Beyond the 9 to 5. 2008

Beyond the 9 to 5, read at Chatham Library to celebrate World Poetry Day in 2008.

A collection of poems, based on a theme of work illustrated by the author. Including saving the planet, being a mum and other themes. Limited edition and hand bound. If you would like to order a copy, all I can do is print one off.

Beyond the 9 to 5
Beyond the 9 to 5

A Lifetime’s Work

Through bleary, slitty eyed vision
there in the hands of The Uniformed is You.
Wriggling, mewling bundle of flesh and limbs
I can glimpse, if I lever open exhausted eyes.

Your roar drags me from my near coma,
my post Caesarean trauma
with a moment of wonder,
your diabetic mother’s brain
hits the jackpot. The penny drops with a jingle.

You are born, You breathe, alive and made flesh!

The pushing and shoving, the eating for two
the stretch marks, the lumbering waistline
all behind me now.
I know nothing of the work to come,
the nipple stretching and spurting, the night feeding
the smelly bums, the impossible to be the same
ever again. I know nothing of
toddler tantrums, teenage pranks
parent teacher meetings, the best schools.
exam results, broken hearts
bank loans, crisis diversion
rows, joys, mediation, frustration.

Waves of joy, fear, admiration, disbelief, exhaustion
ebb and flow in the receptacle that is me.
They place you on my bloody, open-scarred stomach.

I smile.

Earth Garden.
Earth Garden.

Earth Garden

What is wrong with the Earth is what is wrong with me.
Every poisoned part of it, polluted, wasted, lost trees.
Power is for the power-hungry;
Listen to those who have it fight to keep it.

For those without, there is hunger.
For those with hunger, little hope.
I work for my future and everybody else’s.

A wise politician ensures that each person shares in
the maintenance of the system. The unwise spout untruths and spin;
we need to hear the what’s within the souls of men we elect.

Inherent in greatness are the seeds of rebellion.
If the beginning is faulty, so will the end be.
As above, so below; and how it will come to be.
The tide will ebb and the tide will flow.
Currents drawing moonlit isochronic moments linking
lost leylines to sacred spaces.

Round and round the garden of earthly delights,
with Hieronymous Bosch and Gerard Manley Hopkins for company.
Depths of despair, smouldering powerlessness and admiration for a windhover ‘the achieve of! The mastery of the thing!’

Rebellion is the natural seed of the future,
without which the race would be extinct
Night flight skims over cracked routes to eternity
over my Earth-Garden and my beloved Sky
And a planet to heal itself, and me,
simultaneously by and by.

Pages 3-4

Happiness Saver

The pile of sunny wonder and optimism that
fills to the brim the golden cup of adolescence
is not actually in constant supply.
I used to blow it all in those days
Happiness Spendthrift.

If only then I knew that it would be a less plentiful commodity.
Perhaps I would have saved one of those blow-away, dandelion moments
of the happy gurgle of laughter with friends at sunny picnics
and the waves on a moonlit forlorn foreign beach or
the sound of the storm outside my window, while wrapped up safely in bed
or the morning wake up coffee from lover and little one.

Now, a little wiser, I draw to me all my golden moments, dust them off.
Placing them carefully in a dust-free lining in my brain
where, as treasure most valuable, more than any Midas dream
they lie cared for and nurtured, prepared as a Girl Guide
for that Famine-of-Happiness moment;
And their release, like endorphins, into the soup of need.

Leave a Reply