Thursday, 6 October 2016

Messengers: A poetry post for National Poetry Day


I'm in between books at the moment. My Rose book is going out to potential agents (and I know I should expect rejection, but it's nice when they get back to you and you can turn it around and get it out somewhere else, and what if no-one likes it because it's rubbish? I know I've read plenty of rubbish books in my time, so some-one will surely take it anyway? What if it's not rubbish, but no-one wants it anyway?)... BREATHE! And I'm refusing to start rewriting Chaptershill until November, because I have already invested too much effort, time, and LOVE into it to start over (and it needs a start over) without quite deciding what to do. Is the reason why I can't think of another book like the one I'm thinking of writing because it's a terrible idea? Should I attempt to write it as a TV series? Who would want that anyway? If only I could draw I could render it as a series of graphic novels, which would be wonderful. Anyway...


In between that I am obsessing about poetry. Writing lots at times, and other days, like today, feeling like a fraud who couldn't write a poem if you hit me with a poetic stick. I've got a list of poems I should be writing here beside my computer, and I am working on it... although mainly keeping things in my notebook until I feel like I'm better at this.

I'm also thinking about this blog, and whether I should be writing it (I mean, I like writing it, but am I devaluing my work?), and whether 'Oh we do...' is the worst name ever...

What I'm figuring is that I'm being over critical. I'm reminding myself that I have had some poems accepted recently, including a sonnet in the first issue of 404 Ink, coming out in November, and pre-orderable (that's a word, right?) here, which I'm really excited to be in at the beginning of. 

Yesterday, I spent the day in my kids' school, doing poetry workshops in all the classes, which was a bit mad. I did rhyming with the little ones, who were baking cakes with snakes and flakes and filling Mr Fox's smelly socks with rocks. The middly ones were doing haikus about Autumn and animals, and breaking rules about grammatical structure but keeping the meaning. The older ones were doing some really tricky stuff, thinking about old English poetical structure and assonance, using examples from Beowulf, and fighting hard to avoid rhyming! Some of the poems were utterly brilliant. Some were heartbreaking - one boy stood up in front of his class of P6s and 7s and read a poem about how much he loves his sister, but he isn't sure she loves him back. And the kids demonstrated that they were brilliant too, congratulating him on his courage and on the poetical structure (which didn't quite do what he'd been asked, but worked brilliantly anyway). Some kids seemed to accidentally bring structure out of nonsense. All of it was amazing. 

There was a note of discord though. The kids were working on their poems on their white boards, but sometimes, when a kid wrote something, and then decided it wasn't perfect, they rubbed it out. I saw some of what they wrote, and some of it was fantastic, but it wasn't good enough for them. I was saddened that they didn't have  the courage to share, and that good work was lost for lack of faith.

That's what is inspiring me today, to go ahead and share the poem I've written for National Poetry Day, even though I've tried lots of times to write it and nothing seems quite right. I felt like I was waffling and boring and just rubbish. I nearly rubbed it all out, but instead I decided to cut my thoughts down to a haiku, which I'm going to share.

I've been watching a lot of Vikings lately, and loving the portrayal of religion, with the Christian English condemning the barbaric Pagan Vikings, and then going ahead and being barbaric themselves. Being open minded seems to be the way ahead, and yet there are aspects of the Pagan faith that call to me, and that's inspired this poem.



© Cara L McKee 6/10/16 

Update: 18 Nov for The Prompt

The prompt this week is 'messenger' and this haiku was too easy a hit not to share. Obviously, since I wrote this I've changed the name of the blog, which is a good thing, and I've decided that the blogging community is too important to me to stop, but I am trying to make sure my output here is good! Fingers crossed!

I'm also half way through NaNoWriMo and making good progress on the Chaptershill rewrite, although it's hard at the moment, and feeling like it might not come right. I don't want to give up though. I'd be letting my characters down. 

I'm still waking up thinking of poetry though. Perhaps that is where my heart currently lies. 



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