Years ago, when our twelve year old son brought home the cat he had made in woodwork (Tech. I believe it is called now) I hadn’t the heart to tell him that actually cats aren’t spotted.
It has had pride of place for many years now on this door frame, reminding us that unique isn’t wrong,
Another of our sons is an artist – hence this unique bike helmet.
I am making a slow return to writing poetry. Nothing startling. Going more with a whim, or the serendipity, rather than any goal or plan.
The other day I was reading how disillusionment can be taken as a signal for change. I won’t elaborate on exactly what form or type of disillusionment has visited me in recent months. Let’s just say I am now seeing it simply as motivation for change.
I was born in the year of the snake, and like a snake, I shed skins. It is possible for me to look back at my life and see the times when I have shed an old skin for a new one. This is what is happening to me now. Another shedding of an old skin.
It is an attractive prospect for me at present, to sink into a world of domestic bliss; watching television, going to movies, enjoying my home, allowing music to transport, indulging in the companionship of family, having coffee with friends, meals out, walking, gardening, reading … all of which in comparison to the lonely existence and oft-times slog of a writer, is a dangerously satisfying way of life. What’s more, if I am honest, at my stage of life this more comfortable existence is one I’m no longer prepared to give up simply in order to write.
However, the urge to write; this lifelong habit of mine; this preferred form of creative expression; is a strong one. I will never stop. Wane and waver a little perhaps, but as long as I’m alive and able, I will write. Just maybe not as long and hard as previously. This is part of what living in my new skin is beginning to look like. The garret-existence of a starving artist/writer; the drive to write at the expense of comfort; is no longer a necessary pre-requisite for satisfaction.
Of course, the beauty of shedding the old skin is the gleaming new skin that the old is replaced by. The freedom is there to choose the pattern and colour. And make it unique.
The poem I wrote today was easy to write as I simply copied lines taken from old notes I found in a notebook.
Poem For New Year
Small grey heron
in water up to its shins.
squat like concrete frogs
in dying afternoon
A small girl on a swing sings
The flag man has hung
Saudi Arabia. White Arabic
and a sword on dark
green flaps and flutters
beyond a cabbage tree’s splatter.
Soon it will rain. Maybe hail.
Kay McKenzie Cooke