Following a reunion yesterday with fellow mature students at Bangor University I’ve just been mulling over some dreams that I had then. It’s clear from our shared chatter and reminisces that it was one of the most vibrant and challenging times of our lives. I had forgotten that I wanted to follow an MA straight away; forgotten the tensions that arose between doing what I wanted – the MA and doing what had to be done under the circumstances – earning a living. In retrospect it was the correct decision, the best decision in awful circumstances.
In my dream writing life my TBR (to be read) pile is organised methodically: Young Adult Fiction, Adult Fiction, New Emerging Authors, American Fiction. My dream notebook is is separate to my ideas notebook, my work notebook and my reading response notebook. My pilot pens ( always has to be a pilot pen!) are soldier like in pots , green, pink, pale blue black navy – I always chose colour according to mood but green pilot pens are always my favourite. Until the peer marking process across both counties decreed that the process had to be in green bic.
Of course, the reality is quite different. My books are in piles. I have to scrabble in my bag – an oversized teacher pencil case for a biro. I don’t swan into my study/spare bedroom decorated in blue and white, and sit down at a clear desk switch on an applemac and churn out fault free prose. These days, the first of the alarms rings – Bruno Mars Happy – from across the room; I get up and let out the dogs, brush the floors clear the crud from the sink, turn on the dishwasher wash the pans from last night, throw a meal in the slo cooker. Then I bring my coffee back to bed and try to cobble together a writing life; until the second alarm rings, so I know it’s time to prepare for the working day. There should be special snooze button for writers, I think.
My childhood dream was a glass desk in front of a glass window, overlooking a city scape. There I would edit children’s’ books in the morning and early afternoon, then I would write my own from the late-afternoon to early- evening. As it is, I’m here in bed on my laptop tapping away. My son is coming o dinner later. Simon and Schuster are not knocking on my door with a deal, neither are the Poetry Presses. Laterstill, have year 7 & 8 short stories to mark before hitting the mock, mock exam for year 11. So in celebration of days where somehow I produced a dissertation and worked full time I give you my favourite poem set in Oriel Mon, where one day I transcribed all that I heard and saw. It’s a mad poem , I have problems with structure and how to set out the voices. Yes,I heard all phrases and no carrots or bara brith were harmed in the making of the poem.
Happy Sunday. Lynne you’re going to hate it!
Voices at Oriel Mon
For Mary Lloyd Jones
Iaith Gyntaf First language/ Iaith gyntaf Language first
I don’t understand it Oh there’s the Welsh Not. I recognise that…
lliwiau clir llachar
with Celtic text of centuries
continents in dialects and fonts
lliwiau sy’n dangos
formless feeling shapes of loss language
I saw a blind man
rocking at the art gallery today
Why do they get money for
Can I sign for them?
Italy’ll be good this year…
Why can’t I
get money for
… and the sun will be warm but not too hot.
Tom’s texting later
I’m getting used to it now –no
Don’t speak coz the phone’s ringing knives
they’ll hear you
I’m not worried…Ga’i dished o de?
… as long as I get money for carrots
paned o goffi a teisen siocled
I’m getting used to it now
Aron knows how far he can go what I’m willing to do…
I feel better now- no?
You make it better
Tisho coffee ta te ta wydred o win?
carrots are quiet
phone’s stopped ringing
did you text Tom? Get the bill. Is this seat empty?
… you accept it you know
no need to rock,cyw, — I think he’s worried
the phone’s ringing knives
you worried, cyw?He’s worried
I’m confident he’ll take the commission to paint
He’s so materialistic
The phone’s ringing knives they’ll kill you for carrots
Bara brith I ddwy? Dim Diolch
At least Italy’s warm
Why do they get…
Drink your chocolate, cyw.
You’ve a ring round your lip.
Wipe your mouth — I’ll have to take him he won’t wait
It’s a brilliant experience I’ve very fond memories
You’ll have such fond memories
Wonderful… never forget it…Italy
I’m right now. The knives aren’t carrots
She paints her feelings of loss, you see
how she feels about the Welsh language over the centuries
lliwiau llachar; it’s loss overlaid in centuries
Today I saw a blind man rocking at the art gallery.