The story so far

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A poem about Australia

I've had a real hard time getting a post out this week. I've just finished my job and had to work quite hard on my last week getting things done and saying goodbye to people in the evening. Since then, I've been running around, socialising and trying to orgainse 101 things which need organising before you move to another country halfway around the world. I am absolutely exhausted and don't know how I am going to be fit for my leaving party in Newbury in 48 hours.

OK, so the poem won and this has been part of this issue. Writing a poem is more difficult than it seems. When you are trying to say something, the less words you use, the harder it is.
  I wasn't sure how easy it would be because I currently don't feel much for Australia. It's exciting yes, but I have no feeling for the place. This week I've been appreciating more and more what I have in the UK and that's where I think I have most to say. I went for a walk on Tuesday in the early evening. The sky was clear,the sun was low but the light stark and cold. The fields had been freshly tilled for the winter and the landscape was beautiful. I was listening to my iPod which enhanced the feelings of pleasure I was feeling for being alone in the English countryside at the purest and most magical time of year.

Another thing. Last night, I went out with Kish, Bruce and Shankar. It'll be the last time I see Bruce so we went into Newbury for a Pizza. As it happened it was the Michaelmas fair in Newbury and after the meal and almost a bottle of wine each, we decided to check it out. Kish and I in an alcohol fuelled bravado, decided to go on the Waltzers. Sitting on, holding on for dear life, Kish and I were both trying to pretend we were enjoying ourselves while attempting to remain in possesion of our italian suppers. Then the ride doubled in speed. I couldn't move my head and Kish looked like he was swallowing his own tongue. The lights were a blur, but when we got off we were giggling like kids for ten minutes. We even got Bruce and Shankar to ride the dodgems with us.

So I will write about Australia, but not Australia the place, rather Australia the event. That's not cheating, its just my interpretation of the subject! I'm loving life at the moment, the love of where I live and work and the great friends I'll leave behind. This is what inspires me and these are the memories I want to capture. The trouble is, doing this is an imaginative way is hard and requires a kind of mental journey through the memories and experiences which you are trying to capture. When I went for the walk in the countryside, I realised the importance of capturing the moment of and I took some notes. I've just read the notes again and I'm really happy with them. This is what I'd like to achieve for the whole poem.

I was partly inspired by John Slinger, who suggested I read some E E Cummings after he read my last attempt. Now this is the typical kind of knowledge John would possess and for that I am grateful. Being someone who's favorite author is Andy McNab I am often left wanting when literary knowledge is key. I read one of Cummings' Poems called "Hate blows a bubble of despair into". I would normally show no interest in poetry, but because my mind is open to it, I tried to understand it. I didn't at first, but after a second and third reading I did begin to get a feeling for the meaning behind it. The thing that struck me is that Cummings makes no attempt to translate his words into something meaningful to the masses. This makes it quite raw, enigmatic and really involves the reader in interpreting it in the way which means something to them. The reader themselves becomes a part of the poem and that really enahnced the experience of reading it. he is a genius and while there is no way as a novice I can reach his standard, I would like to emaulate him in some way . I would really recommend reading some E E Cummings, as John says, just google it!

Now, as I write this, there is a slight issue. I'm in charge of looking after the kids while Hannah pops to the shops for some bubble wrap. She often has these urges to go out for stationary or wrapping materials. As is so often the case when I am left in charge, we are watching a film. On this occasion, it is high school musical 3. For me it feels like high school musical 93.

Troy and Gabriella are serioulsy interfering with my creative process and make the construction of poetic verse quite difficult.

I keep coming out with lines like "Every day, every step together, we keep on getting better, so can I have this dance, can I have this dance" not something with which E E would want to be associated.

As thoughts drifted I started to think, its going to be a night to remember, yeah, thats for sure, we'll never ever ever ever forget..... holy moses! where did that come from? This really is impossible so I am going to leave it until after the kids go to bed before I write.

OK, The time has come....and that's not to say that this stuff just came to me. It takes a lot of thought and it's easy to lose your inspiration, if halfway through a dream of hills and woodsmoke and dappled sunlight, Hannah starts leaping around and trying to grab your attention.

Hannah: "Nick, can you please come and look at your mum and dad's printer. It just won't work"
Nick: "P*** off, you are sapping my creative energy"
Hannah: "Your eBay rating will suffer if we don't get these parcels posted"
Nick: "I bet E E Cummings wife didn't hassle him with eBay or such trivialities"
Hannah: "Please, I don't know what to do"
Nick: "We've both got a bl**dy degree, what makes you think I can do any better?"

I did fix the printer, it only took five minutes but it took a further sixty before I was back in the zone. Hannah actually admitted that she knew what to do but she didn't want to rifle through my mum and dad's drawers to find a spare cartidge without me there!

Now I have written the poem, I'm not really pleased. Its kind of what I was aiming for, but not to the quality I was trying to achieve. One thing is great though. I reckon I've learned something about poetry, I appreciate it a bit more and that makes me a better person.


Newbury glows in the mid autumn sun.
Smoke smells, M4 sounds and brown fields hazed green.
Mist hangs to the treeline and cool air constrasts
This day, warm sun, just being alive in this place
But the finality holds a lens to reality.
And colours appear from yesterdays greys
where beauty is normal considered not normal
a clarity of vision, a vision of clarity comes
From the lengthening shadows the stark light projects
a convergence of twighlight and dawn, nothing evolves
Fear, the loss of the moment, the future unsure
but freedom from the myopia of convention
If I'm scared of the future, I fear more than this
The thought of not knowing what it is to have lived

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