The year is done…

Hi Everyone!

Just a short post to thank everyone who’s read my poetry on here over the past year-whether you’ve read one poem or all of them! Your support and lovely feedback has been hugely appreciated, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my poetry.

I managed to create 50 poems over the course of the last year the end-something I’m super proud of. I was meant to write 52 (one for every week of the year), but 2 little ones must have got lost along the way (I won’t worry about them!).

Some poems on here are definitely better than others, and there were certainly times when the last thing I wanted to do was write. There were moments when I felt totally uninspired and as though there wasn’t a single word left in me to share, and others when I had more ideas than I knew what do with!  In that sense, this project has taught me a great deal about the importance of perseverance. It has taught me that making a habit out of writing can not only have a really positive impact on the quality of what I write, but on my relationship with the act of writing itself.

This project was only meant to last for a year. I wanted it to be a time where I grew in confidence, and challenged myself to try out new forms, styles and ideas. I’ve definitely done that, and in that sense I  feel that the project has served its purpose.

However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to stop writing this year! I’m going to continue to update this blog as regularly as possible-although I may not be as strict with myself about posting on a weekly basis. There have been times in the past year when I’ve wanted to develop and re-draft poems further, but have decided against doing so due to time restraints and the weekly schedule. I’m looking forward to being able to fully develop my poems this year, to make what I write and share on here the best that it can be.

If 2017 was about the importance of perseverance, I feel that 2018 is about being brave. I want to share my writing more widely and take part in workshops and events to develop my work. I also want the topics I cover to be braver and bolder, and I hope I’ll be able to inspire others to share their writing boldly-growing in confidence as they go.

Thanks again to everyone who’s joined me on here in 2017, and here’s to a brilliant, bold and brave 2018! Below are a few links to some poems that I’m particularly proud of.

Makeover (poem #13)

Lost Ones (poem #14)

Sea Breeze (poem #18)

This Much I Know (Poem #19)

Starlight (poem #24)

Writer’s Block (poem #43)

Happy New Year!

Hope xx

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Memory Picnic (poem #50)

Peacefully spread out the year that you’ve had-

every experience that taught you something,

the memories that mean nothing,

the moments in between the ones that matter

and the images that you hold dear.

 

Pick them up,

embrace them in your hand,

clasping tightly for no longer than a second.

Discard the useless bits

and the moments where you lost your temper

before you found it again and held it better.

Tears on faces you’d rather not have seen

and words that were carelessly spoken.

 

Let others enter your heart.

The brightest of summery days

and the smile on her face

and the time you laughed without knowing.

Your skin glowing as you stare at the reflection in the mirror,

the evening you shared the most perfect dinner

and the days you did nothing at all.

The times that you’d fall and learn something

are also not worth forgetting.

 

Swallow them up,

feel them falling underneath your flesh

and let them settle in your body.

Sit and wonder in the blanket of your year for a moment

before wrapping it up,

Storing it away

and anticipating the arrival of the new.

For a fresh collection of memories

is on its way to you.

The Artist (poem #49)

You sketch the shapes-

Intricately creating figures with the movement of your hand-

The mother, the daughter,

The skeleton in the closet.

You have felt and known each of these forms,

And now your heart is torn over what to become next-

Lost in a sea of personas,

Heavy and worn.

So for now you will be the in between-

The artist,

Who has only to make and wish and be and dream-

Drawing the pigments out of the paints until they are as bright as they can be-

Making the pain beautiful for all to see.

For what can we do with sadness but use its energy for good?

And make darkness the cause to create light and beauty?

A gift (Poem #48)

You say

‘I’d like some piece of mind’-

So I will give you a piece of mine.

A Christmas present,

Wrapped up carefully in a package of memories and stories

That will make you smile.

It’ll remind you of the time that it rained for 10 days,

And just as you’d given up all hope of seeing the sun again

The clouds cleared and the rays shone down.

Of the time I made a cake without eggs,

And called it a disaster

Before finding it to be better than I thought.

