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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Unconscious Writing

The poet said, "Little Missy,

lose the consciousness if you want to write a poem."

So I said,

"Begone, consciousness!"

And here I am putting down words,

waiting for that unconscious

(and thus important) word.

Watch me.

See what I spy with my little eye.


Still waiting for that first unconscious word.


Oh, maybe that itself is the word: waiting.

I am a lady in waiting.

No one says "lady" these days.

I am a woman in waiting.

What do I await?


(Next word, please.)


The end.



A happening.

An epiphany.

The first robin (it has to be a robin that I myself see,

not someone else's robin-sighting).

Will a cardinal do? I have already seen (and heard)

a cardinal.


(Still waiting. Next word, please.)


Still waiting.

For the Robert E. Lee, perhaps.

Is that where this poem is headed?

Down to the levee?

Who could have foreseen that?

What strange journeys come

from the unconscious.


Copyright 2012 Ann Tudor

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seeing the Sea

I write about the turquoise sea. The green sea. The blue, blue-grey, grey ocean. The deep black waves surrounding a ship as it ploughs its way across the Atlantic, its soldier passengers fearfully dreaming of what awaits them when they reach the a distant land.


I write about giant waves that thunder up to shore enticing the surf-board enthusiasts who get their daily fix of death-defying ocean encounters. I write about the gentle surf that reaches a stone-filled beach after being chastened by a natural breakwater. The children squatting on the rocks to play are surrounded by the chik-a-chik-a-chik of the stones jostled together by the receding wavelets.


I write about the tropical ocean, with fish as colorful as the water. About humans who lounge for days, staring at the place where the sky membrane meets the sea membrane. Sometimes the contrast is vivid: turquoise sea, lowering grey sky. But sometimes the meeting point cannot be discerned and there's the possibility, in the mind's eye at least, that all is sky or all is sea and who is to say which is our natural home?


I write about turquoise, aquamarine, sea-foam, slate, periwinkle, gunmetal, and just plain blue-green. Crayola is my teacher.


Copyright 2012 Ann Tudor

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What the Writer Needs

What the Writer Needs



At least, relative silence,

free from another's choice in, say, music.



How to achieve that?

I'll breathe into a blank mind,

wrap my worries in gold leaf

and set them outside on a high ledge,

to be retrieved later.

So: peace and silence.



I'll create a river in my mind,

an ocean in my breath.

In the space behind my eyes

lies a still lake with mist rising.


What else?

A smooth-writing pen and a clipboard

Holding cheap yellow paper.

A bird or two would be helpful.

Crows in the white pine behind my neighbour's house,

or a hawk banking against the wind,

seeking his squirrel lunch.



If I do the work of gathering all these elements

in one place, at one time,

will my Muse join the party?


That's not up to me.

I'll have to wait and see.


Copyright 2012 Ann Tudor

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Delicious Agony of Writing

Writing is definitely more agony than ecstasy. Having written is the delicious part, but you can't get there without first going through the agony of writing. And what holds you back from that (besides the usual procrastination) is that you taste that agony in advance.


You stand staring at the bathroom mirror, imagining the day ahead of you. Do you want to put yourself at a table with a notebook and pen and then force yourself to write? Do you want to feel the pain of not finding a topic? Or finding a topic and not finding the words with which to expand it? Do you want to sit for hours running through possibilities and then give up, "failure" carved on your forehead (in reverse writing, so you see it properly when you look in that mirror)? Is that what you will put on your to-do list for the day?


Forcing yourself past that image of certain failure requires true commitment, for the image is much stronger (because more immediate and more likely) than any thought of the delicious feeling that will obtain once you have written.


And now the heavy-duty argument steps forward. Does the world really need yet another writer? Oh, I won't deny my belief that it is our responsibility to exercise our birthright of creativity. But maybe the world would be better served if my creativity were to take the form of making a few greeting cards or throwing together an impromptu company meal rather than sitting in a funk while I implore the Muse to move my pen.


Agony or ecstasy? Let's see, which is more appealing? H'm-m. Don't disturb me. I'm thinking, I'm thinking.



Copyright 2012 Ann Tudor