Life disappears around you with each passing day. Imagine yourself standing on a piece of ice. That ice is with you your whole life. How would you feel if you looked down every now and then and saw the edges getting closer to your feet? Once that ice has melted, that is it, you sink. The hardest part of life is not knowing the time span. It is best to get on with it and not worry.
Being sensitive is allowing your senses to promote themselves. Hiding behind a wall of steel will not be good for a writer/poet. Boil two eggs, keep one in its shell, peel the other. Do you notice the difference? One is keeping you at bay, while the other allows you in. One will remain unknown, the other will become an egg
For love to exist we need time. Time comes before everything. Giving a piece of your heart to someone might be the most important thing to do. But if there is no time span that love means nothing. It has no rails to run along. There is no journey. So love cannot exist without time.
We have a perception the sky is blue. The sky is full of colours. Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth's atmosphere. Blue is more than other colours because it travels as shorter, smaller waves.
What we see isn't always true. Facial expressions are the same. Find out the real colours of someone before labelling them like we do the sky.
Each poem is like a dog on a lead. You have to learn to understand the dog to get the most from it. Otherwise it will pull you everywhere. Understand poetry, understand the poem you have written.
A tree in winter mimics the roots of what is under itself. Those roots work for a whole year. But all we wait for are the leaves. We ignore its labour and smile in its beauty. Hence so many people don't understand hard work comes before where you want to be in life.
You can never catch poetry. Seamus Heaney was a few inches away from it, so was Ted Hughes, Keats, Frost, Bishop, Dickinson. I am a few miles away. Trying my best to reel it in. Poetry has to stay ahead, otherwise we will create its shadow.
We come into the world fresh faced, wide eyed, smooth skinned. We leave the world patched up. Wounded and exhausted. I feel for the people who leave the world like they came in. What experience have they had?
If you ever count the rungs on a ladder when you are on your way up you have no idea how far you can actually go.
If there's a difference between two humans it is their Outlook. We all have out faults, virtues, inhibitions, ego, fears, instincts. No human is better than another due to the lives they have lived. But you can say their Outlook can be the difference between two people. A good person with attributes that we would all love can have an awful Outlook. Making their life reflect on themselves in a negative manner.
A human being lives by three things.
Head = experience.
Heart = Family timeline.
Gut = Instincts.
All three are important though your head is the dangerous one as the experience of your own life can prevent you being the person you can be.
Your heart is passed to you by your family timeline. What you are as a person comes from here.
Gut instinct is the area that you need the most. It is where you get the mother nature connection, it is like a cheat to life. Learning to listen to this area is difficult.
All three are important. Learn how to hear them.
If there is a meaning to life it is how Humanity balances with Mother Nature. Any other meaning is out dated.
The real poem is below the poem you have just written.
You don't need a routine for your life but you do need a routine for your writing. Let your mind be free until that time when you aite to write. That is when you gathe your brain, and all those litter pickings. That's when you recycle it into words. William Stafford use to get up at 4 am every morning. He did this for fifty years. A poem a day.
A rock suffers wind erosion its whole life. But we never see the shadow get smaller. Only the sunlight get longer. Then the rock is gone, and no one remembers it. A shadow shows there's life.
I tap a nail through piece of wood into a wall. I come back the next day and tap the nail again. One hit. The day after that I do it again. And carry on with one hit until the wood is fixed to the wall. Then as I turn away the wood asks 'Why take so long for a ten second job?' I look at the wood and reply 'If I finished you early I would have no jobs until the next job. Which could be days. So I took my time and kept myself busy until the next job comes along' Be the same with your work, a slow steady consistency will be better for your writing than a blast of creativity and silence for a week.
The world is built on opinions. I have many, most have no facts, pointless thoughts. When we have an opinion of someone that is the worst fault of our behaviour. When you come across someone in your life, even a long time friend, you can never know them unless you have lived together. A person is like a house. When we spend time with someone we only see inside from outside. And that depends what window they open. If we live with someone we get to see every room. The sinews and tendons of their personality. To say someone is a good person by never living with them is like saying it is windy outside without going out there to feel it. A flapping towel on a washing line is only a hint of wind.
Today I have done housework. Tomorrow I will leave it. The day after that I will think about housework. End of the week I will put it off. A week goes by until I do it again. Why make it harder by pushing it away? Tomorrow I have to do housework. Being a writer is the same. It only gets dirty when you say excuses.
