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Candle – Relighting the flame.

The launch of my poetry book, Candle, was snuffed out due to Covid-19. All meetings and venues and readings were cancelled.

On a good note, I learned to “Zoom” into poetry open mics and read some of my poems. I “met” a lot of people and made new friends. I found that poetry is not dead, or dying. It is thriving. The virus  lock-downs have given people more opportunity to write. And more reason to contemplate “the meaning of life” and where we are right now.

Twenty-twenty was just awful. But with the vaccines now running full pelt, I am hopeful for the future and what it may hold. So I will begin to promote my book again, and look forward to getting back out in the real world.

So here’s a new plug for my book. It’s called Candle. It’s a compilation of poetry written by me throughout my lifetime. Subjects range from my enjoyment of nature, especially summer, to motherhood and family life, to issues at work and everyday things that just “happen” and need writing about. It’s funny, moody, silly and sad.

Twenty-Twenty  also found me writing much more poetry than ever. There are plenty of poems on this website that were written that year, and some of these may find their way into another booklet.

So have a look through the poems. Have a look at the SHOP header and consider buying Candle. If you prefer just the rhyming poetry, consider my previous book “In Search of Sympathy or a Cure”.  If you want to contact me, you can email me at amandasamm@yorkshirepen.co.uk

Thanks for looking. Happy New Year. Let’s get 2021 off the ground. Happy browsing.

Lock-Down Three

Things to do in Lock-down 3

 

I’m going to

  • clean the house
  • and renovate the old décor
  • I’ll exercise and go for walks
  • I’ll paint and draw

 

It’s good to have a plan

But like new year resolutions

They go quickly down the pan

And my good intentions

Like my January Inspiration

Is quickly replaced by apathy

And procrastination

 

Cleaning – what’s the point?

When no-one’s allowed to visit

And if the décor the same

as they saw before

It isn’t going to matter, is it?

 

Exercise took a Christmas break

And it’s hard to get restarted

The weight gain from the Christmas cake

Has made me feel downhearted

 

It’s cold down in my garden shed

Where I like to paint and draw

It’s frosty and the wood has swelled

And I can’t get in the door

 

I’ve cut my hair, a snip or two

Cut all round till it was gone

It couldn’t wait till end of lock-down

Kept calm and carried on.

 

I had a lot of plans for January

But it’s the same old procrastination

So Lock-down three can “do one”

I’ll stay in bed until

I can get a vaccination

Time for change?

New Year New Beginning.

Not sure where it will go or where it will lead. Sort of exciting.

Maybe I need more space to move, more room to breathe.

Maybe I seek fame, if not fortune. Maybe I seek contentment, if not praise.

Maybe it’s not all about poetry. Maybe it’s colour. Maybe it’s heat. It’s hard these days

to see the difference tween dark and light, black and white, peace and fright.

Maybe I’m wrong and nothing will be right again.

But if I’m right, (and I’m sure I’m right)

This new year will be a new beginning

A time for change.

So each step we take must be a step forward, even though the world is closed.

and those who sleep won’t see me creep ahead

I’m centre stage

Writing on a new page

It might not be a poem but beware – no-one knows what’s here or there

-What might I conjure up instead?

 

 

The Day I Met You

(For my nephew, James)

You probably know that after your birth, you had to stay in hospital. At that time, mothers could not stay with their babies.

Your mum was keen to breast feed so she expressed extra milk to leave at the hospital when she could not be there.

To get to hospital she was dependant on buses. Sometimes, she arrived to find they had already fed you formula which was upsetting as they would not keep the breast milk, and it had to be wasted.

 

As a child I had several bouts of tonsillitis. One bad infection was just after you were born. At that time it was the trend for children to have a tonsillectomy, and I went into hospital on Wednesday 21st December 1960

 

It was Doncaster Gate hospital – the same one that you were in, although a different ward. I had my operation on Thursday 22nd and we both came out of hospital on Christmas Eve, Saturday 24th, 1960. I was six years old. You were six weeks old. For Christmas dinner, I had my mother’s home made ice cream direct from a gas powered fridge and you had your mother’s milk direct from your mother.

 

That’s what I remember about the day I met you.

 

 

 

He Always Wanted to Say Things

Here is a poem I wanted to share. I find it very emotional and it means a lot to me. I first saw it on the staff room noticeboard of a children’s nursery when I was a student there.

It was attributed to R Nukerji – but I cannot confirm this was the original writer. Recent research suggests it was written by a Canadian student who commited suicide shortly after handing the poem in to his teacher. I think this might be “media hype”:  it does not detract – or add – to the message within the poem.

It has no official title other than its first line – so here is –

He always wanted to say things, but no-one understood.

He always wanted to say things but no one understood.
He always wanted to explain things but no one cared.

So he drew.

Sometimes he would just draw and it wasn’t anything.
He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.
He would lie out on the grass and look up at the sky and it
would be only him and the sky, and the things that needed saying.

And it was after that, that he drew the picture.
It was a beautiful picture.
He kept it under the pillow and would let no one see it.
He would look at it every night and think about it.
And when it was dark, and his eyes were closed, he could still see it.
It was all of him and he loved it.

When he started school he brought it with him.
Not to show anyone, but just to have like a friend.

It was funny about school.
He sat in a square, brown desk, like all the other square, brown desks,
and he thought it should be red.
And his room was a square, brown room like all the other rooms.
It was tight and close. And stiff.

He hated to hold the pencil, and the chalk, with his arm stiff
and his feet flat on the floor,  with the teacher watching
and watching.
And then he had to write numbers.
And they weren’t anything.
They were worse than the letters which could be something
if you put them together.
Ad the numbers were tight and square and he hated the whole thing.

The teacher came and spoke to him.
She told him to wear a tie like all the other boys.
He said he didn’t like them and she said it didn’t matter.
After that they drew.
He drew all yellow and it was the way he felt about morning.
And it was beautiful.

The teacher came and smiled at him.
“What’s this?”, she said.
“Why don’t you draw something like Ken’s drawing?
Isn’t it beautiful?”
It was all questions.

After that his mother bought him a tie and he always drew
aeroplanes and rocket ships like everyone else.
And he threw the old picture away.
And when he lay out alone looking at the sky it was big and blue and
all of everything, but he wasn’t any more.

He was square inside and brown, and his hands were stiff,
and he was like anyone else.
And the thing inside him that needed saying didn’t need saying anymore.

It had stopped pushing.
It was crushed, stiff.
Like everything else.