The Pastoral Symphony

I came home from the Albert Hall
on clouds of music that delighted me,
the first time I’d heard a symphony.

Mum, I said, you have to hear this music.
But it’s so hackneyed, dear, she replied.
Not to me, I grumbled and sighed.

The ears of a child hear what’s really there
and rejoice in the ever-new.
I’m old now, and that is what I try to do.

 

A true story.  RedWolf Poems says: Much of the reward in speaking, reading and writing comes from breaking open a world never seen before in a new light.  Hold this thought and write about it.

Posted in rhyming poetry | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Thoughts on a Publishing Revolution

 

I am reading The Novel, a fictional book written by James Michener in 1990 about a writer and the publication of his novel, written at a time when his typed or word-processed words were put on to a floppy disk to be sent to the publisher, who would mark up the typesetting and printing instructions and send the floppy disk to the printer who would translate the floppy disk onto his printing machine to do the rest.  The result was a book – paper, ink and either hard or soft cover.  Those were the options then.

A story and some articles I wrote in the late 90’s were sent on floppy disk to the magazine which had accepted paper versions of them, and they eventually appeared in the magazines.

But the writing was already on the wall.  Michener wrote in his novel, prescient at the time, but vieux jeu now:

“If the essence of my manuscript resides in the electrical impulses on that floppy
disk, the narrative could be lifted off and distributed in almost any form that has been devised.  Indeed, the time may come, and very soon, when there will be no necessity to bother with the intermediate form of a book; the material on the original floppy disk might leapfrog in some mysterious way right into the home
of the intended reader.  No writer in 1990 can visualise what form his or her book might take by the end of this century.”

It took only a very few short years before his prognostication became reality, and a writer submitted his words as an email attachment, very often in the typeface and layout of his choice.  Published in tangible form, on paper, or whizzed through the ether straight to an electronic device, be it computer, tablet, or e-reader.

A truly rapid revolution has enabled many writers to bypass the whole
publishing process and, by DIY, bring their work straight to the reader – directly or via the intermediate stage of paper and ink and booksellers real and electronic.

When I was studying creative writing in the early years of the century, a study buddy Harry Nicholson was writing a historical novel, sharing it via a private internet forum with a small group of fellow-students.  We batted ideas, questions and suggestions back and forth daily, proofread each chapter as it came to us courtesy of the communications explosion.

When, in 2011, the parcel arrived here in France containing a pristine paper copy of Tom Fleck, the thrill was intense.  It had seemed like a long process at the time, but it was nothing like as long as it would have been using traditional publishing methods.  And now Tom Fleck is available on my e-reader, a truly remarkable transformation which my grandchildren take for granted, but this book-lover and poet is eternally grateful.

This rambling post was sparked by a discussion at the dVerse Poet’s Pub about what we are reading.

Posted in prose | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Orange Wordle 174

 

I want to hold a candle to myself,
to the demimonde of poetry,
transgress the rules of the asylum,
rites of rhyme and rhythm scuppered,
banish the gray of the suicide poets -
I don’t want to be wombing and entrailing all over the place,
as Germaine Greer said of Anne Sexton -
their words spat out in impossible-to-live-with-nesss.
I will rejoice in the gaiety of the reggae poets,
rebel with the beat poets,
celebrate the grandeur of words reborn
with the colours of Africa
and the beat of Jamaica,
make words dance.

A splendid hour-long BBC4 programme last night, Great Poets in Their Own Words – was the inspiration for my wordle poem this week.  You can find other interpretations of the words here

Posted in ekphrastic poetry, free verse | Tagged , | 16 Comments

fears-phobias-and-foibles

 

A mass of little fears, but nothing serious -
I like spiders and revel in the height of an acropolis
love people –most days I’m quite gregarious
can empathise with others’ fears, vicarious-
ly shiver with terror at phobias multifarious
quake in my shoes at foibles mysterious
recounted to me creepily in tones hilarious
but
running out of rhymes for -ious
could be my phobia, my nemesis,
would leave me weeping,  ignominious.

