Writing poetry can be a funny business. Inspiration can come from all sorts of places, and often a few lines will come to me when I am in the middle of doing something entirely unconnected to writing. This is why I am never more than a few feet from a notebook, and if one cannot be reached then the voice recorder on my phone comes in useful. At night I make sure my notebook is on the bedside table open on a blank page so if inspiration strikes in the night I can jot it down without turning on the light, (and just hope I can interpret the scrawl in the morning!) When it comes to actually sitting down and writing one of my favourite places to do this is in a coffee shop. With a sweet treat and a hot drink I can sit and write to my hearts content. And when the words are not flowing I can people watch and let my imagination tell me the stories of those around me. At times I will write something from scratch, but often I will use one of my notebooks or voice notes as a starting point. But just because I originally wrote a few lines or phrases inspired by X or Y, that does not mean the poem I actually write has anything to do with X or Y. It is not at all uncommon for the poem I end up with to have very little to do with what I was inspired by in the first place, and for the poem I write to comes as a bit of a surprise. Often something innocuous and unextraordinary can lead to a deeply personal poem. Poetry can sometimes feel a bit like opening myself up and letting my bare soul fall on the page, which is why not everything I write gets shared!
Coffee and cake, paper and pen
Thoughts pouring out of my head once again
Into the light of the stark black and white
No longer hidden from my own sight.
Forced to acknowledge what I would ignore
I knew this would happen – it’s happened before
I try to write fiction, to make myself smile
But unpleasant truths escape all the while
Sat in my seat watching people unwind
While I pour out the disquiet of my mind
And yet though this poem was not my intent
The words express all that inside me is pent
Releasing the tension, unwinding the coil
Freeing the ire that within my head boils
And so by the time I at last drain my cup
Unburdened, I pack up my pen and stand up.