Thursday, 7 October 2010

National Poetry Day 2010

This year's National Poetry Day has the theme of "Home". This got me thinking, because there are two sides to everything. There's the part of me that loves my house and my things and everything I've built up over the years. And there's the writer part of me that's been-there-done-that and just wants to be on my own, to shut myself away for days and live in my own head without distractions or duties.

The best way I can illustrate it is with two contrasting poems.

For example, on the one hand, there is:

Ephemera is Me by Jan Jones

Home is a long swathe of responsible
Piles of memory
Backup upon backup of me.

It’s things
Stuff I’ve chosen
Or been given and chosen to keep

Home is my food in the fridge
My mugs in the cupboard
The familiar where I expect to find it

So if you’re asking in your simplistic, minimalistic way
If home could be somewhere else?
Why yes
But I’d have to bring all of myself with me.

You got a truck?

And yet on the other hand (and I love the allegory in this photo), there is:

Counting Links by Jan Jones

This is me
holding things together
fists clenched in my security, in what I have to do

here I am
with what I need to survive
pale fronds pulling me down, smothering hastiness

anchored by responsibility

because someone has to be

See what I mean? Two sides to every person and every place. I can't be the only person who feels like this, can I? The trick, I guess, is in how well we balance them.


Nicola Slade said...

Oh, I know that feeling, Jan! Having to split myself between three children and husband and wondering whatever happened to Nicky. And even though the kids are grown and flown,(and Morley well-trained, LOL), now the split is between Real Life and the one inside my head.
I doubt there's a balance to be found, just an ongoing wobble along the tightrope!

Jan Jones said...

Makes me feel better to know I'm not alone, Nicky!

Unknown said...

Like mother like daughter, it's ever here too! Also the magpie tendencies I inherited.

It really is quite amazing/unnerving though... I've written poems almost exactly the same as this.

Like mother, like daughter.

Jan Jones said...

There. Genes rule okay. I suppose it's not really astonishing - just seem so.

Nicola Slade said...

Ha! Like mother, like daughter - I've just found out what it's like to be on the receiving end of a barrage of brainstorming ideas. Liv (No2 daughter) has taken over my so-called publicity campaign to get 'Murder Fortissimo' under local noses as it's set locally. I know she's just like me - and her ideas ARE great - but I now know why people have been known to cower when I'm in full flow!

Jan Jones said...

Don't knock it, Nicky! Go her!

Julie Cohen said...

I love your poetry, Jan.

Talli Roland said...

Beautiful poems, Jan. I love the 'back-up upon back-up of me' line.

Jan Jones said...

Thanks, Julie and Talli. Glad you liked the poems.

Unknown said...

Loved them and especially your touches of humour..