Tuesday, November 20, 2018

'Love's austere and lonely offices'

Have you heard about them? Love's austere and lonely offices? You can read about them here in Robert Hayden's beautiful poem, Those Winter Sundays.

Likewise, this  autumn, I find myself at The Coalface of Motherhood. I do not mind this. This is the place I need to be the most. It's in my bones. When I know this, it it makes it easier.

Drummer/partner/'husband'/The Calm One or Francis, as I sometimes refer to him, was away on tour drumming with Teenage Fanclub, while I 'manned' the coalface - pack lunches, lost gym shoes, asthma attacks (grim), school upsets, and all of the other challenges that bombard the weans. 

And then, they say things like - Mummy, your fashion is quite bad, and why don't you dye your hair? What a boost. And here, praise for my cooking:

My most luxurious point of every day was to fold into bed each night with brushed cotton sheets and a hot water bottle. 

I haven't had time or space to write poetry. There's loads of 'housey' stuff to do, even when they are at school: cooking, cleaning, sorting, food shopping, changing electricity suppliers, trying to sort Netflix glitches (so kids won't erupt!) and all that modern world stuff. 

(A voice in my head says, but I don't want to change electricity suppliers!  while emails pop up to tell me I need to change to save £49 - otherwise I'm daft -  and then, off I go on the capitalist merry-go-round. Remember when electricity was just electricity?)

Frankster is home now, so I can get out to see my Dad reading at the Mitchell Library as part of Book Week Scotland. 

At the weekend, I  am reading a couple of poems at a sold-out gig for a friend who is very bravely trying to raise money to fight her stage 4 cancer.

It puts everything in perspective. Claire is an amazing inspiration to many.