Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Difficulty of Finding...

I have been struggling to write for too many months now. I can just about manage a few sentences, a list of observations, the odd scribble about last night's dream, but the voice of poetry evades me.

I did find it for a moment - the early hours of Saturday morning brought poetic chorus through the darkness, as if morning was finally going to dawn. I wrote the first nine words of a line and they felt like poetry, tasted like poetry. Those nine words - which seemed to be just the right words, in the right order - were like a fix. My boyfriend watched as my eyes lit and my fingers tapped out rhythm on the air. My lips made the shapes of those nine words over and over again, producing a whisper to coax my ear and mind into uncovering another line.

On parts of the track the rain has gathered,
clear and still in mud hollows
clear and still and deep in the mud dirt.
Lakes that give the forest to us again
again. As if a dream, we are giants
as if it were a dream and we were giants
able to pick hundred year old
able to pluck ancient oaks firs from the water like reeds.

Eventually all gained momentum ceased as the stanza found its end. It had ended where I hadn't anticipated or expected. This stanza, which had been thought of as an opening, now felt more like a dead-end, like I had written myself into a corner and couldn't quite figure out how to write myself back out.

I left the poetry puzzle attached to the pad. Occasionally, throughout Saturday afternoon, I glanced at the words to check if I still liked them.

As night approached, my cat came fumbling in from the window, patrolled the perimeter of the lounge before circling inwards and stepping his damp paws across the laptop and then the paper pad.            I liked the way he caused a few of the words to have inky atmospheres - as if each were a solitary planet within a universe I still fail to truly comprehend.

*          *          *

There is a turbulence between mind and creativity. At some point the poetry puzzle was torn from the pad, squeezed between clenched hands until it was compact and circular.
I thought it had been taken by the bin men.          But it hadn't.
This morning when I found the yellow paper orb tucked behind a bookend it made me think how love will always try its hardest to preserve. I wondered how much else might have been saved if love had been there longer - imagined a mountain built from thrown away paper.

Over time, something begins to accumulate - like mercury within the bodies of hat makers - and the challenge is in remembering

Thank you for reading,



Adele said...

I think you are rediscovering something that was resting. I love the insight into the poetic drive. Thank you for sharing this Lara.

vicky ellis said...

This post has strayed from observation to poetry to poetic prose, much like the cat seeing no difference between a laptop and a heated cushion.

'I wondered how much else might have been saved if love had been there longer - imagined a mountain built from thrown away paper.'

This is sending me to unexpected places. I need to dwell on it for a while.

And I might try the 'show your working out' technique. The idea that all the variations remains intrigues me.

Thank you.

Christo Heyworth said...

Is the link to a very short poem of mine which started out as half a dozen stanzas but needed pruning, pruning, pruning, again and again.

I love the concentration achieved in yours, and agree with at least on Master Poet whose advice is "Write Less".

I can well understand your delight at the cadences initially achieved after a long, long, dry spell, and as a standalone deserves its place.

Your mercury-accumulation chimes with some of my thoughts this week about hat-making - super image.

Christo Heyworth said...

Just noticed the close of a poem I have posted on LDGPS by Robert Hass as featured in the current Paris Review:

"I thought this poem would end downstream downstream—
of worrying about where you are and how you’re doing."

The best-laid plans...