It seems to me I’m stupid, dim witted, dozy, daft
As age begins to rob me of the essence of my craft.
The gift I have of language, developed over years
Is gradually eroding, one of my greatest fears.
I try in vain to capture, and use, the perfect word
But similes escape me, fly, like a mocking bird.
A river of my best ideas flows gently out to sea
A metaphor for loss that shows what’s happening to me.
No longer with the freedom to choose, invent and write
Vocabulary fading, my mind losing the fight
To cling on to my memory, to produce and create
A work that is commended, but I fear it is too late.
I had a challenge from the man in the mobile library when I was bemoaning the fact that rhyming poetry was unfashionable. ” No-one writes rhyming verse any more,” I said and then discovered at least two authors who are doing it successfully. He replied, ” Nobody has written a poem about a mobile library,” How could I resist?
You don’t need a flying carpet or a ship that sails the sea
For every kind of magic’s in the Mobile Library.
Let your imagination feed on tales from yesterday
Or solve a crime or find a love to wash your cares away.
You’d like a book with big, bold print? There’s plenty here to take
And picture books and paperbacks a thirst for knowledge slake.
Or in the Land of Might have Been, when you’ve a book to try
Give your imagination wings and, as a wordbird, fly.
I often claim I’m not afraid of anything that Nature made.
I let the little bees buzz by; I gently brush away each fly.
I watch the wasp approach the jam and quickly cover, while I can.
The dustpan’s great for the wood louse – I rather like the tiny mouse!
But pity me, and do not laugh – I’m scared of spiders in the bath!
Sweet September starts my year as Summer’s blossoms fade away
Long, lazy days come to an end and work replaces holiday.
Autumn is time to start anew, to see the year with eager eyes
To learn, to change, prepare to share the future’s festival of surprise.
October’s when we start to climb to chilly Winter’s highest peak;
Three months of fire and feast and fun give us the energy we seek.
Another year, with new resolve – we pause, then slide down Winter’s slope
Forgetting when the seeds were sown for Spring’s fresh meadowland of hope.
I decided not to enter the competition but post it here, instead.)
As I am not writing a novel at present I thought I might try some competitions. The one in the Writing Magazine looked promising. We needed to write an autumn poem that didn’t seem hackneyed ( No mists and mellow fruitfulness) When I was a schoolteacher we used to ask the children to think of lots of words that reminded them of autumn and then turn them into a poem. Naturally we had loads of red and golden leaves, along with bonfire night and getting ready for Christmas.
I looked at the winning poems in other competitions and found that free verse, without rhyme, usually won first prize. OK – I thought, I’ll try that. So I did and the fourth line rhymed with the second line in spite of my efforts. What should I do – write in sentences and then split them into phrases or give up and write the kind of verse I usually compose? I forced myself not to use rhyming couplets.
Serious poets would only sneer.
If I don’t enter the competition
I’ll post it somewhere here.
At last I’ve discovered the time
To snap what should go with my rhyme
I know it’s too late
And we’ll have to wait
‘Till the bird ventures back, but that’s fine!
Oh, chubby wood pigeon, you fill me with glee as I watch you, alone, on the big elder tree.
Its berries are ripe and its branches hang down, yet they bend when you balance, you are such a clown!
Your weight is too heavy for each fruiting branch, your wings stretch out wide like an exotic dance,
But you wobble and rock as the twigs they give way and then spring back again as you find you can’t stay.
You land on the lawn with the berries above and pretend you don’t care that the fruit that you love
Is dangling beyond you, so juicy and black. How you wish that to reach them you just had the knack!
So you peck at the seed that is spread on the ground, that’s left when that pesky grey squirrel has found
The bird feeder, and hung upside down with his tail in the air, an expert on balance, with never a care.
But you are my favourite, ‘though some disagree, for your habits and antics are precious to me-
I smile when you splash in the garden bird bath and your sad acrobatics sure give me a laugh!
( I couldn’t get a picture as he flew away)