I could and would lose everything and everyone for feeling and thinking like this…
But when you’ve got nothing left to give and nothing left to live for, losing what’s left doesn’t seem so scary.
I’m a young independent woman, marriage and love shouldn’t bother me right? Wrong.
When your family rejects you and you’ve no one there by your side to see you through those tough times, it’s hard to justify the life choices you made.
When everyone around you has someone, it’s hard being no one’s one.
I’ve never had much trouble in titling poems. I struggled with this one because the only appropriate title would be his name but that’s not an option.
I have my arrogant pride and fear of embarrassment to thank for my refusing to ever admit something like love. Which is why this poem flowed so easily this morning.
It’s a feeling I’ve lived with for so long and gone through countless times… every single time.
It’s quite something being able to get together as a collective group of English teachers. Trainee teachers, NQTs, HODs, university mentors, PhD graduates all sat round a sticky table at the RISC creatively writing and sharing. It’s really honestly quite lovely.
After a few warm up tasks we were set off with the task of writing without stopping for 15 minutes. We could use what we’d created from the warm up tasks as springboards to the larger writing task or we could go off on another route.
A couple of things influenced this piece of writing: I decided to channel the first line of Gabriel García Márquez’ novel Love in the Time of Cholera, Thomas Mann’s novel Death in Venice naturally came to mind also when thinking about this almond smell. I’d also been dying to write a poem about the cherry blossoms in Japan and the beautifully eloquent geishas for a while now so that concept was in the back of my mind.
What I decided to do then was just merge all of those together.
Initially I was going to divide it up into stanzas and formulate a poem… but once I started writing I just kept going. I wanted to get out on paper exactly what I saw and felt rather than worrying about lines and stanzas and punctuation.
So I’ve kept it as the narrative paragraph that it is. It’s a little different to how I’m used to writing, but I tried.
I’m never able to get a good nights sleep. It seems impossible for my brain to just switch off and let my body recover.
I’m making it a habit to write when my mind won’t shut off, when the demons tear my mind apart, when memories and past hurt surfaces.
Welcome to my mind at 2am…
I have an affinity with all forms of pagan mythology, be in Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Maya, Babylonian, Nordic, and the list goes on.
Something about the way these ancient civilisations explored and explained their understanding of the world and it’s history, had always sparked something in me.
The level of depth and reason and creativity held within their myths and legends strikes me and leaves me always in a state of awe and wonder.
The element of mystery, and mysticism, and confusion, and magic… it’s all just so utterly beautiful.
One of the stories I actually grew up with and was fascinated with was that of Persephone and Hades. I would read this story over and over and over again. I found such pain, and such charm in this particular story despite its blatant underlying darkness.
I understand scientifically how the seasons work… but as a natural pantheist and a bit of a tree hugger, this myth for me makes more sense.
I had dreamt of seeing this sculpture most of my life so being able to travel to Rome and actually witness its lure first hand was just purely enchanting.
It only seems right. I had a good hard think about who I would say symbolises International Women’s Day for me. I couldn’t narrow it down to one single woman.
So I decided not to.
And Frida Kahlo.
These women came to mind as being important to me. A few days ago I started work on this poem, and decided to ask M to also write a poem on Frida. His was truly wonderful, but he’d taken a slightly different perspective than I had. I fully expected that which is why I asked him to write.
What followed was a very intense, very emotive conversation about Frida. It’s been a while since I’ve had my views and beliefs challenged by someone I view as my equal in every sense of the word. It was refreshing.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a poem so purposefully obscure and pompous. Some people drag it out of me.