Sunday, 11 October 2009

(September poem)

---Driven, on impulse---

A burning, an itching
a driving, a compulsion
in my bones;
a thirst,
a twisting of the lights
and of the tones.
& I've got to get it down,
get it down before it's flown,
this impulse that is telling me to get

a certain hold. A thought
that twitches as it ferrets
through my mind;
a vision,
a symphony so bright it leaves me blind.
But it's burning to get out,
to get out
and leave behind
the restraining order that's been placed upon it

in my head, it's pounding,
it's throbbing, begs my soul
to set it free
of thinking, of echoes,
all this troubled poetry -
set it down in black and white
as I write
into a prison
on a page that's been constructed to hold my insanity.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

One for Kat

---For your birthday---

I wanted this to be the best poem ever,
one with lines that held tight like friendship bonds (never sever),
endeavour to create something out of this world,
something one in a million, from my mind unfurled.
Astounding rhymes, pure sweetness curled
On the tip of my tongue, waiting to amaze you.

But

Each time I tried to write, nothing would come,
like somehow my huge intent had struck me dumb.
Anticipated pride led to fall, my mind numb,
scrabbling for those perfect lines, just searching for some
tiny thing worth holding out to you to say
‘happy birthday’.

So time ticked on, and I struggled in vain,
wrote a load of old rubbish again and again til
the whole world around me was feeling my pain
(or rather, the horror of each awful refrain!)
and begged me to stop torturing it, and my brain
with this trash – so, I did.

I hadn’t thought about it for a few weeks, and then tonight
for some reason as I’m about to go to bed, and turn off the main light
with some rooibos and vanilla, and some gingerbread just right
to delight my tongue,
I felt something in my head turn from dead to ignite.

The words started flowing, and well, I guess you can see
what came about – basically, this random story
of this poem and all it aspired to be.
I was only going for a few lines but, hey, you know me!
And you see, you were right when you told me to note
your advice – so simple – I learnt it by rote:
(and now, with artistic licence, I’ll quote)
“Whatever the mishap, any wrong step you take;
however bad the day, or how big the mistake;
no matter how much that boy turned out to be fake! –
it’ll all be ok, just as long as there’s tea and there’s cake”