Archive for the ‘poetry’ Category
I went on an unplanned stroll down memory lane. Yesterday I cleared out my paperwork! Big deal, you’ll think; well it is for me. I don’t open my post – only stuff that looks interesting – everything else waits in a quiet corner. So now I feel virtuous ‘cos four months of filing has been done, in real files as well as the wpb. Then I thought why not collate the notes and writings from my class – that shouldn’t take too long except I spent ages reading and admiring the rest of the group’s work – I was privileged to be with some serious talent. I also found reams of old poetry that brought back mixed memories – they need tidying and/or destroying.
As part of my crusade on paper, this morning I dug out from a deep old storage box, a pile of older battered crinkled notebooks. Between pages and pages of poetry and prose scribblings was so much else: Menus and recipes and related shopping lists. Plans for my children’s engagements and weddings, costs, guestlists, possible venues, flowers, music, more menus, music, etc. Recommended book lists and reviews. Doodles. Quotes from books and my own one-liners. Words I didn’t know their meanings, meaning to look them up. Numbers, lots of them – telephone numbers without names and what could the others be? Pictures of my babies… and Goren! Flight details, times, airports, costs, lists of hotels, itineraries. Home shopping lists and to-do lists and moving costs; not for this one but from spring 2004. (Yes this one is still gonna happen – the house will go on the market this week. Wish me luck)!
The next part of my journey shocked me (slightly). Those who have been around the block with me here will remember At Home With The Goren’s. That blog is long gone and the stories I first drafted in word – all deleted. In my hands I held chapters written, I think, in my lunchbreak, on a train or a plane or a cafe. What was I thinking then? Was I pleasing a particular audience? What was it with those two? I cringed as I read. Puerile and pathetic; the characters, the content and the quality of writing. I’m not sorry the blog is lost to posterity. However, thanks to dear Val she had the bright idea to invite anyone to contribute to her new blog After Major Case and in a moment of sentimentality I resurrected them. What was I thinking? Again! The couple have since matured (and the writer); they have a son Robert, Bobby is out of work and anything can happen.
As for all the notebooks – I kept the photos, pulled out the recipes, one-liners and a few poems – the rest, including mrsbg, are now languishing atop my recycling box awaiting an uncertain, but i’m sure a more useful future.
So wassup? My last post said I was going to Israel with mother and we did – it was a fabulous trip. Jamie joined us for a long weekend; he bunked at Jon and Bridgitte’s whilst ma and I stayed in an apartment in Herzliya two minutes from the Marina. There was a massive pool and the little ones had a lot of fun. It worked out brilliantly and friends were coincidentally staying in the same place and mother and I also met up with other friends who live there. Not sure when my next trip will be, the summer months are way too hot for this English rose, but hot off the press, they’re all coming to stay at the end of September for about ten days. Can’t wait to see my little ones again – I miss them so much – thank goodness for webcams and skype!
Rachel and I are still planning our trip to the big apple in October – flights are booked – wooo hooo. I am so excited. I’ve never been and it really is the only place on my wish list at the moment. I’ll never say no to other places, but right now I am fixated on going there. I’ve been researching accommodation – the choice is endless and I so want to get it right, but the prices are unbelievable. Coincidentally my boss is going in a few weeks and we were checking out the same hotels – they are half the price in August compared to the dates we’re going. I also checked to see if it was a public holiday or something, but no, and it’s not Chelsea’s wedding! Still searching – all recommendations welcome.
What else? Oh yes, Bon Jovi at the O2… cool. No, HOT!!!! He was fantastic, but boy I could hardly move the next day. It hurts to confess, this old hen is past being a rock chick. More on music… got blown away seeing (sadly only on tv) the awesome and talented Carole King and James Taylor at the Troubador’s 50th anniversary, although Jamie bought me the DVD & CD. They’ve been doing a sell-out tour in the States – it would be awesome if they brought it to London. Some music is timeless – Tapestry – 1971 – still listening.
I also got blown away by a television two-part drama written by Kay Mellor, based on her mother’s revelation that she’d had an affair when Kay was a baby. It’s called A Passionate Woman and received mixed reviews – I liked it. It also introduced us to a beautiful and talented young actor called Theo James. I shall be keeping an eye out for him and wish him a glittering career.
