Friday, February 9, 2007

What It Is

Every so often I am reminded of the things I love. I am not about to list “my favourite things” (though actually why not? It’s the kind of thing Natalie Goldberg gives as a creative writing exercise and what I do like about her is she doesn’t pretend to be highbrow). Top of my list is poetry. It makes me better. It doesn’t, in my case, make physical illness go away, but poetry, when it’s the real thing, revitalizes the spirit by naming the world truly and re-creating it. It is, for me, a proper recreation, but sometimes I forget, am stopped in my tracks, reminded.

A poet friend has just emailed me something she has written. She works for a farm project and one of her tasks is to provide freshly-written poems for the organic vegetable boxes that are sent out. The one she sent me has as its focus apples in midwinter. It’s about loss, grief, intense desire – and sexual fulfilment. All that from a few lines, words, apples. Why this should uplift and inspire me as it does is mysterious.

Less mysterious is the enjoyment I get from a cup of pretend latte. I have run out of real coffee and am using granules. I have them with one third hot water, two thirds hot milk and a spoon of sugar. It tastes much better than it ought to, is more than the sum of its ingredients. I may even have another as I look through the stories posted for Mr. Moon’s short fiction competition. I have already made my shortlist of six. I find sustained reading of fiction very hard, but it helps that each one is short, and I want to give it my best shot – seems only right as I am one of the contributors.

6 comments:

That's so pants said...

Snap Signs! So many of us have entered the wonderful Mr Topples' competition and won't we all have so much fun judging the readers section? I can honestly say it's the best competition I've ever been in. I haven't shortlisted yet but am really looking forward to doing that. Mr Topples is Tops. I'm also a devotee of Natalie Goldberg. I reach for Nat if I need a reason to start thinking. She's good like that. I get a vegetable box from Abel and Cole and although they claim to have yellow vans you can see from space, they do not actually have poems. Although the recipes for celeriac have been very useful.

Liz said...

This apple poem sounds very sexy and come to think of it so do the veg boxes. If I come over can I have a cup of pretend latte too? In the mean time I need to write a poem...somehow fit in the sexy, the very sexy and the intense sexiness too. Will look through the veg and see what I find... at the moment all I have is PSB, sexy little stems of purple, yowza!

Reading the Signs said...

Perhaps you should insist on a poem, ms P, it could catch on. And then all the supermarkets will want to cash in - a poem inside every polythene bag of organic carrots. On reflection, perhaps not.

Reading the Signs said...

Liz - how'd you slip in without me seeing? Vegetables, don't get me started, you should hear Nigel Slater waxing about firm, proud corncobs. But listen, babe, it's all sex, innit - I mean when you get down to it? Including pretend latte (any time, darlin')

nmj said...

hey signs, i am so impressed at your attempts to make granules drinkable, i could weep when i wake up to no real coffee! it is my favourite part of the day, waking up, lavazza (diluted with water, but no milk) and easing myself into the day.

Reading the Signs said...

I think the trick is, nmj, not to even think of them as the real thing. The milk is important, though. I guess it might also work with soya, but just water - no. Have just stocked up with freshly ground.