This has been a reflective year for me so far. After many years of full unemployment, often working in a stressful environment and constantly under pressure to meet deadlines and get results, I have, since January been relatively stress free, working on my own terms and exploring various avenues of potential non contract employment.
In the context of my writing two main themes have emerged; a desire to revisit and explore the seminal moments of childhood and adolescence that facilitated the emergence of what I am going to grandly call, ‘my poetic consciousness’ a state of mind that my family consider to be an absent -minded, near autism and I consider the thing that defines me above all else else.
The opening of my poem, ‘Raw Material’ reflects this
You begin where my beginning ends
Teaching me, a sense of place that blew in
With my consciousness, teaching me
Mischief Night, bonfires and Halloween
Obscure fag-ends of winter afternoons
Isherwoods chip shop, a seven penny mix
Steaming from the back copies of the Guardian
A stench of leaves from the old cut locks
Clogged with leaves and random detritus
Love in puddles, huddled in the bus stop.
As a child I can remember feeling a great empathy with Wordsworth’s drift into an altered state of conscious in the prelude-the deep calm he felt in the midst of a, ‘tumultuous throng.’
The second theme has been a desire to strive for more honesty in self expression. A difficult thing to do because, living in the real world, it is easy to cause emotional hurt with a sweep of the pen, but I have been paring things down-trying to secure the essence of experience. As Oscar Wilde said, ‘the truth is rarely pure and never simple’ It isn’t an easy think to know oneself or to recognise the emotions that are critical to emotional and psychological evolution-sometimes events impact at the deepest levels of invisible psychology and may take decades to emerge as a critical force.
This much i know-when i am drawn back to my childhood I find my little bubble of consciousness is filled simultaneously with the past, present and the vague but omnipresent future-primarily the sense of time passing and ever encroaching death-expressed most memorably in Larkin’s Aubade
And so it stays just on the edge of vision,
A small, unfocused blur, a standing chill
That slows each impulse down to indecision.
Most things may never happen: this one will,
And realisation of it rages out
In furnace-fear when we are caught without
People or drink. Courage is no good:
It means not scaring others. Being brave
Lets no one off the grave.
Death is no different whined at than withstood.