October

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rain falls

each drop, a gift from sky to land

rests gently on the earth

 

A few thoughts…

This morning began with rain, the gentle rain that collects and settles on leaves.

The photos for this calendar were all taken last year. I took another photo this morning that was almost identical – a year apart in time, but connected by rain and light.

There’s little more to say, except that, in these strange times, remembering the gifts the earth gives us could help us remember the gifts we can give each other and ourselves – gentleness, kindness, patience, encouragement.

 

At first I thought that was all I had to say. I felt an emptiness. I could feel myself casting around for the right words… there are no “right words”. There is only whatever you feel the need to say. There is only the saying of whatever it is you are feeling.

I feel the same rage that rises in so many women around the world. Frustration with the inequalities in our societies, with the sense of entitlement that so many express. There’s a part of me that wants to join in the cries of “burn it down!”. I don’t want to feel helpless, I don’t want to feel afraid. I’m drawn to myths of Medusa and Kali and the Morrigan. And yet I feel the witch-wound stirring in my blood, and I wonder if I can be courageous.

All I know is that I have welcomed the crone into my body and soul … and she speaks now, the wise woman, the healer, the mystic.

There’s a part of me that needs to step back, and breathe. Standing barefoot on the cool wet ground this morning, I felt calm and quiet, connected to the rain and the light.

And now – the sun has is out. I bask in her warmth and the wet ground is drying. And there were words, after all.

 

words

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hands full of words

some need to be approached slowly
picked up delicately with fingertips

others need speed and both hands
to wrap around and keep them contained

still others invite themselves
jumping up and down until chosen

some lie still, playing possum
until I look away
and then they twitch and nip
and leap to freedom

hands full of words
right now, loving best the ones that try
to slip between my fingers

©clairegriffin2017

inspired by a tweet by John Guzlowski “My poems are clumsy…”

monday

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
listening
to the sound of my own voice

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

silence

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silence
is all I can offer

I hold my hands out
and lying in them
my fallen children
my crafted acts of love
my gifts to you
my words lie crumpled
orphans of war
you forgot them when
you turned to confront me

your words have desecrated
the space between us
I cannot offer mine
I cannot risk losing them
in your wasteland

any words I offered now
would be seeking
your understanding
you cannot give me that

silence
is my only offering
while I am
trying to keep the peace
trying to be peaceful
trying to piece together
the fragments of memory
that I can hold with love

you turned to confront me
I turn away

all I can offer
is silence

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

This is a companion piece to “screen“.
I wish I didn’t need to keep writing these sad, dark poems
(don’t worry – I won’t be putting them all here).
But for now – they are still helping me to process and understand
a significant relationship, myself, my past.

screen : poetry : day 6

your words fall between us
a wall of miniature time-bombs
that don’t explode until I think
about them later, in silence

if you ever choose to listen you might find
there was never any counter-fire,
you might find that you can no longer hear
anything beyond the beat of your own heart

what might have begun for your own
protection is now a barrier projecting
negativity, and you are now trapped
behind a self-referential screen

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

screen : #introtopoetry : day 6 : enjambment

(this started life as 325 words and managed to edit to this 75 word version)