Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Than to arrive


It's partly true.  Arriving at
the bed and breakfast hours too soon,
unsweating, unached, unexhausted,
unthirsty -- that's a lot of un.

But post-concert bike home through snow,
cashless, phoneless, with frozen brakes,
and feet swollen in new shoes,
call-boxes that nobody makes 

for, nobody makes good, the first
dark and stripped of tech, half a mile
with feet and bike to the next (in light --
will it work?).  Reverse charge push-dial

instructions in Australian voice.
Did you, or I, not hear the sound
of the other speaking? Try again.
We had at least one further round

before somehow my phone box got 
your mobile with all this striving.
We fixed to meet at a spot nearby.  
You hung up and started driving.

Let me say and be senten-
tious that arrival had it then.

This is the first poem I've blogged from the output stimulated by my following Jo Bell's book 52: write a poem a week. Start now. Keep goingI succeeded in writing 52 poems from the prompts in the book!  I took sixteen months, so this was a poem every 11 days, not one a week, but that represents a tripling of the output rate I'd had before.  I don't expect to keep it up.

The 52 prompts in the book are a most varied yearful.  'Than to arrive' was written in response to prompt 29, for a poem relating to a proverb.  The adventure in the poem took place in England, which is why the  Australian voice in the automated instructions was more or less unexpected.

Long-time readers of this blog will know my fairly strict rule of not putting poems on it unless they have already been published elsewhere.  'Than to arrive' is in The possibility of living: poems from Poetry Space Competition 2018.  Buy it.  I find myself in very good company.