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Category: My Writing

transnational creatives – the broken clock

Every fortnight I meet with a group of transnational creatives to break down borders, both physically and in our writing. In this series, I share the writing that has stemmed from these sessions.

This week I am going to share a poem that was heavily edited during this session. I absolutely love the changes made.

The Broken Clock

He was holding on to the broken clock,

His arms kept reality hidden away.

She couldn’t stop her mind from whirring.

None of it was important anyway and

There were no traces of want in him.

But something had happened to the time,

It seemed the grime of them had penetrated their clock,

Causing the ticks and tocks,

To break free of the certainty,

Of the seconds into minutes into hours.

You know when time seems to get out of sync?

When seconds grow and hours shrink?

Well, their time was nothing like that.

I think it had gone flat inside.

So when the hands tried to go round

They ground to a halt.

Grease clogged up the wheels,

Time squealed as it scraped on the cogs and gears,

Oil escaped and smeared itself across the face.

So it came as a shock to her when he let go of the broken clock,

And it dropped hard onto the bedroom floor.

The fall set time running straight on through.

But now the tocks and ticks were two,

Time grew and broke into pieces,

Which she struggles to hold in the night,

As they slither into creases in the sheets and out of sight.

something to care about

This is an older poem that is technically more of a performance poem, but I cannot think of any poetry nights that I go to where this would go down well!! I might do a video one day and post it here as well, but for now, here it is in its original form!

Something to care about

 

There are lots of things I am passionate about,

Things to scream and shout about,

I cannot stand it when people can’t spell

On Facebook, Twitter, social media hell

There, their and they’re are all different words

If the grammar freak within is disturbed,

The Facebook asshole’s wrath is incurred,

Against your irritating grammar strike.

I will be the one pressing “Like”.

 

As long as inequality exists,

I will always count myself as a feminist,

Actually, whilst we are talking about this

Something that really brings out the feminist in me,

Is complaints about “feminine hygiene” adverts on TV.

I could understand if they were advertising Durex,

But since when did periods become associated with sex?

They are part of life,

Yet such a source of strife,

This monthly bleeding.

 

Much like breastfeeding

I mean, c’mon, it’s a baby eating,

Our humanity is retreating from itself,

Putting ourselves on the morality shelf,

If you can’t for a second remember yourself,

Remember this-

You were pushed out of your mother’s vagina.

But it just so happens that once a month, your mother’s vagina bleeds,

If you don’t want to see us buying tampons or towels,

Then by all means

We will bleed through

Our clothes and underwear, that scarlet hue.

So when you are waiting in a queue

You will have to stand behind

And watch the dark red running down our thighs.

But you know what really gets my goat?

Of all the issues that clog up my throat,

If I was to really rock this boat

My question to all of the idiots would be,

How come you still can’t make a good cup of tea?

It is so simple to make a good cuppa,

Any old sucker could type into google

Or Bing

Or Ask fricking Jeeves,

How do I make a cup of tea?

Do I add the water or the milk first,

For a cup of tea to quench my thirst?

Well I am going to take pity on you,

Here is what you’ve got to do.

 

I like my tea in a china mug,

So I can get my hand around and give it a hug,

Next goes the teabag and then the water,

No not from there, it needs to be hotter,

The kettle should be freshly boiled

Otherwise it’s already spoiled,

Next a stir around the cup,

No, hold on, wait, back up,

You need to fill the water just right,

Leave space for milk if they want it white.

(Is there another way to have your tea?

Oh come on, you’re all thinking it, its not just me!)

Next to take the teabag out,

Don’t squeeze, just lift, yep that’s right,

I know there is water in the bag,

But squeezing leaves scum which just looks bad.

Now add the milk, not too much

Personally, I like just a touch,

Make it tea with milk, not milk with tea.

More than a centimetre, make it two or three.

A spoonful of sugar if you prefer

Don’t forget to give it one last stir.

 

Now grab a biscuit and have a dunk,

This is tea as it’s supposed to be drunk!

the storm

The water races through the rocks,
As grasses twist around the storm,
Plants bend their backs in window box,
Inside my house the fire’s warm.

As grasses twist around the storm,
Struggle against the potent wind.
Inside my house the fire’s warm,
Though the lights have long since dimmed.

Struggle against the potent wind,
I beg my beloved flowers,
Though the lights have long since dimmed,
Bright petals fly from stems that cower.

I beg my beloved flowers,
Hold on to flashes of colour,
Bright petals fly from stems that cower.
As the night gets ever duller.

Hold on to flashes of colour,
Plants bend their backs in window box,
As the night gets ever duller.
The water races through the rocks.

Notes

This is a pantoum

According to Stephen Fry in “The Ode Less Travelled”

  •  Malayan closed form with refrained lines

From The Poet’s Manual – A Pantoum has

  • Interlinked quatrains
  • Rhyming a-b-a-b
  • Second and fourth lines of each stanza become the first and third of the next.
  • Until you reach the last, where the First and Third lines of the first stanza become the second and fourth.

Have any of you tried writing in this form? If so, please link me to your poem, I would love to read it!

listening on trains

I hear the woman two seats behind talking on her phone.
Trying to ignore the fact that she is alone.

I hear the sighs of the man next to me,
Showing his dissatisfaction in the phone call,
But she will never hear, her phone acting as a wall between her and the world.

I hear when an elderly lady yawns, tries to stifle another, fails.
I can hear the wail of the baby further down the train.
The mother tries to hush it, distract it, ignore it, to no avail.

Every journey is the same, trying not to hear, fighting with the smiles and winces
That break through my face and onto the page and over the seats to bounce off the window panes.
Because when I listen to others on trains, I always give away more than I gain.

the things i couldn’t tell you – a poem of sorts

  1. You were wrong.

You were right.

  1. It isn’t fine.

I wasn’t really washing my hair.

I wish I was washing my hair right now.

I’m not interested.

  1. I love you.

I really dislike you.

I am not actually in a rush; I just don’t want to talk to you.

  1. Yes, you are annoying.

No, those people don’t like you.

  1. You make me feel uncomfortable.

You made them feel uncomfortable.

You just are useless at this social interaction thing.

  1. Your essay sucks.

Your essay is better than mine.

Your essay is worse than mine but we got the same mark.

  1. I don’t really find you attractive anymore.

I never really found you attractive.

You are attractive but your personality stinks.

  1. I was actually trying really hard to look cool.

I tried really hard to fail at cool.

I was too tired to try.

  1. Actually, I would rather stay in with a good book than come and hang out with you.

But mostly, I can never tell you…

  1. No.

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