Monday, 18 May 2015

Ambling Through the Weekend

 It's a long weekend here, a holiday on Monday, and the weather is lovely.  For some it's the promise of summer.  For me the temperatures are perfect already and not too hot.  I spent some time in cafes writing this weekend, and on Sunday evening went for an amble around the marina.  I wasn't the only one ambling, and chose the location for the fact that it is an ambling place.  My natural pace is a brisk walk, but my afflicted pace is at best an amble.  Some clouds rolled in, making the sky a bit darker, but the temperature didn't drop noticeably. 

Why do I publish first draft poems on my blog?  If I didn't I would never share them because they are never finished.

Carrying You

Moving helped to keep me from seeing.
Seeing can be dangerous -a horse needs blinders to keep moving forward,
to keep from bolting in panic and
I would have turned our cart upside down, or is that
right side up?- If I could see.

When galloping turned to trotting turned to plodding I tipped everything over
emptied out the cart and started again, with one less person in it,
I could no longer carry you; I would no longer carry you.
So you sat on the side of the road accusing me and nursed
Your wounds that were my fault.

Hitching another ride you kept on going on your own way
And I kept going on mine, pulling a different cart
Less weight to pull with every step-
Stronger than either of us knew I was
steadily taking a new road.

Badass Poet

I want to be a badass poet
not sweet or soft or romantic though I confess
that is more who I am.

I want to be a badass poet
with hard things to say and cutting words
that make you catch your breath and nod your head.

I want to be a badass poet
who makes you ask how does she dare?
How does she dare to be her?


Style and beauty experts- stealth attackers, double agents
telling us we are beautiful but have flaws we’d better hide.
Buy this, wear that, it will make a slimmer, polished you.
Polish is for furniture or shoes.

Trash talking my own body-I did that once.
Or twice-okay I did it often.
I bought the idea:
Don’t look slutty, trashy, frumpy,
Too young, too old,
Don’t show those arms, they have flesh!

We are told we must define a waist.
For what is a woman without a waist?
- surely not a woman.
And never wear anything like neon leggings or tee shirts with slogans
Because after the age of thirty
You only ever want to be taken seriously.

You don’t want to have fun
Or be ironic
Or look like you are trying too hard
But do try harder, please, for your own sake.

Be chic like a French woman.
They don’t get fat, you know- only use croissants to decorate the plate.
Baguettes are for carrying, a crusty accessory.
And who wants to eat all of that molested bread?

You can’t eat it-it will ruin your waist.
Ask an expert and you will be reminded that the only important thing is your waist.
Ask Hollywood and you’d better have a booty or boobs or both. Triple B.

Looking like a liberal arts professor with a part-time hobby
Making hand-thrown pottery
Is a look to be avoided by the truly chic- and chic
Is the only look that counts as style.

Be ashamed of yourself you creative woman
Your opinion on what looks good doesn’t matter.
We don’t want to have to look at you dressed like that-
looking like yourself.

I would rather look tousled like I’ve just come from a delightful
Roll in the sack but Oh My Goodness, A woman of a certain age
Doesn’t do THAT!  With a baguette or without.

The Plants

I forgot to water the plants.
The cat will remind me if I forget to feed her,
She will remind me if I forget to wake up that day.
The plants are helpless captives in my home,
unable to fight for their rights.

They nearly died.
Nearly died but not quite yet, shrivelled
accusingly, moaning softly in the corner.
I forgot to water the plants because
I didn’t hear their silent screams.

You are Gone

Nurtured memories
A catalogue of the best, an archive of the worst, 
collected and curated -the story of our love......

I remember your gentle blue eyes.
I remember your heart so vast and your arms so long.
I remember when you held me and the way our bed smelled once. 
It doesn’t smell like that now you are gone and the  space on the left That once held you now lies empty. 
I tried to lie there  but I can’t.

I cling to the edge of the opposite side, away from the unbearable Knowledge that you are not there.
And I wonder if I need a new bed-  A bed that never once held you-
A bed that holds no pain, no loss, no you. 
That’s the problem:  No bed will ever again hold you and
The urn that holds your ashes has no room for me.

I am afraid that the scent of you is fading,
Fading from the bed and from my memory. 
I haven’t washed your clothes and from the corner of the bedroom
Looms the medical equipment-ugly reminder of what you endured.

You are gone
But you and I together,
We go on forever- the story of our love.

Cafe on Saturday

Barristo: straight-faced, tired, bored,
I am working hard to make you laugh or smile,
Knowing that you just want to get back
To chatting with the cook.

I see you sleep-walking through your job
And I wonder if you are ill
But then I remember-
You are young and today is Saturday.

