Trains of Thought

IMG_20181028_132104

Trains of thought have no timetables.

Nor, if they did, would they keep

To schedule.

 

Trains of thought always pull in when

you are busy doing something else.

 

They require no ticket, no payment

only that you get on board and leave

your luggage behind.

 

Trains of thought have their own itineraries

And take you places you may otherwise

Never visit. Bring a notebook with you.

 

Trains of thought run on the fuel of

pure Imagination

Of which there are endless reserves.

 

In Praise of Slowness

tortoise-turtle-Stock-Free-Image-06022016-image-552

It was World Turtle Day last week.

I was a little slow off the mark

But I’m onto it now penning these lines.

I’d write a little more; trouble is

things are whizzing by , my head is spinning.

I’ve got to slow down, take a pit stop,

Pace myself a little. Whew!

I should be done by next World Turtle Day

But I wouldn’t want to stick my neck out.

A Cadaver of Red

123909

 

What is your wish? said the genie.

A cadaver of red, please.

A cadaver of red? Don’t you mean a cask or bottle? Or perhaps a magnum? I’ve had a glass or three myself. I’m feeling generous. How about a jeroboam — I’ve never granted one of them — or, maybe even, a nebuchednezzar?

No, thanks, mate. A cadaver of red, said the lazy vampire

 

The Kite and the String

kite-in-sky-1523737631DZk

 

I am reading a manual called ‘The Kite and the String’

Because I have trouble getting my thoughts

off the ground;

 

They run away from me like that fifty dollar note

The wind caught while I was crossing

the main road;

 

the writer taught the need to ‘abandon’ and ‘control’;

a kite that lifts and a string that unspools just enough to let the kite

fly happily along

 

but not so much that it gets caught

In power-lines or entangled in its own tail.

I like that very much.

 

The kite is the thought

and the string the firm hand of the poet

that keep that thought aloft

The Factory

cropped-img-1.jpg

The factory’s closed, he said.

Closed? As in Closed Down?

No, the security guy chuckled. Closed for repairs, renovations.

I understood.

I had been going there for years, churning out my poetry, those little dispatches from the frontiers of perception. Lately however the software had stopped working, the hardware was getting cranky too.

Someone had noticed.

When will it be re-opened? I asked.

Soon, he said. We’ve got people working on it. You work here or something?

You could say that. Guess I need a break too just as much as the machines. Thanks anyway.

He watched me go as I trudged down the street. I gave him a little wave just before I turned the corner.

 

Too Much

 

12654323841027211571sunset-md

 

It’s a good day, I said, the sun angling through the red gums hooking our attention.

I don’t know, he said, Friday was pretty impressive too  [referring to the hailstorm]

then he looked at me, knowing I’m a poet, and said, you gunna write about it?

& I said, without thinking, when I get time, Mark, when I get time

& I thought about it afterwards, how you could write about almost anything at all

even the least bit startling — a rock maybe metamorphosing into a frog, the hurtle of creekwater rounding a bend, a screech of cockatoos tearing up the sky

there’d be so many you wouldn’t know where to stop. You’d be writing all day

& the night would hold some surprises too — a spider abseiling down a branch,  a fuchsia sunset or a blood moon, the soft sounds of love —-

everything offering itself into words: there’d be no end to it; in the end you’d have to

avert your eyes, close your mind, do what you were told never to do and NOT listen

to the Muse; only then would you get some peace, the world so ablaze with glory

the problem is not too little but too much.

 

is that the problem with your writing — too much to write about?

or is it writers’ block?

how do you deal with it?

 

Creativity is a Terrible Thing

010-elijah-chariot

Creativity is a terrible thing,

He says,

When it gets you in its clutches.

It won’t let you sleep, rest.

It jerks you awake,

Kicks you out of bed,

And before you know it

You’re at the keyboard

At 3 a.m.

Belting out a poem

Belting through the bleariness

To get it down

Then head back to bed

Where it starts again

The brain twitch, the jerk,

The plummet into wakefulness.

You don’t even make a living out of it

But it’s the way you’re living

The gift, equal curse

But when that sweet chariot swoops you up,

Oh the rush, the voltage,

That gift

You’d trade your grandmother for it

Were she still around.