Goodness, its National Poetry day again. This means I had the rather pleasant to-do list today of:
Make something out of chard
Actually, I don’t think you are supposed to write a poem on National Poetry day, you are just supposed to share your favourite poem. My favourite poem is Wild Geese by Mary Oliver; a poem which means something different to me at different stages of my life, but always means something.
When I think about poems I always think about my amazing English teacher from school, Kate Symons; a woman who played an enormous part in my relationship with my own writing. As a teenager I used to write poems at the back of an old exercise book and hand them to her on the way out of lessons. These were largely confessions and explanations, ways of speaking things that were quite often unspeakable. I don’t think much has changed since then, apart from the fact that prose rather than poetry is my poison, and blogs have replaced jotters.
The theme of poetry day this year is light. When I thought about it for some reason I thought of all the times I have kneeled in penance and prayed for people I don’t particularly want to pray for, or the times when don’t really have the courage to pray at all, and all I can muster is something between a thought and a wish, a focus on some peculiar light, to bathe in or bathe someone else in. And this made me think of a sublime occasion on my crap balcony in Siberia, where I stole a moment to sunbathe in just my bra and pants in 30 degree heat, after a winter where I had known -28.
here is what I came up with:
there is a moment I remember a narrow balcony after a long Siberian winter not much broader than my shoulders I lay down on the ground, and wondered would anybody see? nobody would see... never before or since but the feel of the heat on my skin after seven months of snow is a moment I remember that balcony and those days before life lined my body bound me, tied me to itself with marks and scars, each line across each other, like the sand after tides my husband says, romantically, as each wave washes me closer and whispers that I am more yours life will write itself upon you as seasons change not so back then, that summer after that winter freedom, no words upon my skin nor ties around my heart what do I miss? The heat upon my back and skin of not just sun, but eyes or touch. Yes, but all of it I gladly trade a life bound is more free to not just love the heat but feel that light that light, even behind closed eyes and perhaps more so then than ever which sometimes we can only hold or hold another unto or which simply says hold on.