Shallows

Today’s post for my review of the last twelve months is a poem about highs and lows, and our place in the world …

Made of sticks and stones

photo credit: Grazia Mele Talutah – Self Portrait via photopin(license)

I am deep
When I am with you.
Bottomless, fathomless, eternal.
Falling to the deepest of depths;
Yet when I spread my wings
The thermals take hold and I circle
Drifting up, to undreamed heights.
With the whole of creation
Laid out below.
There is silence,
The only sound,
The shallow breathing
That anchors me here
Within this primitive cage.
A warning, is the sound,
Of how treacherous the undercurrent is
That threatens to drag me to my death.
 
© 2018 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

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I Can’t Write Anymore

The title of this post may sound brutal but, then, the title isn’t exactly true either. Yet it is what I have been telling myself pretty frequently over the last couple of months.
Usually, it involves looking at an empty page, flinging my arms skyward, cursing, before exclaiming “I can’t write anymore”, “I’ve lost the words” or something similar.
During this time I’ve only written two poems and I wrote hardly anything poetic during September. Well, I wrote one poem during the month but at most no matter how many times I read it I could only categorise it as inoffensive. I can’t feel any more enthusiastic about the words than that. My response to my own work is lukewarm. I apocalyptically opine that I have been deserted by my Muse. Though I occasionally think I can hear her laughing behind my back as I stare at the flashing cursor on the naked flesh of the computer screen.
But then this is what I do. I always used to resent the time I spent writing poetry while I was trying to keep up my daily word count in my fiction writing. It took me a while to accept that I needed to have the creative escape hatch of writing a poem unconnected to the story universe I was writing in while I figured out the problems within the fiction. Sometimes though I used to write a poem connected to the fiction, cementing the atmosphere of a story location in my mind or allowing a character a chance to express themselves outside the restrictive form of sentences, paragraphs and chapters.
But still, in my mind, it was only sentences, paragraphs and chapters that mattered when it came to word count. And a lack of word count was one of my favourite things to beat myself up with as a writer.
To that end can writers not share on social media messages such as “… written 5k words today, best day ever whoop, whoop… ” or complaining “… 11 am and have only written three chapters so far today… ”. Because I can’t relate with that, the more relatable message for me would be “… really pleased, with today’s score Chocolate Biscuits eaten 7, Words Written 8 …”. That’s the sort of message that resonates with me.
Yes, I’m very happy with the chapters that I have managed to write during September and October. I’m especially pleased with the opening sentence of one particular chapter …

… yet I stress myself over my lack of output when I need to look at my creativity more holistically.
I know I need to be kind to myself, yes quite a lot of the time my creativity, the poetry especially, comes out of the stresses and anxieties within my life. But if I focus too much on the negatives I risk shutting out all the other avenues of creativity for occasionally I write about sunlight and warm feelings. Too much darkness will only lead me into a dead-end of zero creation. Word-count is not my friend because I know I need time away from one creative coal-face occasionally to recharge my batteries. And finally if I wake up in the morning and write five-hundred words relating to a completely separate project in a storm of creativity that is because that is the strand of my subconscious that wants to communicate at that moment, I shouldn’t try to silence it and having ideas on one topic can lead to more ideas in time on other projects as long as I am patient with myself, because I need to make-believe. And I need chocolate biscuits too but that is a separate story.

© 2019 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Pulsar

photo credit: KJ Photographie ***** via photopin (license)

Travelling seventy miles a second
As sunlight explodes through the trees.
Wind fire blowing through the neurons
Carried on the autumn breeze.
And it’s good to be alive,
Blood pulsing, raining fire,
As the journey flies beneath the wheels.
With the trees as golden as desire,
Roadside sentinels, as my chariot drives me.
 
© 2019 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Originally Published 19 November 2017

Theatre

photo credit: Funky64 (www.lucarossato.com) Natural Power via photopin (license)

Colours
Bleach out, fade.
All withers, turns grey.
Dust gathers
Between the cracks in time.
Decay
Gathers pace, even,
Before the curtain falls.

But it is a new broom
That is all.
The scenery changes,
Some of the actors too,
But the characters
Are familiar,
Same old plotlines too.
You will see after all
That nothing’s new.
 
© 2019 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

The Game is Life

Day 27 and a poem about being small and inconsequential …

Made of sticks and stones

photo credit: translator, artist, Renaissance scholar The Baroque poet G. B. Marino as Dorian Gray via photopin(license)

The wheel is set spinning
And the future becomes the past.
The fates have decided blindly
If destiny should treat you kindly,

If your innocence should last.
But if the universe has an underpinning,
If there is but one golden rule,
It is that the gods play dice with you.

In the end you can never win
Because whatever strategy you choose
They’ve seen it all before
They’ve predicted every score.

Because heads they win, tails you lose.
The scales of justice have weighed your every sin.
For the gods take pleasure in being cruel.
Beware for the game is rigged when the gods play dice with you.
 
© 2018 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

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The Game is Life

photo credit: translator, artist, Renaissance scholar The Baroque poet G. B. Marino as Dorian Gray via photopin (license)

The wheel is set spinning
And the future becomes the past.
The fates have decided blindly
If destiny should treat you kindly,

If your innocence should last.
But if the universe has an underpinning,
If there is but one golden rule,
It is that the gods play dice with you.

In the end you can never win
Because whatever strategy you choose
They’ve seen it all before
They’ve predicted every score.

Because heads they win, tails you lose.
The scales of justice have weighed your every sin.
For the gods take pleasure in being cruel.
Beware for the game is rigged when the gods play dice with you.
 
© 2018 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Circus

photo credit: vk-red Transfiguration III via photopin (license)

photo credit: vk-red Transfiguration III via photopin (license)

I’m waiting for the clowns
I haven’t seen them yet,
They should be here
To share in my regret.

Up there in the shadows,
Up there in the Gods,
The mountebanks are lurking,
The ones you all adore.
Those liars with their silence
Drown out the sound of the applause.

But there should be clowns here.
Not just whiskey fears and cigarettes.
There should be clowns
To help me to forget.
 
© 2018 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Originally published 5 January 2016

Travelling Show

Silence,

Is overrated.

Give me bustle,

Give me noise,

A street scene drama,

A panoply of joys.

Let there be music

Of larks and doves.

With crashing waves,

Electric guitars.

With vibrant brushstrokes

Paint it in crimson

And golds and blues.

Let it all go spinning by

On the helter-skelter, razor’s edge.

Never quiet – I choose life.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

The Cartography of Skin

A tattoo of scars
Draws a map of how I’ve sinned.
It shows the route that I have travelled
In my journey on Earth, from birth until today.
Continents drawn contain the highest peaks
Where eagles dwell, then swoop down into
Vast valleys of despair lit only by lights absence.
There are islands of love here and there
Set adrift on barren seas.
While monsters lurk beneath the waves
As ocean tides rise and fall
With the pulsing of my heart.
With this tattoo of scars
I travel; on a path mapped by
This cartography of skin.

© 2017 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved

Originally Published 5 January 2016