The Old House Looks Small

Well, it’s been some time since I’ve visited this all-but-defunct blog, despite gentle encouragement from C.C.  However, I was inspired to add a new page because of my excitement leading up to the launch of Deadly Beautiful on November 5th.  And in particular the poem I found on the ISBN website, where the wordstorm of common terms produced almost exclusively animals.  (It’s formatting disappeared in cut and paste, so I have attempted to link with the original page instead.)  I once read a David Lodge literary satire in which a novelist acquired a bad case of writer’s block when it was pointed out that the most frequently used term in his work was the word ‘greasy’.  Glad I escaped a similar fate.

Every so often someone requesting a single poem trips some internal switch and I end up writing more.  It happened with ‘hope’ and the poems for 6B.  Most recently, the requester and I engaged in a high risk venture: for her part asking for a haiku on the topic of ‘first impressions of me’; and for my part – writing not just the haiku, but a limerick and short lyric in order to capture the range of my responses.  So many ‘first impressions’ in a 15 minute meeting.  Lucky they were favourable  (otherwise I might have had to restrict myself to a cryptic haiku).  And lucky, too, our meeting wasn’t any longer, or I’d have ended up writing a whole verse novel!  Now, I’m interested to hear her responses to the poems . . . and yours, also.  See Carbon Project poems numbers 31, 32, 33.


A very patient person has been waiting some weeks for poem number 17.  The topic was visionary – a caring and inclusive community.  My challenge was to evoke such a place by bringing the abstract down to particular earth, lest I sound like a pamphleteer or propagandist rather than a poet.  It’s been worth the struggle, and I’m glad because this ‘Carbon Project’ poem is a hybrid that also fits nicely into the Ghost Town theme.

. . . nonetheless I stagger on!  Given the topic request ‘running away to the country’ I was struck by how often people have that particular dream – and began wondering about who does – and who does not – go. Then my reflections meandered off on the theme of other lifelong hopes and in response I conjured ‘The Spell’.  Tell me your thoughts,  my mariners  afloat with me on this wine-dark sea. (It’s number 21 so you’ll have to scroll for the scroll!)

who wouldn’t be when asked to pen a poem on hope?  Still, hoping for the best, I’ve penned three haiku on the topic.

Limp(ett)ing along

I started to think it was just me, and that the algorithm of my personal energy was perniciously hacked into my computer system:  both offline.  Then I remembered Jung and the revenge of the inaminate when he stayed away from Bollingen too long.  Meanwhile, there are small signs of returning life, and creatures are featuring in two of the latest three Carbon Project Poems.

That damn belle dame Time has been having her way with me of late.   Too many calls on my consciousness temporarilly killed the poetic connection.  Involuntary offline at home makes for a  matched set in Ah-El –  ‘Gone dark’ in all domains.  On a recovery mission to complete as many unfinished tasks as possible.   I contemplate Lao Tzu:  ‘Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished’.   Apologies to those awaiting poems.

Post partum poet

Metaphorically speaking, of course.  I may have hailed cæsura, but life and death have a way of rolling on regardless.  The monastery retreat was brief but powerful.  The first morning wrote a poem on the theme of ‘grace’, as requested.  Went to sleep after lunch, was sucked into a vortex of dreams, until somewhere a door banged.  At that point, I slipped sideways through another door of consciousness and in this hypnogogic state more of the poem started writing itself, so to speak.  And no I was not channeling Coleridge, and nor had I ingested anything stronger than a single glass of the monks’ cask rosé.  Not my usual modus operandi, but I’m open to it all.   The experience did leave me a little psychically post partum, but I often find strange energy currents whirl around Easter time, regardless of whether or not one is engaged with any particular kind of faith.

Hail Cæsura!

(Have recently been in close contact with a Pun Queen – must be contagious.)  At any rate, it did hail late this afternoon – great golf balls of ice from the sky.  And there definitely needs to be a pause: poetic production has slowed to a trickle in the treacly heat that preceded the storm (only a few small offerings added to the poems page).  Saturday will not find me at my usual Café table.  Instead I will be voluntarily immured in a nearby monastery with creative companions of choice for a much-needed weekend retreat.

In the very old-fashioned story books I read as a child, there would sometimes be a ‘letter box’ in a tree or under a hedge for secret messages to pass back and forth.  I found (find) this an immensely appealing idea.  When I go to the Café after an absence of a few days and there are stickers on poems, old and new, it’s like a missive in a magic letterbox.  I don’t know who has placed the sticker there, but I know we have communicated.  It’s this romantic-tangential aspect of  ‘voting’ that appeals to me, rather than some kind of absurdest attempt at ‘ranking’.  No compulsory voting here – what would my anarchists mates say?  The invitation to vote is really a thinly-disguised invitation to read and respond in whatever way suits the reader.