Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Nodding off

I'm something of a champion sleeper - averaging about 10 hrs a day. A casual reader will be able to infer two facts from this:
that I have no children and I don't drink caffeinated beverages. Readers who know me, of course, know that I am just bone idle!

Peaceful lethargy

Spending time in bed
I love days like these
Lying like I'm dead
In peaceful lethargy.
Light a cigarette
Play an old LP
Maybe I'll forget
To get up today.
I have drunk and danced
And taken drugs instead
But given half a chance
I'd rather stay in bed.

Occasionally, however, this very laziness can lead to a seeming paradox: I find myself unable to sleep but unwilling to get up. The classic solution to this is to count sheep. As a child, I remember trying this and not being very good at it. I still don't know if you are supposed to imagine a field full of static sheep and count each one or are you supposed to count them as they move through a gate from one field to a neighbouring one? Both methods have their problems.  In the 'static' scenario - it is very difficult to hold the image in your head whilst you count and in the moving scenario it is very easy to miss one unless you imagine a very narrow gate of the sort more commonly used for humans than livestock. For instance, a sheep could not navigate a kissing gate.

I solved this conundrum by just counting numbers instead. Although after a while I found this a little slow and so started doubling numbers instead.

Slightly off topic, but the highest number in my Penguin dictionary of curious and interesting numbers is Graham's Number. This links to a short description of it that ends with a sort of joke.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

On Moving

I recently moved in with my girlfriend, Charlie. Moving house takes longer each time I do it. I don't know why I accumulate so much paper. Always a chance for a good sort out, I finally threw out all my university notes (after a quick glance to confirm my suspicion that I would never need to enlighten myself or others about Bare Phase Structure again). However I can never bring myself to part with old journals, scribbled notes and half finished poems. The reason moving house takes longer each time I do it is that I like to sit down and re-read all of these before deciding that I can't bear to part with them.

Increasingly, this blog has become a place where I like to share these poetic or philosophical musings with my loyal core of followers (Hi!). I should really get around to changing the banner at the top as I haven't been writing a novel for about two years now (although I did recently almost complete a short story about some ladybirds).

My hero, the poet Adrian Mitchell (whom I was privileged to meet on three occasions and with whom I once shared a lift from Bridport to Dorchester) told me that if you ever write a poem for someone you should share it with them. This next, I wrote over a decade ago for a girl on another continent that I fell in love with when I was 17. I found it tucked into a journal of abandoned playscripts and an essay on morality that I appear to have cribbed from Plato.  

A Song for...

When the air was full of music
And the sky was full of stars,
When we sat and watched the Arkansas
And dreamt the world was ours.
When the nights were lit by moonlight
And the days afire with sun,
When we drove up through the mountains
Or to Pueblo just for fun.
When time was an illusion
And hours could seem like days,
When your smile was full of laughter
Or your angry eyes ablaze.
When the room was filled with blue grey smoke
Drawing patterns in the air,
When we stopped and talked for hours with friends
And when no-one else was there.
When we swapped our life experience,
Our sorrows and our joys,
When I think I see your puzzled face
Or hear the softest voice.
My mind is full of memories
Of the times we had back then,
When you reach out - I'll hear your call
And I'll come back to you again.

And in the shadow of the hills,
Beneath your mournful gaze,
I'll hold your hand in silence
And we'll dream of future days.