Thursday, January 08, 2009

Readwritepoem: Goals for 2009

At readwritepoem this week we were invited to set poetry goals for 2009. Frankly, it's too hot here, and I am still on holiday. I do have vaguely formed goals and plans, which I may make more concrete in the coming weeks - establish some sort of regular writing habit, for a start. I hesitate to put a number to the quantity of planned poems. As I put it in a comment on Dana's blog, I plan to love my poems more this year. That is, not to think they are wonderful and need no improvement, but to love them the way I would my children, which is to pay them attention, spend time with them, and not expect them to behave like adults when they are still two year olds, or teenagers. To let them develop in their own way.

(There will also be a book of poems produced this year by my small poetry group. We have the grant money so we are obliged to do it, no excuses. I'll get a quarter of the space - about twelve to fifteen poems, which I can easily fill from already existing work, if necessary).

I've been thinking about these things, and clearing my hugely overgrown garden now that I have time free from work (until yesterday and today when the temperature soared just too much), and then the Wordle at readwritepoem this week offered up some words which seemed to fit with these thoughts and with something I had written in my notebook the other day.

So, here is a very rough draft, using the words "bombardment", "signature", "stucco", "crimson" and "geranium".

Summer, Here

After Christmas all the days
slide off the calendar and lie
in a tumbled heap on the floor
with the towels and jandals.
The sun beats down and the nor’wester
brings a constant aerial bombardment
of pollen. We eat Groundhog Day meals
of lettuce salad and leftover ham.
The days stretch endless – easy to plan
a triumphant year, easy to think
there’s all the time in the world
to write brilliant poems. In the garden
I’m clearing swathes of long grass.
A vague buzzing grows louder
when I move the blue barrel. All the bees
are heading for that corner,
writing their signatures in long looping flight
confused perhaps by an absence of blue.
They make their way to the grille
in the foundations, lurch their fat
fuzzy bodies over the cross bar
and disappear into the basement.
I am dizzied by bright days and bright
words. White stucco, blue rain barrel,
crimson geranium – searching for entry
into the dark and cavernous mystery
of the poem.


Anonymous said...

As it is cold here, I liked the poem very much. It came as a warmth out of nowhere!

somebody watching you!

Kill Word Verification

Anonymous said...

I also invite you to join the Poetry Train being run each Monday. Please do check it out.

anthonynorth said...

So nice to read something about summer as I freeze here in the UK.

Anonymous said...

the dark and cavernous mystery
of the poem.

like that, and as another northern hemisphere-er, i love thinking of christmas associated with hot weather for a change...

Anonymous said...

It's even been below zero here on the English south coast. I think your idea of loving your poems more is a good one. In the poem, I was arrested by 'the bees leaving their signature'; part of the resonance being that some bees took up residence in my compost bin last year.I used a line from one of your poems last week in my ultimate post-modern pastiche

Anonymous said...

You really capture something here and it's more than just the weather, I love the bit about the bees and the endless stretch of the days and the leftover ham and salad...

Anonymous said...

Catherine ! I was thinking of you today. I had an ex student over for coffee she is from NZ and a journalist. She was in Wellington over christmas and interviewed your PM! She was given a mobile no to call him at a certain time and thought it would be to an aide - but no ! diretly through to your PM.

mary awgrads

Anonymous said...

beautiful post!!.. i like the idea of your goals, loving your poems more... getting more involved in the expression, reflection of writing words... and the garden poem makes me long for spring... longing for the sounds of bees, and butterfly wings... just getting out from under 6 feet of snow yeah!!!...

Danika Dinsmore said...

Hi Catherine.

I love that the bees write their signatures! I am dreaming of the sun (as I stare out at the melting snow and gray skies of Vancouver). I had never heard of the shameless lions, what a great idea for poets to adopt sculptures.

Anonymous said...

I love the images of the days falling off the calendar...

Your poem is so pleasant to read. I felt transported from my cold wet world to one of sweet buzzing bees.

Kay Cooke said...

Catherine, you've captured a NZ summer extremely effectively. I hope to be able to get down to some writing this last week of my holidays, now that the frantic family festivities have abated somewhat. But just not sure that it will be poetry ... Am also looking forward to reading in the sun (or in the shade is probably more exact.)