Writing

Jul. 9, 2017

94 Ranelagh Road Autumn 1947

His birth home - three
stories over basement -
up ten granite steps
to the front door

Victorian grandeur
- now a tenement -
stairs and landings
oil lamp lit at night

A country family
below stairs
would bring turf
- a lorry load

tipped over
wrought iron
spiked railings
onto the grass

The boy - aged three
in tiny dungarees
equipped with a
net shopping bag

traipsed turf
sod at a time
down the long
narrow garden -

in through the
darkened flat to
be well stacked
out in the yard

He steady marched
as the day went on
through the drizzle -
on important work

Later in the evening
- exhaustion then fever

Next day an ambulance
- his first near death

Peter Clarke
Jul. 4, 2017

And so we start. The hardest thing for me is the first step - open screen fingers to keyboard. My preference has always been for pen and paper, preferably fountain pen. I wrote my first poem in 1984 and I think it is still around a bit too embarrassing to dig up. Now this is the space where I go public. I am announcing myself a a writer of poems and will show them to anyone who cares to read this blog. 

Just so you know there is a huge cringe factor and teeming self doubt swirling around my system. Still onwards to the brink.

The poem "Change" is one I wrote in the early years of my recovery at the end of chemo and stem cell transplant. Feedback is welcome.

Change

Autumn has stolen by, winter is closing in,
the light in the kitchen is darker now.
The sky is grey, everywhere there is colouring and deadening of trees,
still air, a nip to kill the leaf, to curl and loosen its grip on the branch,
a carpet of brown and yellow in the park
That as I walk on crinkles and crackles.

I, too, have been sliced by chill winds,
deaths, assaults, work pain, my own near fatality.

Yet even in the dying, seeds of life abound:

the pleasure of the pen,
a welling up of life force,
end of treatment,
the begin again of work,
a deepening of love,
myriads of friends.

I feel the richness and effulgence
of this life cycle’s conflicting place.

Peter Clarke