This morning, sitting in the garden in the sun, I wrote a poem. I want to dedicate it to everyone who supports my creative work, especially my Patrons.
Many of you will have heard me going on about David Whyte recently. He’s an incredible poet and teacher, and he has a series called What To Remember When Waking, which is named after a miracle of a poem by the same name. (HT to Eamonn for getting me hooked into this).
It’s hard to describe how incredible WTRWW is. and how much David Whyte has taught me. It’s incredibly inspirational and grounding at the same time. He has an arresting voice.
He uses poetry as an allegory or an “in” to discuss what’s needed to live a full and fulfilling life. It’s about facing to unknown, vulnerability, asking for help, how to keep focus and momentum, how to really be present in your life.
You’ve probably also heard me talking about Stephen King’s book On Writing, which I was lucky enough to be sent by my writing mentor. The book is half autobiography, instruction manual, all philosophy. He talks often about the support from his wife Tabitha, an amazing poet in her own right, and how this is pretty much the single thing that kept him going as a writer.
“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in your makes a lot of difference. They don’t have to make speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”
– Stephen King
I still feel shocked and humbled every time I realise I have multiple people who believe in me. As a person, as a writer. Sometimes I literally stop and go ‘wait, what?’ You guys make this what it is. I have courage because of it. I have discipline and commitment because of it. Because of you, the people who are quietly there, continuing to read, continuing to care.
Anyway, this one is for you.
Watching a tui
make its way along a thin branch
on the front door step
with my feet on the welcome mat
The blue sky, on first look
is empty, is empty,
but closing one eye
might reveal a far off full cloud
a progression of bees going about their business,
a hawk, catching that first warm
updrift of the morning
And there also, a pale embarrassed moon
just a quarter of its full self
but a repeated promise, in the day
to return, to return
The air, gently scented with the last wisps of smoke from winter fires
the new lavender
freshly turned earth in the vegetable garden
The cat at my feet, rolling, arches her back
exposes her white belly to the sun
and I think about
putting some washing on the line
for the first time in months
facing the blank page
No words will really tell
this moment, this moment
stretched with possibility
like a bee in sunlight.
I recorded it, you can have a listen. (Probably turn your speakers up, I’m quiet).
Lencten is the Old English word for Spring. It is also the West Germanic origin of the word Lent. This felt appropriate because of the fast my life has been over these past months. My illness has created something of a hungry winter, and now I feel I am (perhaps optimistically) approaching the next season. Or perhaps I am just giddy with the fact it is now warm enough to fit on my steps with a cup of coffee in the morning and watch the cat roll in the sun.
Either way, this poem happened. It’s yours.