I’m terrible at blogging. Really, really terrible.
This morning when I checked the date on my last proper ‘blog”, (we exclude poems for the sake of clarity), I realised two months had somehow flown past me. We’re now creeping into Autumn, the heatwaves are showing signs of dissipating, and the dryer is in use because business as usual has resumed regarding English weather and rain.
The results for the first round of the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge arrived and ‘Once Upon A Time There Was A Quest’ ranked 13th in its group. The groups normally have around 35 individuals in them, and 13th place earns two points towards moving forward into the second round. For the second round of challenge one (I hope you’re keeping up with this) I was tasked with writing a romantic comedy, set on a hot air balloon, including an alarm clock. Attempting to follow the feedback from the judges on my first story, I tried to keep my flash to just two characters, and minimal scene breaks. I say minimal, there are still two scene changes but not quite as dramatic as the ones in ‘Once Upon A Time There Was A Quest’.
No point crying over spilt memories, when the morning slinks in early and worn, shivers itself under the covers beside you dew damp and clinging.
Regrets evaporate eventually, or so you tell yourself, tucking your face into the hollow of morning’s shoulder, scenting last year’s summer.
‘Imagine if-‘ Slide your hand across morning’s mouth, so similar to your own it seems, hush her into half-sleep.
We have other questions to ask when the sun is finished stretching awake, and none of them look back on the moments set in stone.
‘But you want to? Don’t you?’ heavier now with pillow pull, sinking stone dropped into still waters, down, down we go.
The earlier moments seem blurry now, edges smoothed so it all seems inevitable, choices we tripped around first time, face planting into our decisions.
Still… we got here in one piece, or enough pieces to pull together a whole with two halves and another third steadily on its way.
‘All of it could have been so different,’ but nothing wistful in that thought which slips away with the other dreams at the call of morning breaking.
Today’s optional prompt for #NaPoWriMo, is to write a poem about The Road Not Taken, pulling inspiration from Robert Frost’s poem. I’m already very good at picking apart my past choices, and obsessing over how things could have turned out so differently if I’d made a slightly different decision. I decided I didn’t need to voice that again in a poem as it’s not the healthiest of habits, and I’m trying to be better about looking forward rather than back. It’s all experience in the end, and we can only learn from the past, we can’t change it.
At the start of this year I was planning on which poetry events I wanted to go to in order to publicise my new collection ‘It’s All In The Blood‘. I managed a few local ones, and had a slot booked to perform at a Ludlow poetry night, right at the beginning of March. Then 2020 hit its stride in the UK.
All corridors run back to you,
though they say loss gets less
the longer you let it sit.
And you’ve been sitting here,
in this hollow you left for a while now
Just a slither of yourself
with no new words to say
that might explain this empty.
And barricades don’t keep
the door from banging open,
every time a storm
or gentle breeze blows in.
It only takes a name,
or a memory,
to raise your shade.
So I given up airing out this room
with all your secrets.
Leave another hole in the wall
the same shape as my fist,
pretend I haven’t
when the moments leaves.
Re-watch you walk in
pick up your drink.
Re-watch you pick up your drink.
For a while I wondered if my grandmother was magic. You see she would talk about the night she spent near Culloden. How my grandfather slept on sound, and she was tossed through dreams of screaming men. The English and their guns, against the all those clansmen, come to die. For a while I believe she’d walked the battle in her dreams.
The tartans, like welsh (for a while) were outlawed to break that spirit. Make them less like them, and more like us. Then they only rise against themselves. The English are very good at making adversaries of themselves.
When a friend shows me her family tartan, there was a plucking sort of feeling. An ache for a history only half understood, and twice removed. I could find it, put it on, but somehow I doubt I would fit. Not enough of the right stuff in me, to tie me into the pattern. Made me wonder how much of myself I can claim.