Day Three: Get Out Into Nature
(Originally published in Between These Shores)
The holiday hike arrested as slow
treacle time drips down leaves, oozes
over boulders. Held by cessation, embracing
abandonment, you entered and left yourself
behind. You sit in forgotten worlds
that do not see you become lost
in the vastness of how small you are.
-Maxine Rose Munro
-Kathryn Southworth from “A Pure Bead”, an account of Viginia Woolf’s life.
I forgot how afternoons could be simple and peaceful,
and how to lose myself in the murmur of the tide;
how life was – before the busyness, pressure and anxiety
– and ghastly decisions which muddle the mind completely.
How to close my eyes, absorbing the atmosphere,
appreciating the essence of the day, without it having to ‘count’.
I didn’t consider how a group of new friends could drift to the beach,
enjoying the break without guilt. I forgot how it felt to be healthy,
with a clear mind, and a future full of possibilities.
I learnt once again how to sit still, enjoying the breeze on my face,
and the smell of the seaside; how to watch a lone bird on a rock,
surrounded by water, and to casually wonder why
it was not with the others on the bank.
In this creamy sunlight, a pair of swans
are swimming in slow, silent circles.
The world has ceased spinning around me, and my spirit is lifted;
whatever the future holds, I am optimistic.
-Sara Louise Wheeler, Tŷ Newydd, 2019.
Written on the beach near Tŷ Newydd writing centre. Originally published in Welsh as ‘Dychwelyd’ (return) by Y Stamp literary magazine; later renamed ‘Llesddŵad’ to match the English title. This English version was published by Dark Poets Club and featured in an associated anthology about mental health called ‘Pluviophile’.
Will Get Out
Not enough for myself, but I will, I will
get out. Force this skin against itself.
My head screams “No!”, stay here, stay safe until
pain in your head is gone, in better health.
All you will find out there is death, disease
you don’t want to infect kindly old folk.
I get out. Sat in cemetery’s ease.
Jackdaws turn their beaks as if I’ve just woke.
Don’t sit with me. Don’t don’t talk to me. Don’t.
A ladybird appears on my coat sleeve.
A delicate thing. Blow it away. Won’t.
It unlocks it’s cage and flits and I breathe.
Unexpectedly wonder just happens.
You can’t plan it. Get out. Breathe. It makes sense.
Bios and links
Bios and Links
-Jane Rosenberg LaForge
writes poetry, fiction, and occasional essays from her home in New York. She has published four chapbooks of poetry and three full-length collections, the most recent being MEDUSA’S DAUGHTER from Animal Heart Press. Her novel, SISTERHOOD OF THE INFAMOUS from New Meridian Arts Press, was inspired by the life of her sister, a one-time punk rocker and prodigy in mathematics. She also is the author of the novel, THE HAWKMAN: A FAIRY TALE OF THE GREAT WAR (Amberjack Publishing 2018) and an experimental memoir, AN UNSUITABLE PRINCESS (Jaded Ibis Press 2014). More information is at jane-rosenberg-laforge.com
Is Public Sector Administrator and hobby poet. Second of Ian McMillan’s guest Hear My Voice Sonnets on You Tube. Soon to be published in HMV Barnsley 2020 competition anthology. Passionate about live music especially rock/blues/punk. Aiming to devote more time to what I love. Rediscovered love of writing the past 2 years.
-Maxine Rose Munro
writes in English and her native Shetlandic Scots. She is widely published in the UK and beyond, both in print and online. She runs First Steps in Poetry, which offers feedback to beginner poets. More here http://www.maxinerosemunro.com
—Kathryn Southworth was born in Blackpool, Lancashire, and now lives in Camden Town, London and Prinknash, Gloucestershire. She is married with three surviving children and three grandchildren.
She has always written poetry but returned to it in earnest only after a long career as an academic in midlands universities. She was a founding fellow of the English Association, Head of English and Cultural Studies at the University of Wolverhampton and held senior management posts there and at Newman University and also worked for the Quality Assurance Agency. She has been a governor of the Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust and is currently a governor of Rose Bruford College of Drama and Theatre Arts.
She has published poetry and reviews in several magazines and anthologies and reads at a number of London poetry venues, including the Poetry Café and Torriano Meeting House. The literary canon informs her writing, as does her Catholic faith, surreptitiously.
-Dr Sara Louise Wheeler
has Waardenburg Syndrome Type 1, a genetic condition which affects her physical appearance as well as her hearing. She writes the column ‘O’r gororau’ (from the borders) for Barddas Welsh poetry magazine and her poetry, belles lettres and artwork has been published by Unique Poetry Journal, Dark Poets Club, Fahmidan Journal, Cloverleaf Zine, and 3am Magazine. Sara is currently writing an autobiographical bildungsroman opera called The Silver Princess, funded by Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru. Originally from Wrecsam in North East Wales, she now lives on the Wirral peninsula with her husband Peter and their pet tortoise Kahless