When you write a sentence then a paragraph until a chapter is done. Or a poem. Make sure every sentence links like a freight train. Each carriage is connected like each word should. That train won't get anywhere and will only cause mayhem if any link is broken.
Imagine how bad a piece of writing is when you do the same
If I write a poem today it will change tomorrow and the day after that. A week from now it will change again. A month from now and a year from now it will change. Poems are not meant to stay still. If they were we would call it painting.
Imagine a world where trees had leaves for twelve months of the year. Would the sun lose purpose? Would the soil thin to nothingness? Would birds nest all year? Would the wind run out from exhaustion? Trees need change. Our whole lives have seasons. It's understanding when they come and pass that allows the human to keep progressing.
When you think of a poem in your mind it is alive. But when that poem is transferred onto paper or a screen it dies. The poem only comes alive again when you read it out. You resuscitate the poem. Allow it to become a part of the wind.
Every fly we squash with a rolled newspaper is one less prey for a spider. Then the small bird has one less spider to eat. The bird of prey has one less bird to eat. Release the fly, and the wasp, moth, beetle, woodlouse, ant. Keep the world spinning.
You live as a human, and the sex of your being. I am a human then a man. I am better human than a man. A human is someone who lives close to nature. The instincts we have that make us look at the earth. Feeding birds and loving my dogs are easy for me. But as a man I fail. People get to me and society as whole is not a place I feel at ease. The world we live in today is tearing us away from our natural ways into a conveyor belt society. I think every person needs to look at themselves and split their actions into two groups, one as a human, the other as a man/woman. We can separate both with looking at how we live. Our actions define our personality.
Last night clouds took away the stars. They took away the sky. For hours they spread from one end of space to the other. They threatened to flatten the earth itself. All the shadows of the earth joined together. I stood in wait. A shine of hope pushed itself through the blackness. And there was the moon. Holding sunlight on its round face. Letting me see, no matter what is in front or above, will pass with time.
The hardest part of life is being yourself, the second hardest part is living the life you want to live. We sacrifice our own lives to please others. But are we sure there will be a reward for it when we die? Look at the people around you. If you are piece of meat on a hook get out of there. Don't be butchered so to feed other people. A brave human is someone who changes for their own life.
What I do today will affect months from now. Where I want to be months from now will effect today.
Trees create shadows to rest earth from the sun, roots drink floods, leaves feed off light, then mulch the earth, branches pass on winds to prevent stillness, wildlife eat seeds, birds nest. We chop it all down. Then suffer from the trees not being here.
When you write a poem, short story, novel chapter you are laying the foundation. That is all you are doing. It is when you redraft that you build the house. And then what sort of house your writing is is down to you. A.Oswald poems have the best sea view. Where as mine at present are terraced houses. My aim is to get on the sea view ladder, but to achieve that is through hard work, like redrafting.
If a poem is a house and you don't spend time on it then you are sending publishers a photo of a concrete base. How many of us are embarrassed by that? Build your house. Then aim for more quality.
The clouds come and go. All year they fill the sky, hide the sun, bring rain, create shadows, bring a chill, block the heat. Then when they are gone the sky is still there. The clouds are only an interpretation of what we sense. Above it all is still the same old sky.
The grammar of a poem is the touching up when painting. When you write a poem try not to think of anything other than the words. Let the mind run free without restriction. Then when you have finished you can dab bits here and there, like capitals and commas.
If you allow yourself to be surprised at your own progress you will achieve more. It's when you raise your own expectation levels that progress stops
I watch the snow fall on trees, hills, fields, grass, shrubs and bushes. I watch the snow fall on roads, streets, concrete, slate, traffic lights, people. It doesn't care where it falls. As long as the snow can be itself it carries on.
I have never lived a day where the sun didn't exist. Or slept through a night where the moon wasn't there. They are the only measurer's of time you need. As soon as one comes up you wake, or sleep
If the wind didn't exist would time exist?
A wren, the smallest of birds, sits on a branch or a hole in a wall at night. It manages to keep away the cold and rain, frost and snow. When the sun comes it rises itself and forages. If made alert by something it will ping the wood with a sound. In spring it will mate and help feed. Then watch the chicks grow to adult and wave them off in late summer. Then it goes back to being a bird again. Sitting on a branch at night or a hole in a wall. Surviving on what the shrubs and trees give. Its thoughts are simple, but purposeful. It doesn't waste time, and each day is a blessing for this smallest of birds. The mighty wren, the smallest of birds, living a life of routine. Showing us the no excuse way of living.