Written for Poetic Bloomings

Posted in nonsense poems, rhyming poetry | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

6 word saturday

Clear blue sky
family coming
good

I learned a new poetic form this week called a hainaku which consists of
three lines,  three, two and one words.  Perfect for 6-w-S

My oldest nephew and his wife arrive today for a week in a nearby gite, and his sister and her family  are coming on Sunday.  It’s a good job les gars (the chaps) are back after holidays so the village bistrot will be open.  It’s sad, but I can’t cope nowadays with cooking for more than the two of us.  Once upon a time I liked nothing better than a houseful of people.

Jock is restoring an ancient bike, and after 48 hours of WD40 and tinkering
he may be setting off who knows where, looking like this:
Jock ready to bike     jock reading the instructions 14.8.14
 ……..  Ominous: he’s reading the instructions!

Posted in Jock's projects, life writing | Tagged | 11 Comments

Weird WordPress

The new arrangement for posting is weird:  I had prepared my post this morning and pressed Publish when the internet went down.  The poem had disappeared when I could go online again, with no “draft” that I could find on the new system, so I laboriously  put the post together again,
Now both are published, and the comments are split.  Does anyone know of a way to amalgamate them?

Posted in Wordpress gripes | 9 Comments

My heart beat is … for dVerse, Your Own Beat

My Heart Beat is …

irregular, which causes some concern
hence came my first bionic implants,
springs to keep the plumbing free.
Alas the syncopation turned
into a slow rubato, with a spondee
anapest or worse, full stop.

More electronic gadgetry’s
inserted in my chest and wired
with cunning to kindle activity.
And now two new contraptions come
to bring dynamics to the party
with sound effects of clarity

Fortissimo, pianissimo,
of music sweet or hearty
Percussive beat can now be heard
though I’m not sure I want to.
I jest, because I’m quite content
to find the beat goes on.

 

At  dVerse  they are talking about beat in all its guises, which caused me to jot a list of relevant words:  Rhythm, beat, frequency, regularity or syncopation, caesura or smooth legato. The mood of smooth iambics or anapest, dactyl or spondee.  Someone commented on my comment  about my new hearing aids “You can hear the ants cough” which got me writing.  The poem is mostly in iambic tetrameter, with the stresses in bold type.  Now I can go and read what the others have done.

 

 

 

 

Posted in formal poetry, life writing | 23 Comments

My heart beat is …

 

My Heart Beat is …

irregular, which causes some concern
hence came my first bionic implants,
springs to keep the plumbing free.
Alas the syncopation turned
into a slow rubato, with a spondee
anapest or worse, full stop.

More electronic gadgetry’s
inserted in my chest and wired
with cunning to kindle activity.
And now two new contraptions come
to bring dynamics to the party
with sound effects of clarity

Fortissimo, pianissimo,
of music sweet or hearty
Percussive beat can now be heard
though I’m not sure I want to.
I jest, because I’m quite content
to find the beat goes on.

For dVerse, where they are writing about “beat” in all its manifestations, which caused me to jot down a few thoughts on the subject:  Rhythm, beat, frequency, regularity or syncopation, caesura or smooth legato. The mood of smooth iambics or anapest, dactyl or spondee.  

Someone commented on my comment which mentioned new hearig aids, that “you can hear the ants cough.”  This took me beating to my own beat, hence this poem in (mostly) iambic tetrameter.  The stresses are in bold type.

 

 

 

 

Posted in formal poetry, life writing, longer poems, story poems | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Exodus for We Wordle 24

Sturdy frayed wings open
flap, flay the air,
rise uncertainly,
legs dangling,
the fledgling is off.

Over the glassy water
she soars briefly,
hesitates doubtfully.
Nest mislaid, she turns,
floats on a cushion of air,
until she finds a landmark,
Assylum, she swoops low,
touches down clumsily
to rejoin her sisters.

