by Paul Blaney

I rose early this morning
Resolved to write
But then a dozen matters—
Breakfast, dusty shelves, coffee,
Tea, the neighbours, email,
An outbreak of ants,
The state of the lawn—
Came between and
Before I knew it
(But Oh, I knew!),
It was lunchtime and
I hadn’t written a blessed word.

How can this be?
My intentions were good,
Distractions minimal,
My time quite my own
How could I have let it
Get away from me so?
Could it be (not for the first time
I fear it could),
That I am not really a writer
(Not a real writer)?

That could indeed be, but
There again, and
To look at things another way,
It could simply be said
That I was not a writer
This morning, which
Is not to say I mightn’t
Be one this afternoon,
After a hearty lunch
And perhaps a brief nap.

It could even be said
That all those matters,
The tea, the garden, talk,
Were also writing, or
Part of writing,
Preparation for writing at least.
Myself, I wouldn’t go that far
But surely they are part of life,
And writing likewise?
So that we might draw a diagram
Wherein the two are clearly
Seen to intersect/overlap/connect,
As not entirely separate?

Thank Heavens, say I,
For multiplicity,
For multiple me, for
I don’t think I’d much like
To be a writer all the time,
A real, full-time writer
(If anyone actually is).
It might sound grand at parties
But the truth, I suspect,
Would be solitary, sterile,
With many a bitten fingernail.
Far nicer to be a part-time writer,
A writer only while I write,
As I am a gardener, a cook,
A neighbour, a dog-walker, a lover,
A cleaner while I clean.

Better, don’t you think?
To indulge these various selves
Of ours in moderate rotation,
Everything in season
And nothing to excess,
Or am I just procrastinating here?
Making excuses not to write?

  1. #1 by Anthony Ward on March 10, 2012 - 6:57 pm

    Good work Paul. I think many of us can relate to these words.

  2. #2 by Vikki (The View Outside) on March 11, 2012 - 7:25 am

    Brilliant! :)


  3. #3 by Catt on March 24, 2012 - 9:13 pm

    I admit, upon reading the title I didn’t expect to like this but by the end of the first stanza I was engrossed. I really enjoyed this piece – something many of us relate to. Good ending, too.

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