First Steps

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct…

Frank Herbert, DUNE

I’ve been planning a particular project now for several months. As the launch date approaches, a moment or two of self-doubt is inevitable. Have I considered everything in terms of variables? Are my timescales realistic? What if nobody is interested? In this case, however, the results won’t be measured by traditional notions of success, at least not by me. I’ve already overachieved wildly. This is new, glorious territory.

To accommodate the new direction, for the entirety of May my normal working output will alter. Instead of daily poetry (9am and 5pm) you’ll instead get a new hashtag to follow: #EndOfTheFear. What this means right now remains a surprise, you’ll need to come back here next week to get the full rundown. Both Narrating and Soundtracking playlists remain unchanged, and there’s still a short story to read along with.

Coded.png

This coming week therefore is a lot of legwork and preparation. Because of the way the month falls (2 days in April/3 days in May next week) there’ll also be a lack of poetry. There’s a very good reason for this: again, it’ll become apparent soon enough. Once upon a time I’d have tried to keep doing everything uninterrupted, but I’m smarter than that now. Some things must be put on hold, to dedicate full focus on larger aims.

makingpoems.gif

Once upon a time, everything just happened in my life. As I explained on Friday, a lot’s improved since the start of the year. Undoubtedly a lot of it is to do with how the process of work is approached: organisation, planning, realistic goals all factor into the equation. Occasionally, something unexpectedly brilliant happens and you realise that maybe, just maybe, this is the right path all along.

Strap in, folks. Things are about to get amazing.

Poetry Archive :: Avocado

Really no idea what happened here. You can tell it has been a long week.


Avocado

A fruit from this tree,
persea americana;
mass phenomena.

Ancient nutrition
long before that toasted snack;
climacteric fruit.

Healthy yet fatty,
contradictory; texture
smooth taste sensation.

Millennial angst,
green-fleshed monster: symbolic
arbiter of wealth.

Avocado, shade
bathrooms, guacamole; build
California rolls.

Poetry Archive :: Fern

Again, huge fun from a static start. Enjoy.


Fern

Tiny, fractal
universe unwinding;
Euclidean space,
Mandelbrot growth.

Unremarkable
except, close up
noteworthy mathematics,
expansion, precise.

Most uncommon weed,
ancient arbiter, history
except, in truth
bifurcation a lie.

Such a tiny plant,
significant in context;
coal’s building block
Victorian motif.

Pteridologist, step up
fern expert: educate
wondrous species,
spiral history.

The Shape I’m In

I’ve spent the last couple of years raising money and awareness for various mental health charities, and promoting the events that happen (Time To Talk amongst others.) I also cycled for Mind last year and raised £500 whilst completing the RideLondon 46: thank you again to everybody who supported and helped cheer me on during what was an extremely transformative experience.

This year, I’m making a conscious decision to spend an entire week using words and pictures as an explanation as to how we are often incredibly hard on ourselves as people when it comes to self-image. This is a subject that I don’t often talk about publicly, but my obsession with weight and appearance has been a significant stumbling point to mental well-being across the years, especially after my daughter was born.

weightsandglasses.gif

Beauty is an incredibly subjective concept: perception of self massively dictates the ability and confidence of us all to be what it is we wish to become. If you are one of those people lucky enough to block out jibes and taunts of others, confident enough to stand as you are, looking happy and relaxed, those are skills you should be proud of. It has taken me a lifetime to feel a measure of that, and it’s far from a given.

I have some good words standing by for the third week in May (which is not long off now, hence why we’re talking about this now) and I hope you’ll consider reading (and sharing) them for a wider audience, to help the Mental health Foundation spread the word. If it wasn’t for their Mindfulness course, a lot of my progress forward would not have been possible, and it is high time I thanked them publicly for that assistance.

The first poem and article will appear on May 13th. I’ll see you then.

Poetry Archive :: Moss

No regrets about the crap pun in verse #5 ❤


Moss

Small, flowerless plant
seedless, simple leaves: clumped stems
surprisingly dense.

Dispersed on swift winds,
beautifully fragile spores;
yet hardy, stubborn.

Cracks between old stones,
surviving dessication:
liquid renewal.

Comfortable bed,
thermal insulation, or
growing medium.

Moss’ sterling work
untold uses: shady greens,
non-vascular stars.

Poetry Archive :: Mantis

This week’s micro-poetry was, it has to be said, summat of a triumph. That first line is what does it, of course: start strong, they say. Amazingly, the rest then pretty much wrote itself.

Some weeks, you just get lucky, I suppose.


Mantis

Confession: I ate him,
slightly tart, filling
sex, then stomach;
no regrets remain.

Brave bug did his duty,
species preservation;
he died happy,
I made sure of that.

As mother of futures
responsible pleasure,
sacrifice made;
continues our line.

Consumption essential
conception so stressful;
really peckish
his head hit the spot.

Ultimate sacrifice
gone with true feeling,
missed already:
what can I eat now?

Poetry Archive :: Laurel

We’re having fun over the next four weeks by doing quite literal interpretations of our subject matters. In this case, it was incredibly easy to throw together five verses on the literal essence of laurel, both historically and medicinally. This worked far better than I’d initially expected it to, so much so it’ll be fun to do the same with three other shades of green, or green-related words going forward.

Amazing sometimes how an idea spins you out to a completely different direction than first anticipated.


Laurel

Aromatic tree,
evergreen shrub: mountain nymph,
priestess of Gaia.

Victory’s symbol,
poet laureate: favoured
by the Gods themselves.

Immortality,
emperor’s regalia:
Roman reverence.

Vital astringent
wound’s salve: that Bloody Mary’s
green ingredient.

Humble, verdant growth
vitally symbolic; plant
new futures within.