Thursday, 7 April 2011

Two more April "daily" poems

This first poem came out of a dream that seemed partly a recollection of the rather hothouse atmosphere of a couple of courses I attended many years ago - one at Lumb Bank; one a surprising local government 'bring out your creativity' weekend for staff who were maybe not "performing" as "creatively" as might be hoped, at which I first came across the ideas of Meister Eckhart and Hildegard of Bingen.

I have often passed on to aspiring writers the notion I picked up from one of my many poetry teachers (I can't remember which) to the effect that when one intends to be a writer one accepts the necessity to walk naked. I hope I have scuffed my footprints enough to prevent readers identifying any personalities in the poem.


“I am likewise neither a model
nor a member of the library”, I said,

am I a predator, and what
do I think I’m doing, being both
rude and charming to this

fragile naïve girl
who’s come on the course,
I suspect, purely to meet

the lionised monster giant
with the intravenous breath
who’d destroy us both if we crossed his path –

whom she clearly worships for his intellect
and achievements in whatever field it is
he has come to dominate.

By now I’ve moved to dreams of sleeping
with the frail delegate from Hartlepool
(almost certainly lesbian)

whose looks and works
years ago
enchanted me.

The second poem here is a pretty straightforward account of one of my first attempts to play my part in the ringing of a "method" called Plain Bob on six bells at a local church.

(getting the hang
of plain bob doubles)

I am the one, the treble. I ring behind
the two, the four, the five,
the three

then I ring behind the two,
the four, the five, the three
more quickly, then I lead –

Then I start again but remember
the last shall be first, so I follow now
the three before the others –
twice again – lead twice and then apply
the same considerations. Trouble is

I get confused, transpose two bells,
lose track, and all the while
the captain whispers loud
reminders in my ear,

when they’re things I do
already know, and when in ringers’ jargon

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