winter dreaming


it’s the tail-end of winter
and I’ve been feeling low
I have days when
I can’t imagine
how I will rise again

but I stand here today
overlooking the sea
on the verandah of a house in another town
in the distance I hear birds call, voices,
the low hum of the waves
little flurries of wind
blue sky to infinity
the sun pouring its heart out over the land
and I can feel, if I stayed here
my spirits would lift

I can see myself living here
in a two-storied house
overlooking the sea
with a room for books and writing
and quietly watching the world

I’d take the dogs I don’t have yet
for walks on the beach
bake bread and knit and talk

until the ‘real’ world changes
and catches up with my imaginings
part of me will go on living in this dream

© Claire Griffin 2016


today is Monday, and I have given myself the gift
of a longer than usual lunch
after three weeks battling an ear infection
I can hear well enough to spend an hour
listening to a poet read her work, and describe it as
ordinary and complicated
simple and detailed
instinctive and conscious
and when asked
“what makes a poem a poem?”
she talked of rhythm
and sound
and space
“its all about the line endings”
and I sat there thinking
she is speaking my language

leaving the room, I felt strangely calm and quiet
I was walking carefully, touching the ground lightly
as if I was carrying a bowl of water
that I did not want to spill

as soon as I walked outside, and all the way to the car
I was immersed in sounds
a pushchair rattling over uneven ground
teenage boys with their big voices
a truck changing gear
and in the distance, the music of bagpipes
that came
and went
and came again
as I walked past the gaps between buildings
and construction works
cars passing
crossing signals
and a dog’s lead clinking, black coat shining in the sun

all enter the sensitive water
subtle ripples spreading to the edge
and all the way, holding this bowl before me
not a drop is spilt

getting into the car I turned off the radio
and drove twenty minutes to a meeting
and still, I was enveloped in sound
wind noise, the “click/clack” of the indicator
and tyres rumbling over cat’s eyes
as I changed lanes on the motorway
I turn and stop
opening the door
a seagull shrieks
announcing my arrival

I enter the room and sit at the end of the table
I am not the person they were expecting
I am halfway through the day
and half present in the room
holding a bowl crowded and heavy with words
and I am sitting, silent
to the sound of my own voice


© Claire Griffin 2016