I’d add in a sprinkle of kindness

And the warmest of hugs,

Before planting a kiss on your forehead

And hoping that the love would find the piece of your mind that needs it the most,

And would toast the cockles of your heart to be filled with the reassurance it needs.

A gift I will try my best to give you-

Directly for you, from me.

Shopping (poem #47)

I take a break from your 2 for 1 deals,

and your belief that nothing heals

if you don’t put fancy creams on it.

Step away from the Black Friday madness

into a blue Sunday morning,

gently yawning

as the breeze fills my hair and the birds start to sing,

remembering that being is not all consuming-

and that life can be the biggest bargain of all.

My Home, your home (poem #46)

I greet you with a simple ‘Hello’.
Unable to fill your mouths with the language of this place, 
you place them into smiles instead
and talk with your eyes-
kind and grateful, warm and gentle
as you find your way.
I do not see the hurt you must have felt,
but the relief you feel.
No homesickness, 
only gratitude to be safe and still
in a politics which is ridiculous and laughable
rather than dangerous and violent.
I think about your story, 
and how this land must feel to you.
My home your home now, 
your story, our story-
for what are countries anyway
if all they do is divide us?
Instead, let us welcome you to our fireside
And experience the peace we are lucky to have.

Birthday (poem #45)

‘It sounds so much older than 24’-
I say-
My voice thin and flat
as I comprehend my destiny.
You put your arms around me,
and say-
‘but darling!
The best is still yet to come,
your early twenties just the beginning.
You still have glowing wrinkles ahead,
and hands to hold,
and gentle summer mornings to laze around on hammocks.
You have treasures to be found
and adventures to be had,
dreams to fulfil
and goals to build
and a whole vat of wine to drink.
There will be pitfalls,
and disappointments,
but life’s blemishes will build an even more wonderful you-
Make your fabric even richer
and your threads even stronger.
For we do not age-
we only grow.’
 
So I quickly get over my birthday sorrow,
and look out at my future instead-
Toasting with a simple glass of red
Before looking for magic, and laughter and love-
Because after 25 years
I know that these things are most important of all.

Photoshop (poem #44)

You constructed a family photograph.
Carefully choreographed,
beautifully composed
so that in lonelier times you could look back and smile.
But then you realise there is someone missing,
a little person that is off somewhere singing
or wearing a fairy outfit at a friends party.
So you found an image that distilled her essence-
small with wild hair, filled with the joys of Spring and being 4,
and added her in,
Photoshopping before it had even been invented.
You weren’t editing to create a reality that doesn’t exist,
but to make her feel a part of it
so that when she came to visit she would look and say-
‘I wasn’t there! But I was there, too.’
This kindness I loved and learnt from you.

Writer’s Block (poem #43)

My hands are not full of words today.
There is no poetry to be made from the beating of my heart,
or the frown on your head
that tells me you’re upset.
There are no rhyming couplets on the tip of my breath,
and my mind has ran out of the intelligence
to string a clever sentence together.
There are no poems left-for they have all been written,
the words spread out on a blanket
to share and tread on as gently as the dreams we made together.
Every topic covered,
the genres all full,
and the forms complete.
But as neat as it is to write words cleverly
Sometimes it is better to live and breathe the air-
And make our lives the best poem of all.

The world, my stage (poem #42)

My dreams have changed now.
It is no longer to be a shining star,
the golden girl covered in glitter who bounces about when she leaves the stage.
My dream is to be the best version of myself.
Thoughtful, honest-
clear when she needs to be
and thoughtful of herself and others-
listening carefully to her sisters and brothers.
 
It’ll take time,
and I will fall-
lie on my side stumbling with words as I try to fly through the guidelines,
overstepping the lines
and then sticking to them again,
knowing how important it is to be clear.
Living and listening through every weather-
the extreme, the still, the silent and bold-
Where stories are made, to be shared and told.
 
I’ll learn to dream big
in other ways,
and make this world a sparkling stage
so that I can carry on, at any age.
 
For my dreams have changed-
but I have not.