“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustave Flaubert
This month has become all about home and family. Every poem I’ve written and every poem that’s been written to me. I’ve had this preoccupation with trying to pin to paper my range of feelings about the Riverland, the complexity of my family. What home means to me. Reading through everything I’ve written there have been some obvious patterns emerging. Home needs a sense of connection to others, a sense of safety and inspiration from the landscape, home needs the people that you love and the people that you love are complicated and messy.
I’m lost in this place. The place between who you were and who you are. I’m trapped there with you. My fear traps me. My love. My hope. My baby brother. Because I see. What you could be. What you have been. What you are. My heart is breaking. Breaking. Broken. A broken soft footed thing. Reaching. Are you reaching? Falling. Just falling. No. Reaching. You reached and I reached. Now we’re waiting. To fall. To fly. For something. A tipping place. A new face. A way through. It’s worth it. It is. I believe absolutely that it is worth it. Actually truly worth it.
This is the last day of Café Poeting for March, the next time I’m here it’ll be a new month and I intend to make a concerted effort to explore a completely different theme and place – but for today it’s still March and I’m thinking of those people I love. Those people who make the fabric of my life. Complex, damaged, precious and unnameable.
Hear the catch.
Voice on the other end breathing.
Is this it?
All there is?
All the wrong things
Of what you’ve
I hate that
Want to keep you safe
Want to wrap you in love
Instead change the subject
Ask a question
Tell a funny story
Pretend I don’t hear you
Pretend I don’t know that you’re close
I’m so small
So far away
I can do
An awkward boy. A less awkward time. And something else slipping quietly past. Someone loved. Someone precious. Who are the people we’ve lost? The people we’ve left behind. Snapping shadows on your shins. Gulping windows in your eyes. Forgotten over and over and over and over and over.
Posted in Art Projects, Cafe Poet Residency
Tagged art, australian poetry, cafe poet, community, Creative Writing, family, home, love, Personal Development, poetry, regional arts, Riverland, sprouts cafe
After a three week break I return to my little Café corner – pleased to find an envelope waiting for me in the poetry box (yay!). The residency has been slow to start. I’ve been busy and tired. Not giving the time I should to promoting and sharing what I’m doing. I know it. I feel guilty. I smile at the people that come through the door. Think I need a better sign. A better poetry box. A better brain.
The poem I find within that envelope is about home. This home. The Riverland. This place of opposites. This place of hope within the fear. I like this place. I think about this place as home. What is it to me? What will I write? How will I say it? How will I stretch what it means to me across this accusing blank page?
I’m forcing them. The words. Having to work three times as hard as I expected to. It’s an uncomfortable feeling. A heavy feeling. A something, something feeling.
I know there are so many people out there who tap a bit of poetry into their laptops or their phones or their diaries at night. Where are they all? Why can’t I hear them? Find them? Reach them? I’m trying…..really I am.
So home. I said to you. Sit down. Be quiet. Let me think.
My dreams dance around
Something precious found
Home, another place
A new lonely face
Teach myself to sing
Still a broken thing
I try to reach, past
The fear, still the last
Describe to me that tree. The man said with a sweetened voice.
I said. No. Maybe. I can’t.
Deep rich red. Scarlet in a rainbow. Only shades of scarlet on my plate.
He said try harder
I said. It’s big. It’s lost. I’m small.
Reaching, swaying, a woman’s curves, a smoothed over hill.
He said it’s not those things.
I said. It is. It must be. That’s what I say.
The river runs by. An eternal friend. I’m like to be swimming
He throws his hat at me. Dives deep.
My words are small. I sit.