Monthly Archives: February 2010

I carry poems

I have been over at Carry a Poem , reading about how people carry poems with them.  I especially like Katie’s post (from 5th February), the line: ‘And I am definitely okay with trying.’ has stayed with me.  If anyone knows who the poem by, please leave a comment and let me know!

The poem I carry with me, for so long now that I feel like I’ve always known it, is the first line of William Blake’s ‘Augeries of Innocence’ –

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

There’s just something so soothing about it, and it reminds me that no matter how insignificant things might appear to be, there is always more to be seen, if we look for it.

Thinking about carrying poems also made me think about how I carry mine; where do I carry my words in the gestation period before they are reborn as poetry?  Well, it’s a bit like this:

I carry poems

I carry poems with me
Many different ones each day
I keep them in my head and heart
And collect more along my way

My heart is always full to bursting
But there’ll always be more space
For the poetry I see daily
In all kinds of places and on so many faces

I add more poems as I see them
And I see them all the time
I take mental snapshots of moments
Wrap them in words to make them mine

I carry the man outside the supermarket with a sleeping bag over his head
I carry the words I’ve still to let go of, those that made me see red 
I carry his frown lines
I carry her smile
I carry his laughter
I carry your sense of style

I carry the words that lie beneath those that you use
I carry your pain
I carry my muse

I carry all this and more
All of the time
Then give birth to new poems
And hope you might carry mine.

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Shanghai Fizz

I love roses (to eat, I mean.  Yes, you read that right).  I love lychees.  I quite like martinis.  So, knowing these facts,  it should come as no surprise to learn that my favourite drink is a rose and lychee martini.

I’ve tried several versions of this drink in several different bars (if it’s not on the menu I’ll ask for it anyway), here are a couple of examples:

At Ping Pong:

At Eagle Bar:

I also quite liked the version I had at Sophie’s Steakhouse, although I wasn’t keen on the morello cherry dropped in the bottom of the glass (I forgot to take a picture that time.  I’ll have to go back and have another.  Research is so hard)…

The other day I went back to Eagle Bar with a friend, where I sampled ‘Shanghai Fizz,’ a champagne cocktail with rose syrup, lychee liquer, champagne (of course), and coconut foam.  I have no idea how they made the coconut foam but it was delicious.  Maybe next time I’ll ask them.

Oh yes, and it was decorated with a candied hibiscus flower.  For me, presentation is everything and this looked just as good (apologies for the poor photo which doesn’t quite capture it) as it tasted, which was a bit like an exotic holiday on my tongue:

I think I’ve found a new favourite drink.

Unexpected item in bagging area

This is a rant.  You know those shiny new (well perhaps not that new anymore) self-service tills that have been popping up all over the major UK supermarkets?  No?  Need a visual?

Yes they look great, but  right now I’m not loving them.  I know I could just not use them, and then I would have nothing to moan about, but you see, these tills make  me use them every time I go shopping ‘for a few bits.’  I pop into the supermarket when it’s late, so that it’s quiet, and see maybe two people queuing at the regular till, I start to join the queue, and then the self-service tills call to me. ‘Hey, hey, over here…  Yes, that’s right.  Look at us, so shiny and new and queue-less..  Come to us, we can save you time.’  But they lie! I go over, press the ‘I bought my own bag’ option (or equivalent) and place my bag in the bagging area.  Suddenly the till turns on me. ‘Unexpected item in bagging area.’  I look for someone to help (I thought the whole point was that they were self service, and needing someone to help kind of defeats the object, does it not?), and am reminded that there’s an ‘unexpected item in bagging area.’  Yes yes I know, and it’s my bag, that I explicitly indicated I would be using!  Eventually, someone comes along and helpfully scans his staff password in so that I can continue.  I scan a couple of items with no complaints, then after scanning a carton of eggs and carefully placing it in my bag, I get: ‘Please place the item in the bagging area.’  Er…  I just did.  I take the eggs out and place them back in again, and am then asked whether I actually want to bag the item before I can continue. ‘But I just bagged it, twice!’ I want to shout, and maybe even add ‘You enticed me here with your shiny newness and  promise of efficiency and all you’ve done is give me grief while those who queued up with their shopping over there have been and gone!’  but it’s not really the done thing to scream at inanimate objects so I just get on with it, internalise my anger* and then go home and write a blog about it.

Ok, rant over.  Normal service will be resumed shortly.

Here’s a reason to queue for the other tills next time:

*Ok, maybe ‘anger’ is a bit strong, ‘mild irritation’ would probably be more accurate.

Silent Scream

So, I’ve just been looking through some (really) old poems, and I found a notebook full of teen angst type stuff, some of it so awful I doubt I’ll ever  share it!  But I found the below poem, which was my sister’s favourite at the time (I didn’t show my work to many people, back then)…  I’m not sure how I feel about this one, what do you think?  Have a read (original title and punctuation copied carefully from my notebook – I didn’t have a computer back then!)

Mental Torture

A silent scream comes from within.  It pierces through the noise of the external world like a bullet plunges into the soft flesh of a living body.  No-one hears.  But the pain is like waiting for tomorrow to come.  It grips the throat and squeezes until the inside is outside and the outside is no longer a reality but a dream from the depths of the imagination and life… Ceases to exist.