Remember when we were children and one thing most kids did was get a piece of stick and go along a railing fence. The vibrations, noise, experience, that shot up our arm. That inquisitive nature is exactly what we need to be poets. You may not want to do that now, but you can touch things as you walk. The feel of sandstone or the shock of a holly bush, smooth face of brick, grain of wood. And that is just fences.
If you walk up a mountain backwards, will it be as challenging as going up forwards? One way the world falls away from you, the other, the world comes to you. But neither will affect the mountain.
Between a capital letter and a fullstop are stanzas of words. I have no idea where they came from or how I sailed from beginning to end. But all I know is when I look at it with my own eyes, I feel another day is worth it.
I see the rain today, exactly the same rain as yesterday, even the same as the rain from five years ago. It is even the same rain from the first rain I saw when I was a baby. Nothing changes, only what we perceive.
Some people will say they want to be a tree. The big wooden thing that is beautiful and as natural as can be. But it's stubborn and roots itself into the ground. I would prefer to be a leaf. Where the seasons dictate my mind and allow me to be free when the time comes.
The tide goes then comes back. It does this every day and never stops. No matter what happens in the in-between. The rough seas, huge waves, long swells, change of current, melted ice water, pollution, none of this stops its tides. The same de-dum as a heartbeat. If the sea carries on, why shouldn't we?
A poet cannot write about the wind, as it being of a generic nature. A wind in a wood is different to a hill wind, or a wind caught in an alley way. A wind in January is an angry wind, in October it becomes a working wind, and in Summer it either stays in the canopies or meanders along the floor. I always believe new winds for Autumn are born in Spring. But you have to go and experience this to realise it.
A poet needs to understand the seconds are what make their life. If you live in hours then you are missing out on images, similies, metaphors, sounds. It is hard to stay focused and be commited, but a life full of seconds will give you more writing.
To write original work you have to experience something. And then interpret it your own unique way. We can all write about the weather, but going outside to experience it will be far more beneficial for your work than being indoors.
The attributes you need for the egg and spoon race are the attributes you need for re-drafting poems. If you are unsure, try walking round the house with an egg yolk in your palm. Think about the way your mind is working.
If you were to be suspended face down over a lake. And you looked at the water below, then closed your eyes. Even if the time for them closed was five seconds, five minutes, five hours, when you opened them again the lake will be different.
This is what a poem does. As soon as you leave that poem, then come back, something is changed. Being in control of a poem is like having a raging dog on a lead.
When someone reads your work make sure they don't drink the whole lot in one go. Make them have sips of your words. To achieve this you need things to happen in your poems. Make the reader take a breath, let them enjoy the taste of your work. Nothing worse for a reader of poetry to go through a poem in one gulp.
How many of Seamus Heaney's can you read in one swig? Yes, not many.
Three owls call to each other in the fog. They are helping each other, to create the co-ordiantes of their own woods. Map a world for the time that hides in the unknown.
And that is what a hand, pen, paper do. We are putting down the bearings of our lives. Without such an art, we become lost. Poetry if anything, gives you a map to live from. Be grateful you have such a thing in your life. Billions don't.
Think for a moment, imagine when you write the sun moves higher. It spreads more light. Which gives you a bigger scope of life. The harder you work, the higher the sun. Too many poets have the sun barely off the ground. Writing one poem doesn't mean you are a poet. Having a collection doesn't mean you are a poet. Hard work is what you rank yourself on. Without the light before you, how can you say you are a full time poet?
Poems are smoke, lava, light from a volcano. Those things you shouldn't worry about. But what you have to ask is what causes the explosion? Find it, be aware of it, live by it.
When I am out and about, either food shopping or nature walking I am always ready. In terms of being hit with something my eyes become hawk like, my ears are like a wolf, and nose is like a bear. Remember we are still animals, use those senses. The best poets are the poets with the knowledge of knowing how powerful their bodies are.
When you awant to paint a fence with creosote you don't stand by for 12 months and let it rot even further. You react and try to give it a longer life. Filling a file with poems, or notebook is the same. When something is ignored it dies quicker. Writer's block is for the weak, there's always something to write. Your hand hasn't lost the use of holding a pen or pressing letters on a keyboard.
When the sun rises from behind the sea wall it doesn't bring yesterday's light with it. It is new light, new angles, new co-ordinates, new bearings, a new start.