Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Minor Repairs

Minor Repairs

A daddy goes away in the morning
and comes back at night. Moon
comes at night and goes away
in the morning. They say
there’s a man in the moon.
But she thinks that’s silly,
because all the daddies come back
when the moon comes out.
She likes to put a tie round her neck
and carry a briefcase down the stairs
like daddy. But she doesn’t know
what he does when he goes away.
so then she pretends to be daddy
coming back. When daddy comes back
he fixes things. He glues wheels
on her toy cars, and he makes new pieces
for her puzzles. Maybe he fixes things all day.
He must be very busy fixing other people’s things.
Sometimes hers have to wait.
Daddy has a big box with broken things
he hasn’t had time to fix.
The moon though, that’s another matter.
It’s a big round piece of white plastic,
and it breaks every month,
and then daddy sticks it together
and puts it back in the sky.


I've sent this poem out with submissions a few times, and on each occasion the editor concerned preferred others from the selection I sent, so I decided to let it free on my blog instead. I always find the workings of children's minds fascinating. The poem perhaps has a slightly old-fashioned flavour, given that it involves a stay at home mother and a professional father - but then, that's the way it was in our family at the time. And my daughter really was convinced that Daddy mended the moon every month.

For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Spring, by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;
The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

- Gerard Manley Hopkins, 1844 -1889

Another favourite spring poem this week. Surprisingly, I find this year the weeds in my garden aren't quite as "long and lovely and lush" as usual at this time. I must have been keeping up with the weeding over winter.

What I haven't been keeping up with so much is writing. Since returning from holiday, I'm trying to get back into a routine - using the site 750 words to write every day, and noting down six simple observations each day. The poetry ideas are stirring, now I just have to find time to get to them. And I have several of last year's poems appearing in publications soon, after which they will be available to post here.

For more Tuesday poems, visit the main hub site.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Poem: from A Shropshire Lad, by A E Housman


Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

- A E Housman (1859-1936)

A E Housman was an English poet best known for his cycle "A Shropshire Lad", published in 1896, from which this poem is taken. As Housman died in 1936 the poem is a few years out of copyright (70 years after the author's death, in England and America, although only fifty years in New Zealand). At this time of year it seems entirely appropriate to post one of my favourite springtime poems - although I suspect the photo is not, in fact, a cherry, but may be some other species of prunus, or even apple blossom.
We are often away in September and I seem to miss spring blossom often, so I was pleased this year to be back early enough in the month to enjoy both the blossom and the daffodils. And to remind myself that I almost certainly have fewer than fifty springs left to "look at things in bloom".
For more Tuesday Poems, visit the main hub site.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Back Home

I had a great break away in Queensland, but it's worth coming home for this:
And this:
We have real seasons here - not just "wet" and "dry". And September is one of the best. The view of the Southern Alps from the plane does double duty as my contribution to Carmi's theme for the week - White. I would also have aerial views of the Canterbury Plains, but they always make us turn off our phones and digital cameras by that stage in the journey. Next time, perhaps I'll buy a digital film camera, as the views are always stunning.