Trying to remember what books I’ve read since I last posted; I recall raving about Suite Francaise – since then I had the opportunity to hear her biographer, together with the Cambridge professor who translates Irene Nemirovsky’s writing, and Irene’s daughter (who is now 80). After the talk hoards of people queued for book signing; my friends and I had a coffee while we waited and then joined the end of the line – in my limited french we exchanged a few words and as I was the last one they signed the books to me personally, which was rather nice.
What have I been reading? I loved the first two of the Stieg Larssson Millenium books – the third sits teasingly on my bookshelf, but it is 700 pages long and I haven’t found time to dive in. They are such thumping good yarns; I’ve bought them for friends who also can’t put them down.
Am in the middle of Andrea Levy’s Small Island which is brilliantly well written – more of that when I finish it.
A quick read by the pool was Alexander McCall Smith’s latest in his No.1 Lady Detective Agency series of books set in Botswana – they never disappoint, but don’t expect too much – just easy reading filled with wisdom and insight.
What else? A return to Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. I loved it first time round – loved it even more the second. The first outing I was totally raving about his surreal adventures at sea and the fact it was so original; the second time I found myself more absorbed by Pi’s fascination and search for religion. The ending is clever, very clever. There are some beautiful lines and descriptions. If you’ve not had the chance, this is one I heartily recommend.
Couldn’t put down Marcus Zusak’s Book Thief. Set in Munich during the war the story of a German family harbouring a young Jewish man – the story is narrated by Death yet it is not in the least morbid. It is written in an unusual format where the contents of each chapter are listed at the beginning so you know what to expect. Another one I recommend.
The Ghost by Robert Harris – a political genre loosely (or not so) based on Blair – it had some great reviews and I hear the film is good, but not seen it yet. I should ‘cos I believe it stars the cute Pierce Brosnan and cuter Ewan McGregor. The book is 400 pages long; I didn’t find much to excite me until p.300. The timing was good – I was on a flight. The last 100 pages were pageturners; at the very last line it dawned on me that we never knew the name of the ‘ghost’ – of course we were never meant to. Friends who enjoyed it more than I didn’t notice my observation – they all went “Oh yes!” – still worth giving it an airing.
I’ve tried to read other books by Marina Lewycka, but gave up not even halfway. I completed the task with A Short Story of Tractors in Ukranian. Not sure what to make of the book – think it may be a little like Marmite – you either love it or hate it. It has been labelled comedy, when in fact it isn’t at all and nor was that the author’s intention. There are a few smart one-liners and it was poignant in parts. It’s about two distant sisters (in more ways than one) whose recently widowed, 80+ year old father is about to marry a buxom blonde Ukrainian in her 30’s. The father is writing a book about, yes, tractors in the Ukraine; he is an intellectual man, when he’s not being stupid. Some skipped those sections, but I actually found them enlightening as you saw the progress (and not) of communism in Eastern Europe. You can imagine the rest about him and his trophy – or read the book.
Finally Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis I & II. She is a graphic novelist living in France and her cartoon book is autobiographical. The title is the old name for Tehran. It was different. I found the pages hard on my eyes. It has been made into a film and I caught it this week on the television. Having recently read the book, it was exactly the same but animated so I switched off. I think I was less enthusiastic than my friends – I did not like the format (think Maus) but she is a graphic novelist so obviously this would be the way she would tell her story. Her story encompasses her life from childhood in Tehran, to being a student in Austria, back to Tehran and more studies and marriage, then divorce all with the backdrop of the different regimes and rules and regulations and war. It left me cold – I forced myself to read it – the story is true and heartbreaking and I wanted so much to sympathise and empathise; I’m sure I would have done if it was conventionally told .
Sorry I’ve been gone so long – I may be back (don’t hold your breath) 🙂
must get myself together
put on my face
brace myself against the weather
got this day free
well not so much
it’s still costing me
we’re not that busy
can’t spend it shopping
a day off and I’m broke
© ann raven 2009
You’d think I’d be pleased to be told to take the day off, but I feel at a bit of a loss. It wouldn’t seem so bad if I was really given a day off, but I will have to make it up or lose the pay. It’s circumstances and the fact that my colleague and I are too darn efficient. I often tell her to exercise Parkinson’s Law, but she works like speedy gonzales. Mind, I don’t really like to be in my office with nothing to do and my boss likes even less paying me to do nothing, but over the last couple of weeks I’ve found lotsa little extras to do that we don’t normally have time for and done myself out of working today. Ironically you would think this means I may soon be unemployed (and at my age unemployable) but I actually think my job is fairly safe – for now!
