Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Sign of the times

Significant age milestone approaches so here I am (above), in 1970, having the kind of crazy fun we had in the 1970s. Beach is somewhere in North East England... it could be Scarborough, Redcar, Filey... it doesn't say. I was 3. It says 'September' on the back.

As part of grand ageing I promised myself I would put out a little pamphlet of poems this year. My last publication was 2008 so I if I am serious about this it's probably time to be getting on with something. I don't do a lot of inspirational quoting but here is something from Jeanette Winterson's very marvellous "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?" (possibly best memoir ever...):

"I am an ambitious writer  I don't see the point of being anything; no, not anything at all, if you have no ambition for it."

The poem below is from a few years back and I come and go with it... is it cheesy (a cardinal sin in poetry world...), do most 'proper' poetry folk think my poems are off the scale anyway so what does that matter, have I got too many 'I' poems already (another sin), am I just a sinner (answer, well, yes, undeniably, out of choice for the main part), do I want to write like anyone else? Anyway, here it is. What shall I do with it..?

A rainbow state of mind

It's just another image,
Me up on a cliff edge.
Can you see me – look harder,
I'm doing something absurd.

I'm on my tippest toes,
My whole being straining
Like I'm taller and daring,
Arms reaching, quite mad.

There are colours above me
And I'm trying to grasp them,
To grab hold of a rainbow,
That is my task in hand.

Its arch seems so solid,
The prettiest concrete,
I'm mocked by a playground
And we all love to play.

I stretch for the edges,
My muscles complaining,
The prize looks so perfect,
The true swing of swings.

And though I know it's unlikely
I'll feel satisfaction,
My eyes still burn upwards,
My touch flies sky high.

RF 2010


Marion McCready said...

I very much like this, I could immediately visualise reading it with illustrations in a childrens poetry book. I think children's poetry is a much more lucrative market!!

Rachel Fox said...

It's not intended to be for children though... so maybe it needs to be part of a different book! Or maybe if I put it in the pamphlet someone else might find it and put it in a children's anthology or something. Maybe...
Thanks for reading, Marion. Exciting times for you with new book coming!

The Bug said...

I like this part especially:

And though I know it's unlikely
I'll feel satisfaction,
My eyes still burn upwards,
My touch flies sky high.

I'm the kind of person who often doesn't bother with things that I know won't really turn out the way I want - but then how do you learn & grow? In a small way I'm trying to do that with yarn. I know my project won't look like the picture, but in the trying I learn something new. And use new muscles!

Rachel Fox said...

Yarn is such a great word and, as I'm no knitter (or crocheter...), to me its first meaning is the long and rambling story!

Niamh B said...

I can see where Marion is coming from, the poem is so immediate, and simply told, so that anyone can relate...

Tis full of joy as well. I like it alot.

Rachel Fox said...

I did post it back on a Poetry Bus online outing (years ago now of course)... but I've never been sure about it (and I tweaked it a lot over quite a long time). Maybe it's time is now...

Marion McCready said...

yes, full of joy and immediate - that's what I got out of it. and of course for adults too but I'll definitely read it to my kids because they'd love it!

thank you - I'm super excited about the new book :) x