Spending time

Thursday February 2, 2006

I’d quite forgotten what a luxury it is to be in a position where I don’t have to do anything. Anything at all.

Apart from feeding and watering Dolly and myself, and clearing up afterwards, I’ve taken full advantage of it today and done as little as I possibly could.

Every now and then a twinge of guilt hit me and I got up from my chair thinking I should be busy doing something like cleaning, wiping and dusting. I managed to dismiss it each time, however, and did no more than grab another mug of coffee and settle down with my books once more.

“This is the life, Dolly,” I said as I pulled the curtains over the windows when the evening grew dark. “I could get used to this.”

She regarded me solemnly, pausing in mid-groom, then got on with her business.

I think she’s already used to it.

As the evening drew on, I picked up my notebook, jotted down a trigger phrase that’d just crossed what passes for my mind, and put book and pencil down again. Then it started itching at me, so I started noodling at it, filling it out, rejecting, substituting, twisting and turning the words until I had a poem and the itching had stopped. Just an ordinary poem, exploring an aspect of the ordinary and finding something to say about it. There are worse ways of spending time than writing a poem.


pulling dead flowers from the vase
a stemmy aroma rose as I bent them,
pressed them into a plastic bag
sufficient life remained to make
them stubborn, reluctant to be
confined even at the last
when I had done, a fine litter
of baby’s breath filaments
remained on the counter
John Bailey
Lincolnshire, February 2006



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