So, you’d think a whole day to do as I please (well half-day now – I’ve just finished my book – more of that another time) would be a bonus. The truth is I work and operate best under pressure. Today I am so not in the right frame of mind to be creative, although I quickly threw out the verse above, and I don’t feel like cooking or cleaning. However, I did surf the net for properties.
I viewed a ground floor apartment the other day – about ten/fifteen minute walk from Jamie and Lucy. It had a nice kitchen, two nice bathrooms, two good sized bedrooms that needed ripping out, so far so good, until the living room – it wasn’t big enough. I told the agent out right, not wanting to waste anyone’s time. I do fancy an apartment, at least I think I do. A fairly modern block would be okay, but I like the idea of a Victorian or Edwardian conversion. Those houses are full of character, the rooms are bigger and airier (is there such a word) and it will be worlds away from the square box I live in now, although this house has served me well.
If I do find something, or if J & L find something and I end up buying their gorgeous garden flat, I won’t sell this house. I’ll probably let it, get an income to cover costs plus some, and if I’m not happy with moving away from here, I could still come back.
Jedward are out – halleluyah. At last they performed with no tricks, just them and a microphone and yes, what we all thought was confirmed, they can’t sing. I still wish them well and think there’s a glittering future in store for them. Shock horror Olly was down there with them, when it should have been Lloyd, who also cannot sing… maybe not as bad as the twins, but nowhere near as good as the others. Thank goodness Danni didn’t chicken out and go for the public vote – she stuck with her guns that it is a singing competition and that is how she has judged it every week.
So – who to win? Joe and Stacey have the best vocals. Olly knows how to wow the audience and Danyl… not sure what to make of him; I think he’s gorgeous, I love his performances, but what’s with the judges and the media always putting him down. He’s luvverly.
I don’t think I’m going to Israel for Channukah… it’s a shame, I really wanted to see the children and give them presies, but I’ll best say no more – guess I’ll have to wait till February!
Rachel and I are planning a trip to the big apple next year – just the two of us – mother and daughter, so that should be fun. She wants to book it sooner than later, which is rather odd since we never like to plan our lives so far ahead. Can anyone recommend a good hotel?
I love NCIS – and now I love NCIS Los Angeles. Recently Rach and I caught the first episode and she kept saying isn’t that Chris O’Donnell, you know Robin. Chris O’Donnell, who he? Me not looking at Mr O’Donnell – me looking at the super-uber-cool LL Cool J – Ladies Love Cool James – oh boy! Yeah, this is how I spent some of my day off, surfing youtube.
I am incensed and I owe a good good friend an apology – I lost my rag, not with him, but with the system. We have discussed it a million times and last night was no exception – he wanted to drop the subject, but I wouldn’t let it go because I find it so outrageous and I’m sorry that I give him a hard time and I’m sorry he has to put up with this – and I know he’s not alone, so this is for everyone.
I thought slavery had been abolished, but when an employee has no rights, no contract, is paid peanuts and can be let go at a moment’s notice, it does make me wonder. This friend worked for over eight years, full time for a company and was made redundant at the outset of the recession over a year ago. The company is still in business and he was given zilch, no redundancy pay, not one single cent – why, because where he lives the employee has no contract and no rights. My country is not perfect but unless a company goes under and the employee becomes a creditor, there are statutory payments they have to make when letting someone go. Since losing that job and being unemployed for a while, he is now working for a supermarket under the same conditions, no contract, no rights.
I am sure that every supermarket employee in this country has a signed contract, proper annual leave entitlement, even in their first year, sick pay and an element of security as long as they fulfil their contractual obligations and the company is still trading. I would like to name and shame the American supermarket chain my friend busts a gut for, but I don’t want to do anything that would jeopardise him. Instead I shall rant here and hope I express it better in verse.
this is the promised land
the golden medina
where the grass is greener
in this ‘new’ land
its declaration vows
the pursuit of happiness for every man
life and liberty and equality
if you’re the employer
not the employee!
