Probably the pleasantest and most natural way for a poem to come to you is when you are least expecting it.
That was the case with Shunning Time, which is still in a pretty raw and unpolished state as I publish this first and possibly final version.
One of the ideas for this artistic and poetic diary was to throw my thoughts around before the works were actually finished, but I'm finding that doesn't work particularly well with poetry. I'm not feeling particularly inclined to talk about a poem as it's half or a tenth written - I'd rather be getting on with the thing itself and then blah-blah about it.
For paintings it's a bit different I think but we'll see. In any case I seem to be quite inspired at the moment and getting over the debacle of the Grand Marché d'Art Contemporain fairly well.
Here's the piece anyway:
Shunning Time Today I'm shunning time Walking the dog, it's after dawn Rush hour's come and gone The streets are calm and satchel-less Léo's at English school which makes it Midweek or thereabouts But I don't care There's a chill in the air And Dasco's coat is thickening Must be autumn settling in Ignore the church bell The grey sky gives nothing away Another wrinkle in the mirror today At 47 Where did that come from? I didn't know mirrors got wrinkles
As so often I was feeling like I was in some sort of hinterland and this feeling about time and it's surrealness suddenly came to me, wrapped up in what was going on around me and my circumstances at the time.
For posterity's sake I'll say that there are supposed to be references to various scales of time, either explicit - year: 47; season: autumn; week/day: midweek - or implicit - time of day: after dawn; hour: church bell.
Although I eschewed rhymes in this one, one crept in in the form of care/air so I decided to balance it with another which came pretty naturally: away/today. In addition to these explicit sonorities there are another couple of fairly pleasant sound pairs: dawn/gone; thickening/settling/(nothing).
As I look at it now, with the retrospect of a few hours, I can see there's not that much overtly 'poetic' about it, just a series of pretty basic facts. But then I'm not a great fan of flowery images anyway, and anything to obviously 'poetic' now gets stuck in my craw. And speaking of common collocations, chill in the air makes me cringe a bit, but it's there and I reckon I'll let it go for now.
What I do see, though, is that I shall have to work to get my poetry up to the standard it was at about ten years ago, when I was producing some pretty good stuff in comparison to today. And a lot of it too.
Two things seem to be missing: good ideas and good words. Hmm, that's kind of serious, isn't it? Wish me luck!