Critical Review – Poem

we are all fragile

This woman comes to visit

She is really quite unkind,

She tells me where I am going wrong

And where I fall behind

How everyone else

Is better than me by miles

They don’t leave washing up

or ironing in piles

She says no-one’s home

Is in such a mess as mine

With cobwebs hanging here and there

Kitchen smattered with grease and grime

She points out all my faults and failings

She really knows me well

She makes her judgements thick and fast

On my failures she likes to dwell

This woman bullies me,

Each and every day

She is wicked cruel and nasty

And has so much to say

I wish I could escape her clutches

Tell her to bother someone else

The problem is that

That woman is myself.

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Today

rose bud colour pencils

Today…

I shall leave the dishes

unwashed

the bed

un made

I won’t straighten the cushions on the sofa

or launder the clothes

that lay on the floor

Today

I will delight

in half drunk

cold cups of coffee

squashed cushions

and scattered clothes

I shall lie

listless and lazy

in an unmade bed

with crumpled sheets

because

each

is

imbibed

with you

I can caress

the rim of the coffee cup

knowing

it has touched your lips

or trace

the cast of your face

on the pillow

or the imprint

of the cushion where you lay

each item

carries you back to me,

as if

by preserving these things

I can keep you

here

because today

I miss you

I am as empty

as the hollow cast

on the pillow

in my un-made bed.

Sugar – Poetry 101 Rehab challenge

Sugar

She knew

He was distracted

Absent

Staring into space

Again

She loved him

Fastening her apron

Reaching for the jar

She smiled

He loved her too

On Monday

Pulling apples from his tree

She made Apple Crumble

Spicing it with cloves and cinnamon

Just like his school dinners

On Tuesday

She baked

Sicilian Lemon cake,

First tasted on honeymoon

twenty years ago

On Wednesday

Golden treacle pudding

with custard

just like his mother taught her

On Thursday

Shortbread fingers

Eaten by the loch

where they discovered

blossoming parenthood

On Friday

The vanilla scent of

New York Baked Cheese Cake

Welcomed him home

By Saturday

He was no longer distracted

They celebrated

With tiramisu

Time slips by ..

I woke up this morning with this poem running through my head. I met my children for dinner yesterday, it is so strange to think my daughter is a married woman now. Motherhood is very strange, if you are doing a good job then you are hopefully making yourself redundant – that they can live their lives independently. But I find it is mixed, sometimes they seem so grown up and responsible, and then they seem like little children again, in need of love and encouragement. One thing I do know, is that they make me proud every day, and I feel it is always good to let them know.

The Lesson of the Water-Mill

by Sarah Doudney 1841-1926 English poet and hymn writer. 

Listen to the water-mill
Through the livelong day,
How the clicking of its wheel
Wears the hours away!
Languidly the autumn wind,
stirs the forest leaves,
From the field the reapers sing,
Binding up their sheaves;
And the proverb haunts my mind
As a spell is cast–
“The mill cannot grind
With the water that has past.”
Autumn winds revive no more
Leaves that once are shed,
And the sickle cannot reap
Corn once gatheres;
Flows the ruffled streamlet on,
Tranquil, deep, and still;
Never gliding back again
To the water-mill
Truly speaks the proverb old
With meaning vast–
“The mill cannot grind
With the water that has past.”
Take the lesson to thyself,
True and loving heart;
Golden youth is fleeting by,
Summer hours depart;
Learn to make the most of life,
Lose no happy day;
Time will never bring thee back
Chances swept away!
Leave no tender word unsaid
Love while love shall last–
“The mill cannot grind
With the water that has past.”
Work while yet the daylight shines,
Man of strength and will!
Never does the streamlet glide
Useless by the mill;
Wait not till to-morrrow’s sun
Beams upon thy way
All that thou canst call thine own
Lies in thy “To-day”‘
Power, intellect and health
May not always last–
“The mill cannot grind
With the water that has past.”
Oh, the wasted hours of life
That have drifted by!
Oh, the good that might have been–
Lost, without a sigh!
Love that we once have saved
By a single word,
Thoughts conceived, but never penned,
Perishing unheard;–
Take the proverb to thine heart,
Take, and hold it fast–
“The mill cannot grind
With the water that has past.”
Sarah Doudney wrote this when she was 15 years old.