I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic
I shall probably cringe with shame and delete this post later on, but this evening I’m in a wistful, nostalgic kind of mood. In the middle of having another clear-out of the apparently endless supply of tat in our house, I’ve found that I now have 3 copies of the Poetry Now magazine ‘1995 Poets’ annual anthology. In it is Greycat, my first ever published poem (the anthology being a proper book, I even got royalties for it – they arrived as a £1 coin sellotaped to a piece of cardboard. I still have it, of course).
I have three copies because, me being still a teenager and my grandparents being the proud types when the grandkids got into print, each one (a surviving grandma on one side and grandad on the other) got a copy for Christmas. They are all now dead, and missed, and their copies have made their way back to me, complete with shy dedications.
Since I was only in my mid-teens when I wrote it, I think the poem’s not bad. It’s about Meggie, my beloved cat from when I was 13. One evening I noticed her looking yellow-ish, a bit jaundiced around the ears. Mum took her to the vet; they euthanased her when they found the tumour in her liver. Under current circumstances, although those are a bit more optimistic, it resonates.
I looked into your eyes
and saw white roses blooming
and a slow sleep coming.
In our gentle farewell
you slipped by softly
while I scrabbled and clutched in desperation,
trying to accumulate memories
in the time remaining to me;
but most remembered of that long evening
are the white roses blooming
where the light struck your eyes.