He loved one thing…

He loved one thing

The smell of onion and garlic

Cooking, leaking out

Of her skin, branding her clothes.

That promise of a meal, ready to turn

With repetitive force.

The comfort of nothingness

Of whole countries debased with

The same roughly chopped onions and garlic

Browning, burning

In that wedding present pan.

 

Apologies for the lack of blog posts. I have been writing, but nothing that I immediately wanted and needed to share. I’ve also been busy organising a writers’ group which is now ten strong. And this is the fruit of one of our exercises on Saturday.

I write some of the exercises myself, and also use a folder of exercises gleaned from Emma Pass but via other writers, including Cathy Grindrod. I believe this exercise is one of Cathy’s: read a poem and discuss, then write a poem based on it, use, for example, ‘He loved three things’ by Anna Akhmatova.

We had an interesting discussion about translation within the group. The version I found online for free had the title ‘He loved three things: alive’. Other members went on to find different translations. It makes me want to read the poem in the original Russian, but I can’t speak or read Russian!

I only had time for one thing, so here it is.

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This is my Refuge – a new poem #amwriting (sometimes)

I wrote this poem for a competition. I won’t say which one, but I was way off the mark. I was thinking about home, but perhaps I needed to write something more in the style of someone else, or talk about a sunrise on the dales. Not to worry.

At some point, I will look at the notes from my poetry editing class and look at where I am going wrong (again). When I get a minute. Or I may just turn everything into songs. Or learn the guitar.

This is my refuge

 

All is calm and white and open. Nothing

Is perched, ready to fall. Surfaces

Are clear and useful. Bookshelves

 

Empty. Words

Drip onto the page but never stick.

 

There are too many changes to track

too many tracks to change

and you never listen.

 

Dreams run on emptiness.

 

You held me down so long

I came out of the other side.

Now watch me fly.

(c) Rebecca Deans 2015

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Tupelo Press 30/30 Project (August 2015): Why I’m Writing 30 Poems in 30 Days, or, Poetry Needs You!

Another reblog here, but to support poetry. I wish I could commit to 30 poems in 30 days as well… Or people would donate to me! Please check out Robert Okaji’s work. It is awesome.

O at the Edges

image

Tupelo Press 30/30 Project (August 2015): Why I’m Writing 30 Poems in 30 Days, or, Poetry Needs You!

Dear Friends,

Tupelo Press, one of our very best independent presses, could use our help. Like many nonprofits, Tupelo depends upon donations to augment their programs, which vary from a Teen Writing Center to publishing literary works of emerging and established writers. To this end they’ve instituted innovative fundraising approaches to achieve their goals, including the 30/30 Project, one of their most exhilarating and participatory efforts – every month, approximately eight poets pledge to write 30 poems in 30 days, and raise funds by soliciting donations from sponsors (as many nonprofits do via sponsored walks, runs or rides). In August I am one of the participating poets.

I invite you to join me in this project and help out by reading, commenting, heckling, encouraging, insulting, cajoling, praising and yes, if circumstances allow…

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Love Song: not a sestina #amwriting #rhymingpoetry #new

I have been reading Elizabeth Bishop and playing with rhyming stanzas, but I think there is something missing here. I will have to look up a sestina again!  

Love Song  

I know you love me really

You just fight it

I should have made the tea

The way you like it  

I didn’t make the bed

And you were grumpy

The pillows were not plumped

Which made them lumpy  

If there’s a tear upon my face

Of course you’d swipe it

I should have made the tea

The way you like it  

And when you couldn’t sleep

It made you tired

You need your seven hours

It’s how you’re wired  

It’s like you’re a touch paper

And I light it

I should have made the tea

The way you like it  

So when you made the fist

I should have gone along

I’ve learnt to take the punches

In this love song  

I know that you feel better

When you fight me

How could you ever love

If you don’t like me?  

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When Did You Stop Learning Baby? #amwriting #rhymingpoetry #poetry 1994 to 1996

I have been looking through my entire back catalogue and discovered I like at least 24 poems and found more I can’t even remember writing. It is, however, the rhyming ones I wrote early on, before the poetry classes, that keep dragging me back. I have just made stanza two scan, so brought the detail forward a little.

I am really looking forward to the poetry editing workshop at the end of this month as I chucked an old one into the mix, together with my Pentrich Revolution and Derbyshire Rising folk song and Shred.

I may be back on my novel at this rate (which is not Simon Says, another one). Thank you for your time, non bots!

When Did You Stop Learning Baby?

 

 

When they told you off at school

When they told you kids should mess

When they told you that you’re thick

When they made you wear that dress

 

 

When the lads forgot their work

Took up studying your chest

When you worked out it’s not cool

When they made you wear that dress

 

 

When you won a full time post

At the PR intern’s desk

But they made you make the tea

When they made you wear that dress

 

 

When you drank yourself again

To a state of helplessness

When your period was late

When they made you wear that dress

 

 

When you gave it up for love

When your house was in a mess

When he only hit you once

When your baby wore a dress

 

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50 Treasures: Over to you…

Would anyone else like to contribute to this blog? I know I used the Derby Local History Library when I was tracing the house history of my former home.

Derbyshire Record Office

We are half-way through our tour through Derbyshire Record Office’s 50 Treasures, which we started publicising in 2012, to mark our fiftieth anniversary.  Treasures 24 and 25 have been selected by a former staff member and a researcher respectively, and we would like to take this opportunity to appeal for suggestions from other people who either use Derbyshire Record Office (in person or from afar) or used to work here.  Is there any document in our local studies or archives collections that particularly stands out for you?  The item you choose could be a “treasure” because of something intrinsic to the document itself – its appearance, its content, the themes it covers; or it could be precious to you because of your experience of it – something that would be invisible to others, perhaps some startling discovery that you made with it.  Or perhaps you are the person/organisation that gave us your nominate…

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Fable: One from the archive… Can’t remember if this ever saw the light of day… #amwriting

Fable

They’re dancing in Chaplain’s

She’s only fifteen

She’s naive and gorgeous

He’s fit and he’s keen

 

It’s clear she’s a virgin

He just doesn’t care

He gropes at her bottom

She fondles his hair

  

They’re dancing so dirty

She feels so grown up

Her friends are all envious

Her partner’s fucked up

 

He asks ‘Can I walk you’

She knows she should not

He smiles very sweetly

She’s feeling so hot

 

She talks to her posse

They warn her of it

They’ve heard about condoms

It doesn’t mean shit

 

He’s stopped there to kiss her

She thinks that’s enough

She thought he’d be gentle

He’s getting quite rough

 

He rips her dress open

It doesn’t feel right

She asks him to stop

And he tells her she’s tight

 

He takes off his trousers

She’s too scared to move

He says ‘kiss my precious’

She just wanted love

 

She kisses his fingers

He fingers her

She sees her first hard on

He asks ‘how is that’

 

Then says, ‘are you ready?’

He enters then sighs

Then pains is astounding

She screams and she cries

  

She hates how he’s stabbing

The films aren’t like this

It’s cold, unromantic

Who’s taking the piss?

 

He’s finished, he’s smoking

She’s aged by ten years

He asks if she came

And she vows, no more beers

 

Her mum’s sympathetic

She’s shocked but she’s cool

They go to the doctor’s

She has to miss school

  

She still goes to nightclubs

She’s taking the pill

She drinks now and then

But she doesn’t get ill.

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