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The backpack of my past

I was listening to a program about the life and work of Meredith Monk and towards the end she came up with the wonderful phrase the backpack of my past which inspired me to write this.

In the backpack of my past I have found many things

some ancient images of treasured times
many half finished things
some unused ideas
a few regrets

some shining gems of happiness
black anthracite lumps of depression
some wonderful places
a few bleak locations

some shapes of long lost people
the shadows of half forgotten friends
some shapes of buildings no longer there
a few maps of streets long gone

some things learned and forgotten
many things learned and used
a lifetimes supply of experience
everything that makes up who I am

The development of a poem part 2

The last version was very much first thoughts and normally would not be seen but this series of posts is to show how things develop while writing. This version has a lot of changes which I hope remove some of the clumsy parts of the last version. Next should be trying to get everything into a better overall shape.

 

In the shops the bags of veg for soup appear
in the streets the light summer clothes disappear
winter coats, cardigans and sweaters become the norm
socks and big warm boots replace dainty shoes
as the first chills of autumn appear

Windows closed and heating turned on
the smell of smoke from the newly lit fires
halloween costumes arrive in shops
the first signs of Christmas appear
as we prepare to celebrate the change of season

Trees present their multi coloured glory as their year is ending
their leaves drop to the ground draping in a rustling blanket
Summer birds and butterflies have flown who knows where
Vs of gees fly over sounding mournful as they pass
Nature celebrates summers passing and warning of winter to come

The first frosts coating the land in a gleaming white powder
it touches the last of the flowers making them shrivel away
the mists start to appear filling the valleys with a white sea
up above clouds gather together forming a solid white sky
as the season slowly slides into winter

The nights grow longer colder and darker driving everyone indoors
the orange glow from the windows giving the promise of warmth inside
the pleasure to wrap up on the cold sunny days to go a walk
the diamond clear blue skies are a joy to behold lifting the spirits up
the cold has compensations in the beauties it creates

The development of a poem

Building on the bare bones of the short phrases about autumn and putting some flesh on them here is my next step. After this come adding, removing and rearranging until I am happy with the way it feels.

 

In the shops the bags of veg for soup appear on the shelves
in the streets the light summer clothes disappear
Big winter coats, cardigans and sweaters are suddenly in favour
the sandals and light shoes are replaced with big warm boots
as the first chills of autumn appear

Windows closed and heating turned on
the smell of smoke from the newly lit fires
halloween costumes and bags of treats add to shopping lists
the first signs of Christmas make an early appearance
as we prepare to celebrate the changes of the seasons

Trees present their multi coloured glory to show the year is ending
They drop their leaves onto the roads and paths draping them in a blanket
Summer birds and butterflies have flown who knows where looking for warmth
Vs of gees fly over sounding mournful as they pass
Natures last celebration and warning of the winter not far away

The first frosts coating the land in a gleaming white powder
it touches the last of the flowers making them shrivel away
the mists start to appear filling the valleys making the hills into islands
up above the clouds gather together forming a solid white sky
as the season slowly slides into winter

The nights grow longer colder and darker driving everyone indoors
the warm orange glow from the windows giving the promise of heat inside
on the cold sunny days its a pleasure to wrap up and go for a walk
the diamond clear blue skies are a pleasure to behold and lift the spirits up
the cold may be be feared but it has compensations to in the beauties it creates

The start of a poem

This is the start of what I hope will be a poem about what autumn means to me. Unusually for me I have started with a list of things I associate with the arrival of autumn which have then been put into a rough order. the next stage should be expanding this and trying to put more feeling/imagery/meaning into it.

What autumn means to me

Big winter coats
cardigans and sweaters appear
boots replace shoes
bags of veg for soup in the shops

heating being turned on
the smell of smoke from chimneys
halloween costumes
the first hints of Christmas

multi coloured trees
paths draped with leaves
summer birds gone
Geese flying over

the first frosts
the last shrivelled flowers
mist filling the valleys
solid white skies

longer nights
warm orange window lights
cold sunny days
diamond clear blue skies

The weather

The weather was calm.
The forecast was for sun in the afternoon.
A man dressed in an old suit sat down on the bench beside me.

He was fed up with the rain.
He was fed up with the wind.
He needed the sun.
He told me.

I can’t sit in that hoose.
All they want to do is watch the telly.
I need to get oot.
He told me.

He paused.

We used to bring the weans here when they were wee.

He paused.

Do you live here?
I told him I didn’t.
I was going to ask if you knew anybody with a gun.

He paused.

And one bullet.
He smiled.

He made a motion of zipping his lips.
I need to keep my mouth shut.
He laughed.

The sun came out.
We both commented on the heat, it was instant.
He took off his jacket

Time for a pint.
He said.
He walked off.