Well its November and Remembrance Sunday so I’ve included ‘Minding Grandpa’ I’ve also just realised I’ve been writing this blog for ten years but the poem is only three years old, so not too many repeats as yet!
Grandpa had been gassed and shell shocked in the Great War. He was ‘lucky’ to have survived but classed as insane and spent two years in a psychiatric hospital. He recovered and lived a happy life. Our family lived with my grandparents in their house in North London for many years.
Grandpa sits in silence twisting threads on a white
wooden frame with rows of neat nails on each side
weaving patterns with silky thread recovering
from the Great War and comrades lost on the Somme
forbidden by Grandma from talking
of gas, madness or months of recuperation.
Memories fall into the safety of the sitting room
shiny bodkins glint in the sun like bayonets
his fingers unroll a length of gold as tales of the dead
suddenly return and his eyes fill with tears.
He whispers to me about a hospital ship blown to pieces
and jabs a line of blue twine into the emerging mat.
A screech from his green parrot breaks his sombre mood.
He smiles and ties a golden knot in triumph.
Polly pads along his arm, sings ‘Roll out the barrel’.
I gather up Grandpa’s wayward threads.
Saltdean on Remembrance day
Sunny day sombre mood shaggy seaweed on chalk along the undercliff walk looked like dead horses in the Great War.
Stopped for coffee watched the sun on the sea
Later nurtured my orchids and placed my mother’s Aladdin’s lamp centre stage together with the last ceramic dragon she ever made.
OK so something magical turned up!
Sunlight falls on grazing sheep, flocks of starlings and seagulls compete, a tracery of trees on autumn fields.
From Sainsbury’s cafe in Newhaven and nearby.
Honestly even the roses seem to be competing to be the last rose of summer!
Popped into Fabrica and did an art/cognitive thingy on the spur of the moment, included drawing a white line on blue to demonstrate how I got there and then asked to decide who it belonged to!
Later planted garlic in a tub, as you do. Broke my glasses and a tooth this week!
Yah getting tooth fixed tomorrow.
Despite atrocious weather we had wonderful words at @Pier Poets with a mixture of new and regular poets. Rachel Shorer and I (two of the team) shared compering and friendly chat went on after the event. Christmas Special 6th December with a secret santa for books. Venue as usual warm and friendly New Writing South at 6.30. £3 entry. Please bring your poetry for Open Mic (maximum of 5 minutes.)
“Well it’s like this even a Witch can have a bad spell day”
Maybe not such a good idea trying to sort ancient admin. amidst usual chaos and half watching Bake off!
A friends launch of new poetry collection Jackie Wills!
Just a taster of tonight’s launch of Jackie Wills new collection ‘Friable Earth’ at Fabrica. A full house for intriguing poems about memory, ageing, allotments and more!
‘Spider’s drop from my hair’ was read by her mother and the event was beautifully choreographed with family and five friends each reading one poem. I loved ‘Watering’ an allotment poem, partly about someone living in a car and ‘Love Sonnet” among others. ‘The Office’ was a bit gruesome but ‘Wondering Womb’ and ‘Tortoise’ were brilliant. Musical interludes added to the occasion. Happily reading more of these fabulous poems in bed.
Happily reading more of these fabulous poems in bed.
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