In Print

I was in London yesterday, an hour’s train journey away from here, and I had fun meeting a friend for lunch but also just being out and about, drug-free at last and, hopefully, on my way to a full recovery from my brain haemorrhage. Well that is what it felt like – my MRI brain scan may tell me something different on Friday week.

If my euphoria was not heady enough, when I got back there was an envelope on my doormat containing the November issue of The Blotter which had come all the way to me here in Lewes in Southern England from the publishers in Durham, North Carolina in the USA.

My excitement wasn’t that a letter could have reached me from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean but that it contained three of my poems, the first to be published anywhere.

God Bless You America!

Writing poetry is a relatively new experience for me – I have been doing it for just over a year now – but it has got me in its grips. At every level I find it exciting – the original thought, the rushing down of a first draft and then the chipping away at the edifice until something near to the original idea emerges in a concise and rhythm propelled “final” draft. Finality is a problem though as I am always tempted to change things. With the three poems in The Blotter I have to acknowledge that they are indeed the final versions and I have to allow myself the next great pleasure in poetry writing, seeing your work out there in print.

Another unexpected way of getting my work “out there” is also about to come to fruition. I have been asked to hang some of my poetry in an exhibition here in town. I have been persuaded to let my terrible handwriting tell the story so I have been using a glass ink pen to write out five of my shorter poems onto some beautiful and very thick pieces of handmade paper, recyclced from cotton rags in India. At first I felt embarrassed to spoil this lovely paper with my scribbling but soon I was gripped by another new poetry writing pleasure – dipping that glass pen into the ink pot and writing with the delightful sound of nib on parchment.

I am off to the picture framers later and to yet another pleasure. I, the most graphically unskilled person in the Universe, never thought that I would have a real grown-up exhibition. With poetry, the pleasure never stops. I haven’t even mentioned how much fun there is in reading out loud too.

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