“In G-d We Trust”
the motto of this State
that’s not enough when
the ethos means
no business ethics
they can dismiss you as they please
no such thing as loyalty
no pat on the back, a job well done
you’re an asset to the company
instead – you’re a liability
to hell with security
if you don’t like it, tough
there’s always another
to take your place
in the land of the free
the United States
It’s odd the moral dilemma I find myself in when driving to work. I know it’s just a silly little thing and hardly requires deep meaning or philosophy, but still it bothers me. Obviously it’s the rush hour, the roads are horrendously busy, traffic jams, road works, broken lights, accidents, sirens, the usual. I don’t mind letting people out ‘cos I would like someone to do the same for me – and I try not to block sideroads when stuck in a line that ain’t moving. The thing is doing this the whole journey means it takes longer and then I could be late for work and I do have an obligation to my boss – he does pay me to be there. So, if I don’t let someone out and I’m given the evil eye I feel terrible, and even if I’m not given the eye, I feel terrible – they don’t know I’ve already been “gentleman jim” umpteen times and the clock is nearly clocking on time. Strangely it makes no difference what time I leave the house, traffic is traffic. I don’t have this problem going home – I let ’em all out! Funny, the silly thoughts that go round my head!
Here’s some exciting news – the Israeli branch of my tribe have moved home. They’ve left the big house in Neve Daniel (where the wind whipped round the hillside, it was cold cold cold, but the views were breathtakingly stunning – and I shall miss all their neighbours who over the years have hosted me many a Shabbat lunch). They’re now in a much smaller apartment in Raanana, an area I have only passed through once and that was for a quick falafel and hummus; hopefully I shall visit them real soon, although not sure there’s enough room at the inn for mother. It’s funny how things work out. Jon was made redundant almost a year ago, his old boss got him an interview for another job that he did not get. That company then recommended him to another company and he got that job then – they poached him back. Well the new job’s in Herzliya which meant a commute of 2 hrs morn and night, hence the move. Yeah, think I’ll definitely go online and check those flights for Chanukah and I need some new pics 🙂
I rarely check this bog’s blog’s stats, I don’t need to go there to know I don’t get many visitors – aaaaaah! Well, the point is I did see my stats and the one post that consistently attracts a steady stream of interest is Privileged to Walk with Angels, the one I wrote after my trip to Israel earlier this year. The good news is, I’ll be repeating the experience and I’m really excited – it was such an honour to meet such amazing people, heroes and heroines, the victims of terror and the people who help them – and baby No.3 is due around the same time. Kill two birds with one stone – what a ghastly expression when you think about it – better not think about it!
I haven’t posted any poetry here in a while; I’m now putting it directly on My Poetry Page. If anyone’s even remotely interested, there’s some new stuff and some old that I’ve played around with and tweaked here and there. I’m in the process of putting it here too.
Currently re-reading Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, Michael Chabon’s Final Solution and Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. Also treated myself to some poetry by real poets which is a joy to dip into when I can’t sleep. Have now happily got my copy of The Narrows – just need to find time to sit and watch it in peace and quiet – not because anyone else lives here, but because of the darn phone and don’t suggest I unplug it or switch off my mobile, they’ll then worry and it’s so not worth the aggravation – still it’s nice to know they care.
Other news – I thought I was gonna move. I walked into my house the other day, looked around and decided it needed a makeover of some sort. It was redecorated and recarpeted not so long ago, but the curtains and light fittings were already here when I bought the place and they’re pleasant enough but they and my furniture are all looking a tad tired. It hit me that I’m now ready to move on and out and start over. Coincidentally Jamie said he’d found a house near him he thought I would like, and I hadn’t even told him my idea. I said I’d rather move to a flat (apartment) so he said he’d buy the house and I could buy his place, which I love love love, and I was so excited except the house he was gonna buy has fallen through… and there was I wading my way through the John Lewis catalogue. Guess it wasn’t meant to be, but watch this space.
It has been an amazing few weeks – for the last four weekends house-guests and dinner-guests have graced my home and table; I loved every minute but the last ten days was the greatest pleasure of them all. I was on cloud nine, but now I am brought back to earth – they have gone home boo hoo 😦 and I miss them already.
Admitting I’m exhausted is an understatement, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. While the children were here my ma celebrated her birthday; lots of fuss sharing it with her greatgrandchildren turned it into a very special day and one to remember.
Sadly, at the same time we were commemorating the anniversary of my father’s passing four years ago yesterday. I was at jojo’s blog recently and read how she wanted to contact a facebook friend and was shocked to learn she had died. Just as shocked to see in the news yesterday the death of Stephen Gately… a waste of a wonderful talent. Death, the one thing we have in common – it will happen to us all one day. I think about it a lot, but not in a morbid way. I believe our physical lives here is a testing ground for our eternal spiritual life; we learn here, we learn there and so life goes on. What lives for ever is the impact we make on other people; hoping to leave a good name and good memories, a lasting legacy and that when we go our lives will be something to celebrate.
