Tuesday, 4 May 2010

More birds

It's hard to write much about anything at the moment. My days are pretty much filled with fetching and carrying, nursing and cleaning, wondering and worrying, rushing and remembering and then, at the last moment, trying to get time to look after myself too (when did I last brush my hair...pass). It is a bit like the early days of parenthood ('what should I do now? Why is everyone telling me what to do? How can I do what they all say? Is she still breathing? What next, what next?') but it's very different too of course. There are funny moments (most of them unrepeatable) but mostly it's just work.

So let's read someone else's words. Here is my favourite poem (so far) from Edinburgh-based poet Juliet Wilson's recent book 'Unthinkable Skies'. The poem is linked to the last post in an ornithological stylee. It's called 'Domesticated'.


Imprinted at birth by a human
you never learnt to be what you are.
Flightless and petted, you enjoy comforts
of home and hearth,
insulated from the harsh
rules of nature that made you.

Winter air fills with honking
geese in joyful formation
high in unthinkable sky.
You look up; an ache in your bird's brain
before waddling indoors
to be hand fed choice grain.

Later you puzzle over dreams
of endless blue and the steady beat of wings.

Juliet Wilson

'Unthinkable Skies' is available from its publisher Calder Wood Press.


Karen said...

First, Rachel, let me say how sorry I am that your mother is ill. I have been in your position, and I know how difficult, heartbreaking any yet gratifying it is. I remember the funny unmentionables, too. My heart aches for you.

Now, to Juliet! I love this poem, and I'd love to get hold of her book. I'm not quite sure how to go about ordering it, but I'll check out her blog to see.

Rachel Fox said...

Heartbreaking, gratifying, hilarious, backbreaking, frustrating, depressing...list could go on and on! It's just life, eh? If an extreme version.

You buy Juliet's book from Calder Wood Press (link on the post or at Juliet's). There are several books over there that you might buy while you're at it.


Niamh B said...

That's a great poem, thanks for sharing it.
And thanks for telling us what you're going through too. We're all thinkin of you hon.

Rachel Fox said...

You know I've been a fairly idle fop for plenty of my years...a bit of hard work probably won't do me any harm. I'm trying not to whinge but at the same time if I don't explain how things have changed here then it just feels odd...like I'm pretending things are the same (and they most definitely are not...). At the moment we're trying to find some kind of stability amongst all the change. Plus trying to make sure the little one doesn't lose out too much too. And then there's the dog...

It is a very good poem (Juliet's). Glad you like it too.


Frances said...

Hi Rachel, I'm blogging again and am catching up with everyone after a long break. Don't forget to look after yourself too. It's very easy to get caught up in the needs of those around us and hard to remember that we count too. I speak from bitter experience.

Thanks for the poem. It's very clever.

apprentice said...

Sorry to learn about your Mum Rachel.

And thank for posting Juliet's poem, I enjoyed it.

Rachel Fox said...

Hi Frances! Good to see you again.

She's not as ill as she was a few weeks ago, A. What we are dealing with more now is all of us coming to terms with a new, much older and much, much weaker person in the house. Tough stuff.


Crafty Green Poet said...

Sorry about your Mum, glad that she's not as bad as she was though.

Thanks for posting the poem and the link.

Rachel Fox said...

No probs Juliet. And as for my Mum - she was 86 last month so really she's done well to get this far without too much ill health.


Marion McCready said...

Sorry things are so tough at the moment. Thanks for posting the poem, I've had my eye on that chapbook for a while!

Titus said...

Wishing you the strength to get through this, lending you the ears to whinge to and I'll pop a hair brush in the post.

I'm really enjoying Juliet's book - liking it more the more I read it!

Love to all.

Rachel Fox said...

Sorlil - well, yes CWP find all the best poets!

T - hairbrush, you say? Does that come with instructions?


Kat Mortensen said...

I know a bit of what you're going through, although it was with a male, so I'm sure it's quite different. (And yes, there are some funny moments, but mainly it's a tough slog.) I do feel for you.

I have Juliet's book and I'm really enjoying her. She has a way of saying so much in such a small space (rather like yourself, in many instances). I do envy that.


Rachel Fox said...

Glad you're enjoying it too.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes, look after yourself too...

Rachel Fox said...

Well, I'm in the house most of the time now and I eat when I'm tired so I should be clinically obese by this time next week. May have to get some new photos.