Poetry

Tag: Random thoughts

Category : Journal

“Each and everyday, we see images and events which are pure poetry in their ability to trigger an emotion… if only we paused a moment to take notice.”

Dear journal.

Been thinking about poetry recently. Oh not the Shelley, Byron, Yeats, Owen, Austen or Aitken type of poetry… poetry that went over my head at school. More the ‘poetry in motion’ type of poetry.

Yesterday I saw bath time in the garden. A while ago we put a shallow dish near the house and filled it with water for the birds, meaning for it to be used as drinking water. Turns out the birds like to take a bath in it  too.

Bath time is when the sparrows, starlings or baby blackbirds gather round and take it in turns to splash about. They even drink out of the puddles they make. Watching them is mesmerising. With a smile on my face yesterday, I stood for ages and watched this ‘poetry’ unfold.

I love watching Swifts at this time of the year too. In late July I can hear them from early morning to late evening squealing at each other and screaming around the rooftops chasing each other and teaching their young how to catch insects. Such aerobatics… they can change direction as quick as a bat. And when they join in small groups, their playful song is the song of a summers eve, wonderful… poetic.

All this nature stuff is poetic. None of it has to rhyme. It doesn’t have to follow rules unless you start talking about Darwin and his rules of evolution, the strongest and fittest. To dissect it that way, though, would be missing the point.

I love watching nature at work because of its poetry… because it’s magical to do so… because, and maybe this is the crux of it, it’s indifferent to us and independent from us. From the seeds that grow into enormous sunflowers or ripened fruit; the birds flocking, playing and bathing, to the hedgehog living with us for the summer. I see it all as ‘images and events which are pure poetry in their ability to trigger an emotion’.

And that’s it for today journal. I’ve attached some pictures for you so you can get an idea of what I mean about poetry in motion. You’ll see that for me much of the poetry around involves nature.


Tag: Random thoughts

Category : Musings

It’s just past midnight.

At this early hour, the ticking of the clock day is fast becoming an old friend. The only other occasional sound is that of the dog when she occasionally turns on her bed at the top of the stairs where she sleeps.

I’m tired but not tired, a statement which requires explanation.

I’m tired because I’ve only slept for around 2 to 3 hours, but then I’m in a sort of bleary-eyed mania because my brain is active and I’m journaling (is that a word?)… which I understand is normal for some authors?

Not so for me. The cause of my nocturnal sojourn is prednisolone, high-dose steroids, which I’m hoping will reduce soon and allow me to return to my usual sparked out state during the hours of darkness. But enough of the reason.

I mentioned above that other writers do work when the world is at rest and I have to admit during a previous couple of hours on the sofa while mulling over my writing, an idea occurred to me regarding central themes within my tales.

Most of my storytelling uses the Indiana Jones methodology, I make it up as I go along and quite early on during the days when Song of the Robin was in its infancy I began to introduce ‘family’ as a focal point.

The main plot for Song of the Robin is all about the deep rooted love a man has for his wife and his desperation when faced with impending tragedy. However, as with all good tales, the backstory required as much detail as current events to give life and depth. This is where my focus became more intense, where I could introduce the emotions of grief and joy, loss and belonging… those emotions that make our own lives real. What I don’t recall is planning to introduce this particular theme, proof that much of my writing is unplanned and only drifts along these tributaries once a few sentences appear on paper.

Thinking about the theme of family, it only hit me recently where this came from. They do say you should write from personal experience so that your words are more believable. (Worrying with so many serial killer thrillers in print!) For me, this theory is clearly the case.
My main protagonist is lacking in a broad spectrum of family members, most importantly no grandparents during her childhood. This reflects my own childhood. Only now as the years have advanced have I developed more of an interest in my parents and grandparents lives, but they are long since gone. I have no recollection of my paternal grandparents, and though I was around ten when my maternal grandparents left, I have little memory of any relationship with them… I never felt close… was never left with them… never played. To be honest, they were old people, and I was a little scared of them. But in those days there was still an element of ‘children were seen and not heard’. So different from my wife’s experience, where a huge expanse of her childhood is filled with memories of all her grandparents – as with our own children. I feel no regrets but as with all fiction, the notion has filtered through to be expanded and dramatised to fulfill a purpose.

Unwittingly and unplanned, this emptiness of mine has manifested itself in the backstory of my central characters in order to create a hole in their lives that can be filled with plots and side plots, poignancy and joy. Indeed the same theme extends to other characters which of course led to the extended tag line for Song of the Robin.

A TALE OF DESTINY, OF FAMILY, AND THE STRONG BONDS THAT LINK US… EVEN TO THOSE WE HAVE LOST.

And also to a moment’s clarity with the heart of my heroin.

“Sarah’s need for the sanctuary of family was her greatest strength and her greatest weakness. What was family, she thought, if not a place to belong? Family was everything. It was a warm blanket… an embrace… a safe place to hide when the world threatened. A refuge where the door was always open, and a friendly face welcomed.”

Ever since I began to write, I’ve been enthralled at how a story develops with little forethought. How a basic idea can change course, follow a different path and still arrive via a circuitous route at the conclusion, hopefully intact as a coherent tale.

Hmm. Almost 03:00. Yes, ready for sleep now. Night.


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