I Will Miss This Garden

I Will Miss This Garden

I remember when these levels weren’t here,

And a long, sloping incline took you to the top.

When we hired a digger to carve it out,

And it looked rough and quite barren.

 

I’ll remember the bamboo you planted,

I’ll remember laying down the turf,

And the way you seemed prouder of my help,

Than you did of any of my school work.

 

I remember the Acer who was cruelly dwarfed,

And later stolen by granddad.

Whisked away to safer pastures,

When you weren’t looking.

 

I’ll remember the magnolias that mum picked,

That I didn’t think would grow,

But somehow they did and she was so pleased,

To sit upon the swing and watch them flower.

 

I remember the Priory stones we unearthed,

And tried to make a path out of,

And the teenagers who couldn’t realise your vision,

So I shouted at them for you.

 

I remember the decking that we built,

That got slippery in the rain,

And so you replaced it with plastic grass,

That tickled our feet like an outdoor carpet.

 

I’ll remember the pond you had my husband dig,

Like he was digging his own grave in a mobster movie,

And the way you had your other son-in-law,

Finish it off, earning their keep.

 

I’ll miss putting the world to rights on the doorstep,

I’ll miss the smell of roses in the rain,

I’ll miss the swing in the summer,

But I won’t forget it, and neither will you.

 

 

The Editor – A Poem

The Editor – A Poem

I am the master of your destiny,

The destroyer of your world,

The thief who robs your sentences,

So your story won’t be told.

 

I am the cutter of your scene,

The one who stopped your character short,

I am the one who killed the hero,

And now his lesson won’t be taught.

 

I am the bridge between your fantasy,

And the deadline looming near,

I am the one who’ll bring you closer,

To that blooming, frustrated tear.

 

The catcher of your spelling mistake,

The one who finds your double-spaces.

The mover of your apostrophe,

Trying your words in other places.

 

I am a necessary evil,

That you’ll put off ’till the end.

I am part of your self-loathing,

Although I’ve tried to be your friend.

 

I can give you time to do it,

But only you can take it forward.

I am hard work and I know it,

But with hard work comes reward.

I Can Fix That For You

I Can Fix That For You

Does your skin itch?

Do you feel uncomfortable?

Did you change your appearance?

And did that make it better?

 

Did you find a new hobby?

Did you pick up an old one?

Did you change your ways?

And did that make it better?

 

Did you confess?

Did you atone for your sins?

Did you promise to do right?

And did that make it better?

 

Did you iron out the wrinkles?

Did you fill in the holes?

Is it perfect now?

And did that make it better?

 

Did you start to eat right?

Did you breathe fresh, clean air?

Did you harmonise with nature?

And did that make it better?

 

Are you looking for that thing?

That catalyst for change?

Do you know what you’re looking for?

And will that make it better?

 

Did your dream not come true?

Did you compromise too often?

Are you even trying anymore?

And will that make it better?

 

Does the easy way seem tempting?

Will it at least be something?

Could you live with yourself?

And will that make it better?

 

Do you not like who you are?

Did you expect more?

Have you considered that we all feel that way?

Now, does that make it better?

Love in a Time of Cinema

In my family we like to quote movies to each other, probably more often than is socially acceptable. I’ve been toying with this one for a couple of days now, all of the lines are from romantic movies/comedies/teen-dramas which I have watched over the years and therefore although I’ve reordered the lines obviously the words are not mine…just in case any cries the scary ‘p’ word…

Feel free to try and guess the movies, happy to tell you when you’re right!

Love in a Time of Cinema

Love means never having to say you’re sorry,

But apparently there’s a difference between like and love.

Yet, to me, you are perfect

So you can’t ask why about love.

 

I like you very much, just as you are.

And I have crossed oceans of time to find you.

Because we accept the love we think we deserve.

Though I think our love can do anything we want it to.

 

You ask me why I want to change you,

But it’s you that’s changing me.

For I’m not a smart woman, but I know what love is.

No worse things have happened at sea.

 

And I would rather have one lifetime with you,

Than face all the ages of this world alone

I wish I’d done everything on earth with you.

Before we played this game of thrones.

 

And if the greatest thing you’ll ever learn,

Is just to love and be loved in return.

And you will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.

Because people have a power over us even after they’re gone.

 

My heart is, and always will be, yours

So hear this now; I will always come for you.

‘Cause if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.

And I wanted it to be you.

