Music and Dancing

It’s day 10 and the final day of the Introduction to Poetry course –  it’s the Sonnet. This has been a bumpy ride as I’ve been tired (ok, hungover) after my party and had my first case of writers block since I began writing in August. I usually pride myself in managing to put something together but I just couldn’t think of anything decent to write. Perhaps I got hung up on the pressure? It’s a sonnet after all – a scary sonnet!  In the end I wrote two and neither of which I’m proud of. I have to move forward though or I fear I’ll just lose confidence and fall flat. Here is more information on the course. They both use three stanzas of 4, then a rhyming couplet at the end – 4442.

Music and Dancing

Music and dancing and friendships on fire.

Cute lusty lovers with bright futures ahead.

Big foreign holidays, lives to admire –

nothing was better than twice buttered bread.

 

Music was halted and friends stopped their dancing.

Death came a knocking and work stole the sleep.

Cash stopped flowing and illness advancing –

nothing’s more spoiled than things that don’t keep.

 

Doctors appointments and long hospital stays.

Sick days that spread out to weeks and then more.

Tired and grieving and used to these ways –

nothing’s more weary than drifting from shore.

 

When the biting hurts, when the dancing stops, when we’re out of hope;

we remember the luck has run out, and all we can do is cope.

 

Am I Enough?

I am enough for you?

Do you want me to stay?

Will we stick like glue,

‘til we’re old and grey?

 

Will you still touch my skin

when my looks start to fade?

If I’m no longer be thin –

Should I hide in the shade?

 

Mind may start to wander,

might forget who you are.

Will you grow less fonder,

and watch from afar?

 

You always remind me our ties won’t sever –

you’ll be sticking like glue to me forever.

We Should Talk About Ann

It’s day 9 of the Introduction to Poetry Course and the subject is the apostrophe. This is a poem addressed to another person or object. It doesn’t have to be addressing the person throughout the whole poem, and I’ve decided just to address the people at the end.  It’s been a push to get this in. I’m running around trying to make Halloween Decorations and outfits and planning for a party of 110 on Saturday. Ok, it’s for around 25 – but that’s a lot!

In between making spiders and sewing denims into Marty McFly puffer vests; my mum came for a visit. Her blood pressure is high. She feels sad for my great aunt who has no one to care for her, but she’s being landed on my mum. I remember my mother telling me that she never had spare time when myself and brother were young because she was caring for older relatives. She’s in her late 60’s and feels like it’s happening again.  Although upset for my great aunt who will be left with no one else for months; my mum feels her health is suffering and she’s angry at my aunts sons expecting her to do it. My aunt also told them that my mother will be her carer!

Here is a poem I wrote after our conversation.  It includes apostrophe at the end.  It’s not particularly sophisticated or clever. I wrote it in between a depressed mum visit and frantic Halloween planning! I’m worried about my frail great Aunt and my mum though. My mother says “Don’t be kind. People take kindness for stupidity.” She has the kindest heart of anyone I know and yet she’s jaded and resentful. She also said that the problem is that people live too long these days. It’s an awful thing to say and I think she’s referring to the 4 sons who find their mother too big of a burden.

It’s changed days though. Families are scattered and not living close like before. People ARE living longer and usually when they need the care, it’s when the child may have grandchildren of their own and they might not be feeling as sprightly themselves. 60’s is a tough time!

I put her in a shower,

strip the filthy bed.

Ann’s forgotten how to cook,

She’s all mixed in the head.

 

3 sons in Australia

4th is on his way.

He forgot to pack his mum –

but has to go and play.

 

I re-cleaned filthy dishes,

got Ann’s shopping in.

Scrubbed her soiled knickers

took out bursting bin.

 

No one bothers coming –

I’m the only one who can.

I nursed Ann’s dying mother

This never was my plan.

 

Orphaned as a baby

Ann’s mum cared for me.

As she aged, the roles reversed –

was no longer care-free.

 

Ann had 5 siblings –

they had no time for mum.

Now history ‘s repeating –

look what Ann’s become.

 

I’m getting older

blood pressure in the sky.

I’m stuck here washing knickers

and I wonder why?

Why am I expected

to have these working hands?

I served my shift at caring –

when the turn was Anns!

You men are like your mother,

Ignoring those in need.

But you’ve got me, the soft touch

to tend to every need!

 

 

Got to End

Another poem using Anaphora, the task for Day 8 of the Introduction to Poetry course. This one is in response to the daily prompt ‘banned’.

 

She needs to rein it in;

got to end.

Soon –

got cash,

wants to spend.

 

She needs to try her best;

got to end.

Girls got plans.

Wasted –

it’s the weekend.

 

She needs to cut it down;

got to end.

Sailing solo

adrift –

must not descend.

 

She needs to try and stop;

got to end.

Jittery.

Mind games,

round and round the bend.

 

She needs to terminate;

got to end.

Drunk again.

Blanket ban.

Money drain.

Broke another friend.

