Sometimes time creeps up on you.
One sentence in and I’m already up to my ankles in cliché.
I’m pondering that well-known experience [or is it just me?) just saying, ‘I saw that film/heard that band/read that book about five years ago’ which turns out, on resorting to Google, to be fifteen at least. Someone asked when I had written a certain poem. I had to think really hard, spool back to publication date, which was 1999, and realised it had been written some time before. ‘Over twenty years ago,’ I replied, practically tasting the experience of the words and the intervening two decades in that moment.
So in revisiting the experience of writing that poem, of what I was trying to say, the initial inspiration, and its writing, I’m celebrating over twenty years of writing in many different genres, before deciding, settling, concluding that I am a poet first and foremost.
Indeed there is an economy in the poem which I think prefigures my sonnet writing of recent years. To which I cling; I’m at present writing and collating a collection of seventy sonnets to be published later this year..
This morning has been a morning of looking at that poem ‘Petals’ again, the inspiration of the battered old trumpet, and actually going off to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park where for many years I took groups of school students to get them inspired by the setting and the glorious works of art to be found there.
Remember the music we used to play?
The instruments still hang on the wall,
a trellis of brass roses
or an exotic vine with bugle flowers.
Like plumbing but not joined up,
and silent now.
And the lid of the piano is down.
The tunes still prickle in my blood,
and though blooming less
each successive year,
have kept a scent of you.
And the truth is
that I have grown older and loved others,
but I shall always carry some notes of your music
in my pockets, like petals,
wherever I go.