Each in turn
learns the skills of flight
and fishing,
with meticulous drill,
each day stronger
until the magnet pull
southwards is irresistible,
the miles call,
the pendulum of life swings.
The ospreys are gone

For Red Wolf Poems.  I used 18 of the words.  I was anticipating a bit, and the babies haven’t yet gone. You can find this year’s highly successful story of the Kielder ospreys, with wonderful nestcam photos and videos here

Posted in nature poems, wordles | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Homecoming

Homecoming Haynaku

Relief
Shoes off
Cup of tea

or

Home

That’s a nice little house,
shall we buy it?
says Jock every time
as we round the bend
and spy it. 

 Abrah at dVerse wants a homecoming poem.  I wrote a long spiel last night about coming home to France after two years in Seychelles, but wasn’t pleased with it, so left it unposted for another look in the light of day.  I hit the delete button the moment I read it again this morning!  
Hence these two little ones written in minutes!

Posted in life writing, short poetry | 14 Comments

Caprice

 

Ephemeral benison
the morning light
paints the top of the maize field
turns it from banal green
to bright shiny gold
as the great sky soars
The sky moves again
the magic is dulled
in an instant.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Posted in free verse, short poetry | Tagged | 2 Comments

Bleary-eyed Wordle 173

Woken by the sound of water
falling straight from sky to eye,
I sigh.
Parts of me want to burrow
under duvet
there to lie.
No -
life is out there, wet or not.
So
the only way is
to go
along the lane
around the bend,
climb the hill
to the east
towards the limit
of the known world
to see
what I can see.

 

Do go and see what others have done with these weird words, here

 

Posted in nonsense poems, Poems, wordles | 23 Comments

6-word-saturday

flower tub

It’s been a funny old week

of weather:  our friend’s 70th birthday party last Sunday was blessed with a glorious sunny day for the lively and eclectic mixture of family and friends from Britain, France, the US and Canada.  The food was wonderful and the Seriously Sinful Chocolate Cake went down well. Since then we’ve had some serious rain, hot sunshine and showers.  The tail end of hurricane Bertha is due to hit us tomorrow, somewhat tamed by its long crossing of the Atlantic.

World news gets ever more horrendous.  Why would Obama think that an air strike will “prevent genocide” in Gaza?  More killing to stop killing?  I don’t think so.  Can nothing be done to bring peace?

Posted in life writing, politics | Tagged | 21 Comments

Original Childhood

Because I’m already on my second or third.  Red Wolf Poems  asks us for a bit of time travel:  in a poem, embrace and share a snippet of the child you were.

The Biter Bit

A sturdy small girl
stomps down the garden in a paddy
to jump with aplomb into the dinghy.
Rocking wildly she picks up an oar
to propel the boat upstream
by paddling over the stern,
her fluid strokes expert,
outrace the chase by angry parent,
She steers skilfully,
leans across the current towards open terrain
on the far side of the river.  Escape. Freedom.

Countless small creatures scent blood,
descend on tender skin for a meal.
Hot itching inflames her temper,
fuels an about turn in search of respite,
calamine lotion and a soothing  touch
from mother, jovial now the wanderer’s returned.

Posted in free verse, life writing, short poetry | Tagged | 6 Comments

I Think

The poets’ pub is going minimalist today, fewer than 40 words.  I’ve written many ultra-short poems – a piku is probably the smallest, (3 lines, 3, 1, 4  syllables) eg 

Chivalry
is
a dying art

feminism
did
it no service

OR

Just for the
hell
of it – Yippee!

but in case those are too short, here’s one of  38 words.

I Think

Beyond the beyond
of  rational thought
lies a land of imagination;
exotic, poetic, quixotic,
a place for celebration.

Beyond the beyond
of the daily round,
change brings  revelation,
worlds untasted,
challenge untested,
no chance wasted
for creative elation.

Posted in short poetry | Tagged | 26 Comments