

Baked sand

Cool drink

Rockpool discovery

Melting Ice cream

Carefree laughter

Salty kisses

Devon

 

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

The Silent Protest; Procrastination

The Silent Protest; Procrastination

 

Apparently low self-esteem is the cause

that darn inner chimp’s at it again.

I don’t feel worthy or up to the task

when it’s overwhelming, too much of an ask

so I distract my feeble brain.

 

tidy

I choose to re-arrange, to sort, to file,

to categorise, to wash, dry and fold

to put off the job I’m loathe to do

(you may even find me cleaning the loo!)

whilst the larger task stays on hold

 

I beat myself up, notice I’m hiding away

from a deadline that’s looming larger each day

my brain is prioritising short term wins

an alphabetised spice rack and emptied bins

as I wash the pots and put away.

 

The answer: to forgive myself, releasing pent up emotion

the specialists say the result will be

facing the future optimistically

being the best I can possibly be

propulsion into forward motion

 

Another tactic is a sideways manoeuvre

sneaking up when my cranium’s not looking:

To ponder and pontificate on the what would be

Ask myself quite casually

“What would my next move actually be

if I were to start this project, of course hypothetically

because I’m not actually going to do it, silly”

 

Psychologists at a University in Ohio

formed a Procrastination Research Group

They delved and discovered this theory, this truth

Of taking oneself out of the no-go loop

Of getting on and doing what is needed to do.

 

Did they quickly arrive at this conclusion?

or did it take them a while?

I wonder how tidy their shelves are,

if their papers are chronologically filed?

(I’d like to see if their rest room gleams)

I ask with a sceptical wry smile.

 

Day 17 of Napowrimo- I completely missed out Day 16 (I love my kids more than poetry. Sorry! ) and now I have gone off piste with this one…. but it’s apt. Procrastination, my favourite past time.

Simple Pleasure

Simple Pleasure

 

A rose garden alive with soothing humming bees

fragrance so intoxicating it brings me to my knees

a parasol to cool my brow whilst playful toes peep

at blazing golden rays from above, whilst I submit to sleep.

rose garden

 

I dropped the ball for Napowrimo on Day 7, writing a poem about what you would wish for…. so here it is, better late than never. Hopefully….