 

I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy,

Asking him to love her.

So surely you must know, it was all for you.

And this life we have together.

 

So, if our love is like the wind.

If I can’t see it, but I can feel it.

And you’re a bird and I’m a bird,

Then I love you and you know.

 

 

 

 

 

Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne

If I am quiet enough this empty place will,

Yield to me the secrets of its ancient visitors.

Ghosts from the graveyard, wandering close,

To howl at the water in voiceless anger.

 

Or noises carried by the wind from afar,

A bank of bathing sea-lions calling back.

Almost too far away to make out,

Their song brought closer by an unfelt breeze.

 

Life in a place that seems dead,

For ruins, for graves,

For visitors who daren’t stay too long,

For fear of staying too long.

 

A eeriness that I have not felt since,

A summer’s day on Glencoe.

The soft sounds are not so gentle in these places.

Perhaps slaughter leaves an echo?

 

If You’re Not Writing

If You’re Not Writing

Recently I was invited to a ‘Women in Leadership’ luncheon in London. Well, I say invited, sent is probably more accurate as I was despatched in lieu of the adult who was actually invited, but I digress. Initially I was thrilled to have been considered until it occurred to me that I didn’t own a suit. You may wonder how I had managed to get away without owning a suit this far into my professional career but somehow I achieved it and even better than this I managed to purchase a rather smart suit-ish outfit for the event. All worthwhile as I was seated next to a woman wearing jeans. I didn’t even embarrass myself too much, I found another Philippa who finally told me why told me those guys in the Berlin laughed when I asked them to put ‘Pip’ on my cup, I’ll wait why you Google it….funny right? I also managed to only come up with a semi-embarrassing answer to ‘Who was your female role-model growing up?’ by offering up my dad as a suitable response. Seriously though the only other person I could think of was Sylvia Plath and for some reason I thought that would be less appropriate since she’d stuck her head in the oven. Yet even now, all this time later, I am struck by the fact that I still offered up my standard response when asked ‘What do you do outside of work?’; ‘I’m a writer.’. But that’s a lie. I’m a firm believer that you can’t claim to be a writer if you’re not writing and at that point I wasn’t. I hadn’t written anything in months and I didn’t write anything for months afterwards. It’s only recently that I’ve managed to get back into my writing and like a hot bath when you’ve been out in the rain it is restorative. It’s balancing and I feel that now the scales of my life are beginning to equalise.

Therefore I have set myself the challenge to write a poem every day for the next thirty days. Ranging from the life inspired:

Apology
It is with cruel irony now,

I must make your life much harder,

As I take away from you,

The thing that always makes you calmer.

 

For the very subject that I,

Thought that I excelled.

Is the area where I’ve failed you,

Because on it I didn’t dwell.

 

So as I search the house today,

To steal away your infancy,

A war inside is raging but,

This sense of duty has its impotency.

 

I’ll steal them from the sofa,

From the cupboard, and your drawer.

Like the final plague of Egypt,

I will take what you adore.

 

I’ll reflect upon the advice we heard,

Which had seemed so interfering,

But to hear it from a stranger,

I’ll admit its left me reeling.

 

So for now I’ll be the bad guy,

As I round up every dummy,

And we’ll both cry, but it’s worth it,

To hear you learn to call me mummy.

 

To the prompt inspired and quite frankly ridiculous:

Plastic
Fake grass between your toes,

Faux leather on the coat rack,

Synthetic smoke filling your lungs,

Would you like to take it back?

Acrylic coating on your nails,

Plastic fire turning black,

Electric pages of a book,

Would you like to take it back? 

A juice of concentrated slime,

A rubber egg you cannot crack,

Silk roses in the vase,

Would you like to take it back?

Cardboard holding up the walls,

Electric buzzing in the flat,

Paper flooding up the hall,

Would you like to take it back?

Skin tight latex on your skin,

A mob preparing for attack,

Another face for your collection,

Would you like to take it back?

Babies sucking plastic teats,

Television absorbed like smack,

Give the boy another Coke,

Would you like to take it back?

None of this is quite your fault,

But yet you must take the flack,

It’s not getting any better,

Would you like to take it all back?

 

But they don’t all need to be brilliant do they? The point is to get back into it and if at the end of the challenge I end up with a couple of good poems then it’s just more to add to my collection. So read them or don’t, feel free to offer prompts, and at the end of this maybe I won’t feel so guilty when I call myself a writer.