April is National Poetry Writing Month. In celebration of poets everywhere, and to encourage those who are just embarking on their literary journey, I will be posting poetry (not mine) each day for the month of April. Please take a look and enjoy this special art.
What can I say; this bit is harder to write than the poems themselves!!
Forty something project manager in the engineering sector by day and in the very early hours, before work, a dream of being a writer. Avid reader. Keen Allotment grower. Proud family man. Happy. Living with my long term partner. Two great kids.
I am a recovered heroin addict who lost a good portion of his twenties to drugs. Having redeemed myself somewhat I am now in the position of being happy enough to try again for the only personnel dream I have ever had, that of being a writer.
As a man I am massively influenced by my late father, who taught me how to read and therefore how to learn, and my partner and our children, who taught me how to be free.
As a fiction writer and a poet I am influenced by the greats as I see them – Kafka, Dickens, Bret Easton Ellis, Hubert Selby, Cormack McCarthy, William Faulkner, William Burroughs, Phillip Larkin, W H Auden, Adrian Mitchell, Brian Patten, Roger McGough and myriad more – people who could paint the inside of your mind with words. I like to think in some small way, I am following in their footsteps, or at least trying to.
I have to date won an online short story competition and had several pieces of poetry published in various magazines. As well as posting my debut novel on Authonomy which is Harper Collins online slush-pile.
For me poetry represents freedom to explore and explain – Poetry is distilled prose, the frozen second immortalised in a handful of words whose power lies in their form and construction as well as their given meaning.
Poetry is the very heart of the writer – the mirror to the inner self.
When did he change?
I mean my father – he went from being to
Asleep, adrift without fetter.
Face as always, kindly and ocean deep.
Just the ministrations of white coats
And shushing coos – he was never going to get better
Console yourself thus
Swaddled in the finite
The lapping tide of the gone.
I had a real thirst coming on
It was so easy just to drink
Scream or worse - just explode.
I punched a mirror so hard in that hospital
My break fixable – apply plaster and a salve to his mind.
It’s the drink talking – try not to be unkind.
And I remember saying stop
I demand to know the exact moment when my father was gone
I want the transition point – not what went wrong.
I want to stand with him in that immortal second
And hold him and say goodbye
He died before I got there – why
Why could he not just wait –
So I don’t have to
Scream or worse just explode
All I wanted, was just to be told that there was a cusp,
A cleave point
When your feet are planted on disparate land
I need to recognise that time, so my children can understand
That I need them to be where I was not
By my side
in that moment
when I stop.
Little April flower.
Head bowed as if in mourning
Blush upwards amid the jut and strut of trunk and branch
Rain slapped yet upright still
Bloom in clutter-clumps
Leaves cast down as if to announce
your imperious blue.
Low scented but redolent all the same
Speaks new words yearly
Only to be lost
Like the wink of a young girls eye
But come again
In cycles older than pock-shot hills
Your emergence is the breath of the forest.