 

She needs to rein it in;

got to end.

Soon.

Got cash,

wants to spend.

 

 And so it goes on and on.

Pulling out Weeds

 

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Day 8 of the Introduction to Poetry course looks at Anaphora and Epistrophe. These are repetitive words or phrases used at the beginning or end of multiple lines of verse in the same poem. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s I have a dream speech is a good example of Anaphora. Epistrophe is the same idea, but repetition is at the end.  For my poem, I used Anaphora:

Pulling out Weeds

He’s not controlling –

just wants everything neat.

No problem really;

like me needing tea sweet.

 

He’s not controlling –

misses me when I’m out.

No problem really;

Like the thirsty through drought.

 

He’s not controlling –

needs quiet and airy.

No problem really;

like a nice library.

 

He’s not controlling –

just needs dinner at six.

No problem really;

like an addict needs fix.

 

He’s not controlling –

he just wants and he needs.

No problem really;

like me pulling out weeds.

 

He’s not controlling –

well he says he is not.

No problem really;

got to give it a shot.

My two closest friends married men like this and fortunately got out. This seems one sided, but I know a few controlling women too.

I missed out day 7 of the course which was the ‘found’ poetry task.  It’s not that I couldn’t do it – I didn’t want to read others’ work and then deface it.  I felt that to do someone else’s work justice, I’d need to spend a lot of time on it and I don’t have time at the moment. This pains me. Years ago I was classed as a ‘Completer Finisher’ in the team role Belbin Analysis.  I was disappointed at the time as it looked like I was most suitable for jobs in data entry or mushroom picking*; but at least I completed things. Think I’d have a different result now. Look, I’m rebelling – skipping out tasks and everything.

I have been a mushroom picker. I lasted a day and if they had paid me by weight like they were supposed to, I’d have earned 28p for my 7 hours work!

Solution

Introduction to Poetry: Day 6 – Enjambment

This is used when a grammatical sentence stretches from one line of verse to the next. You don’t put a full stop at the end of a line. I don’t always have full stops at the end of my lines; I also use commas, semi-colons or dashes in there. It was confusing as to whether I was supposed to offer an element of surprise on each new line? If not, then why is it a thing anyway? I  I felt out of my depth with enjambment, but it was worthwhile to give it a try. For more information on the intro to poetry course, follow this link. I used the daily word prompt ‘tiny’ in the second poem.

Solution

His burning fury and sharp

tongue pierced through

her body; leaving a

battered heart and ailing

mind. She settled

them in the only way

she could. A quick

prick soothed her heart

and kept terrors

at bay. Her way

to outsmart

demons.

 

 

Taking Turns

Skin soft as

butter. Silky hair

asking to be

stroked. Tiny

baby curled in a

ball, passed between

the pair. It was

her turn. Arms

outstretched, she smiled

like a clown. She liked

clowns more. Didn’t want

to drop it like a

juggling ball. When

will this

end?

 

 

 

 

Helen’s Night Out

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Introduction to Poetry: Day 5 – Limerick with Keyword ‘Imperfect’.

Most people have heard of Limericks; they’re typically Irish sing song cheery childish poems. They are five lines long with a rhyming scheme of aabba, with the third and fourth lines being the shortest. I was tasked to include ‘imperfect’ in the poem and I could write one limerick or more to create a narrative. I opted for four and decided against cheery narrative. I had never written a limerick before because I worried that my poetry was already rhyming and childish and wanted to avoid a pantomime. Did enjoy writing this though, it was fun! More information on the Introduction to poetry course here.

 Helen’s Night Out

Helen feels dejected –

imperfect and disconnected.

Her life is so dull

without any thrill;

friends’ visit was not expected.

 

Helen lets out a sigh;

friends ask her out  but she’s shy.

But then she says yes,

puts on her red dress –

a bottle of courage she’ll buy.

 

Helen is out of control –

needs more drink to be life and soul.

She’s over the top,

friends want her to stop –

she’s drunk and a total asshole.

 

Helen can’t be contained –

friends turn away not entertained.

She meets a new guy

gets coat and says bye;

cause of death was never explained.

 

 

Wading Through the Mud

 

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Introduction to Poetry: Day 4 – Simile including the theme of journey

 

Another day, another Introduction to Poetry task. This one was enjoyable. I just had to describe something to be like another thing usually not related.  For more information see this Introduction to Poetry ink.

 

Niggles, nagging doubt

Numbness needing checked out

Needles pricking much too often

Like the nails in the coffin

 

Nurses naming drugs

Not to be around the bugs

Navigating paths before him

Hoping journey’s not too grim

 

Nourishment neglected

Nausea is expected

He can’t nip this in the bud

It’s like wading through the mud

  

Nominated friend

Noticed he’s nearing end

Treatment crumbles with defeat

Like a military retreat

 

I wrote this depressing little poem in a beautiful ancient country castle hotel library, whilst my husband drove fast cars and hotel guests arranged their weddings. Life just happens around us despite what some may going through.