Cafe on Sunday

Loud girls telling their stories,
Suntans, tight shorts and ponytails,
On the table-keys on lanyards, smart phones and sunglasses
Whipped cream covered mocha smoothies.

Quiet couple doing a crossword together,
The pencil in his hand,
Matching mugs, large lattes, tech fabric
Cycling outfits.

Solitary young man
Top brand laptop
Earnestly working on something important
Eventually drives away in a battered car.

John with his wheeled walker, basket weighted
Cheerfully talks to pretty girls
Who, smiling, laughing, nodding, don’t understand what he says
Except the part about liking them.

Boys and Grandma, arrive with a red wagon,
Order cookies and pop to go
Then return up the hill
Smaller boy riding, larger boy pulling.

I sit with my pen and notebook
Watching, listening, writing, glasses half-down nose,
Holding on to these people forever.
Nosy old woman.


  1. Every poem is different and unique...I love that. The badass poetess made me smile...I think I would like that to be her too...the poem about dead plants made me sincerily sad, maybe because it seeme like an ideal metaphor for life and its tragedies...the song about bed is wonderfully romantic.
    Thank you for your visit , I actually aready painted illustrations on clothes with textile paints.

  2. Hey Shawna ... Thanks for sharing your first draft poems ... Cannot believe they are drafts!!!!

    Each one spoke to me ... You are amazing!!!!

  3. Your poetry touches me deeply! That's what I was talking about - writing with one's soul, not brain. You absolutely do it in poetry! And I think that's great that they are your first drafts. Almost all my writing is my first draft, I rarely fiddle with things once I've written them. I know it's not academic - we're "supposed" to do re-writes and edit everything to death. I better let writing to stay alive! They are beautiful, your poems. I love to getting you better through them!

    Love the photos, and the new word "amble". Sending much love and huhses. xxxxxx

  4. I love how you described the Cafe on a Saturday. And the poem about plants. Both are expressed so well. Thanks for sharing them with your readers. I use to have all my poems posted on a different blog but then I felt like hiding them. I go back and forth like that quite a bit. Same with my style blog. ;)

  5. I love your badass poet poem!! You are one!

  6. Your poetry is so beautiful. I know what you mean about them never being finished- I feel the same way about my writing. Even when it's 'done' I'll go back and change it over and over. I love the badass poet poem. :-D You're awesome, lady.

  7. I love the poems because they all scream "SHAWNA"! They're you.

  8. Thank you for sharing those! I am the same, I go into a whirling dervish of poem writing, then never go near them again - it terrifies me, and it's very brave to put them out there! You have a real gift with words, your poetry reminds me a bit of Sylvia Plath's (a good thing!). You are a badass poet indeed, bravo! :-) xo p.s. Lovely pics too!

    1. Thanks, Steff, that is a lovely compliment. There are different kinds of courage and so you won't be seeing any pictures of me in a bikini on my blog. ;-)

  9. Well this is going to seem quite odd (you don't have to publish this if you don't want to) but I just had a trigger from your plant poem, it felt familiar, only to re-visit my poems from a wee while back and see I had my own treatise to plant neglect - great minds think alike?! :-) Mine's quite awful really! Plant guilt!
    My plants are whispering
    they want a drink
    "I watered you yesterday, infernal dementors!"
    They wilt against the window
    the shame
    not much of a mother
    I watch the weeds sprout, the tips of the palm's leaves turn brown with neglect
    Frieda stop whining
    No one cares
    who should
    anyway what's the matter with this
    why is domestic competence natural
    I'm tired of their demands, their thirst
    I'm watching them die now, nothing they can do
    Stupid plants

  10. LOL-I think neglected plant guilt has probably inspired a few poems. Thanks for sharing yours! xo

    1. Oh dear seeing that in print is horrid! Poetry is so scary! xo

  11. A badass poet? How about a badass woman? I try to pull it off but it's a bit comical sometimes. I can inhabit that space only for limited periods of time. I have heard the plants screaming as well, to my shame.

    1. You look totally badass and it is my experience that people will treat you according to how they see you. Maybe that is why I am going for a soft, gentle look! xo

  12. Ambling is good, and so is sharing - thanks for being bold enough to do so here. xxx

  13. "Nosy old woman" indeed! I am just the same :-)
    Holding on to them in your poems...lovely concept. Also love the line about no room in the urn.
    Great poems all. Has your reading spurred you on? Xo Jazzy Jack

    1. Hi JJ, thanks for visiting this social recluse. Yes, attending a couple of reading events showed me that I am no worse than anyone else-lol-and has lit a fire under me to write and share much to everyone's chagrin. I write perhaps double what I actually share but obviously to the detriment of blog posts. xoxo

  14. In english every song and poem sounds heavenly beatiful!! Only wish I could understand it completely like you :)
    Thanks a lot for sharing <3



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