Having said that, we also suffered another loss. Some of you may recall my stories of ‘the Ferrari driving lech’ – he died – what a shock that was. He lived his life to the full and I imagine he has found a great golf course up there with an excellent nineteenth watering hole. Of course his passing meant I conveyed my condolences to his cousin, my ex, as they were very close like brothers and good friends. You’d think after all this time hearing his voice wouldn’t affect me; it did. I am still confused, still don’t understand how we are where we are, especially when he still calls me ‘doll’. This one’s for him!
We’re apart – for now
You’re doing your ‘thing’
But, when day is done
We’ll likely be together
In the world to come
You’ll think you’ve gone to hell
In heaven, I shall be
That, my love, is destiny
The v-vixens have also been suffering a shock and loss and reactions around blogdom can be likened to a bereavement. I’m surprised Kleenex sales haven’t boomed.
Detective Robert Goren is leaving lo:ci! Detective Robert Goren a fictional character, the creation of the brilliantly talented Vincent D’Onofrio and the most fantastic fantasy fodder ever. Vincent you naughty boy, you knew what buttons to push and that women would be swooning over gorgeous multi-talented sex on legs Goren. However, thank goodness Vincent D’Onofrio is real and lives on. Our detective is leaving the show and mercifully not in a bag or wooden box, which means the door is still open, but I won’t hold my breath!
I asked elsewhere, did he jump or was he pushed? I don’t think it would have taken much of a shove for Vincent to exit stage left and I am excitedly looking forward to his new projects, maybe much bigger parts for us to savour on the big screen (take that comment how you wish). Sure Bobby Bobby will be sorely missed; I’ve been watching the show again from the very beginning on Quest, not that I needed that to see the enormous changes in him, the storylines, the intros, etc. and not all necessarily to the improvement of the show. I don’t belittle Vincent’s acting talent; he had to do his best with lousy writing and no amount of decent direction could rescue that – I’m sorry, but to discover he was the illegitimate son of a convicted serial killer and his ‘on the verge of dementia’ aged puny mentor bumped off his nemesis and we didn’t actually get to see the happy event, were two threads too far off the radar. I always believe it’s better to leave on a high, so hopefully the powers that be will pull out all the stops so that the two hour special series opener will be Vincent, Katherine and Eric’s high notes. Imho, ITWSH was brilliant – it can be done again!
… guess this is how the vixens feel!
Same aromatic smells, bustling sounds
Foreign taste, our special place
Nothing much changed
Since the last time
We shared a war zone then
Now we meet, the uneasy peace
An awkward kiss
Not like the last time
Blackout curtains, darkness, silence
Save the sirens wail, bombs overhead
Your gun and bullets under the bed
Afraid it was the last time
Precious moments seeking comfort
Not straying from the other’s arms
As one, afraid to sleep alone
Maybe for the last time
Then it happened, your call to serve
And mine, get out, go home
On my own two thousand miles
That was the last time
I wait for news, no email then
Not knowing if you survived
Years pass, by chance I find you
Here, like the last time
But, I’m not that same young girl
And you, my soldier of principle
Our lives and ideals now worlds apart
Far from the last time
We’ve changed, no going back
We’re not the same
We reminisce, a final kiss
For the last time
© 2006 ann raven
I stumbled on a box hidden away
Long forgotten memories
Everyone should have one of these
Good old days, another age
Young footloose and fancy free
With no responsibility
The world was mine, to conquer, climb
Joys and passion of youth now faded
Snapshots of friends – not all lovers
Was he my first kiss, or this other?
Memories I thought I could never forget
Washed away – faint with age
Like discoloured letters, corners curled
A ribbon lovingly tied
For some unknown reason laid aside
Declared their love or said no more
Those watermarked with tears
Wondering if they’re still here
Tucked beneath the lid a lock of hair
I twirl his curl as I did before
Picture that face like yesterday
Caught in the folds of an envelope
A ring, cheap, tarnished, worn with pride
I’d almost forgotten him
Nostalgia lies wrapped in tissue on the bottom
Words and verse – letters of illicit love
Now – he was the one
I close my eyes remembering
Forgiven – not forgotten
Some things are best left, hidden
© 2007 ann raven
another one revisited and revised – the cigar box of the title too!