Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Corona Virus Week Eight: Distracted

I've been too busy to keep up with this. I can't believe it's May already.

Richie McCaffery has included two of my poems on his website The Lyrical Aye. I'm honoured to be on the site with Scottish poets such as Mario Relich, Sally Evans, Bashabi Fraser, Morelle Smith and Chris Powici, names I knew when I worked in Scottish publishing.

I've also had a poem appear in From Glasgow to Saturn which features writers who are alumni of the University of Glasgow. They've done a virtual launch of this issue with readings from many of the writers. Here's mine, not something I'm comfortable doing, but it was a good challenge. They've also decided to offer this issue for free due to the Virus situation. They were fun to work with and I wish the new editorial team good luck with their future projects.

I've finished Nan Shepherd's A Living Mountain. I love her sweeping language, totally caught up in her place. As a sweet coincidence, my copy of A Scots Dictionary of Nature by Amanda Thomson has arrived. I knew the author as an artist before I left Scotland, so I was surprised to see there's not a lot of illustrations in the book and they seem to be photographs. But I'm looking forward to rummaging through the book with ideas for writing. I don't write in Scots often, but I love the feel of the words I do use. I mean, curl-doddy for a pine cone just screams 'write a poem about me,' doesn't it?

I also ordered Moder Dy/ Mother Wave, a poetry collection by the Shetland writer Roseanne Watt. The poems flit between English and Shetlandic, sometimes as translations, sometimes within the same stanza. I can't wait to have a look tonight when the craziness of home-schooling and kids has passed. I just had to interrupt writing this to help a child understand his math lesson and because another dropped a laptop on her lip?! But even the first poem pulls me in.


The day your mapped your bonhogas
out for me, we saw it
curled like a question mark
at the lip of the hill -

I totally forgot about GloPoWrMo in my last post and didn't get this posted last week, but I have been keeping up on my own. I have written a rough draft of a poem for every day of April. It's become a mini-challenge to myself. Even slightly tipsy on Friday after my writing group Zoom session I pushed myself to write something about the third half of the session which we usually spend in the pub, but we now just break out a glass of wine while online. I haven't gone back and looked at any of the poems after I've posted them in my course's space, but will have a look later and see if there are any worth moving forward.

I don't know why, but I haven't finished many poems this year so far, I have a 'Roughs' file full of half-finished poems, but it's rare that I decide one is good enough to send out to magazines or even just move to a finished file. But the rough drafts keep stacking up.

I'm too unorganised and just want to get this posted.

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