it’s happening now

sometimes think I’m going to die

I mean, of course

I am going to die

but that’s nebulous and

post-menopause

post-cancer, post-covid, post-relapse, post-deathofparents, post-divorce

post-pleasenothingawfulwiththekids

post-life

I’ll die

and

it’s ok

because

I will have done it all by then

right?

But sometimes

there’s a fizz in my chest

and I think

what if I’m dying now

I mean, of course

I am

 

 

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Bell Isosceles

It chimes me back

to a string of tinkles

beside my bedroom window

brass-notched with

mouse-foot marks

their tongues of brass

rough and rarely

put out for noon

but thanks Emily

for that memory

while She thought

the hat was stripey

it was all-black

soft and so long

hung with a bell

a velvet isosceles

still ringing in

half-forgotten song

 

Photo by Arturo Rey on Unsplash

 

 

Stormwater

Stormwater makes gutters exciting

clear and fast and rush, rush, rushing

sticks and leaves and grass and concrete

fresh puddles are new lakes

around a drowned playground

the waves offshore huge and brown

with denuded earth from headlands

floating and crashing

flying to shore

soft and high like Tara Brach’s hair

rain, rain, rain for days makes mirrors

everywhere

then it drains like snow disappears

and you wonder

what happened to all that extra stuff

the world absorbs

enfolding elements, renewed

and we observe only

an iceberg-tip of all

 

 

 

Photo: flooded forest by Claire Doble

Wow, it has been more than a month since I last posted, that is a long time for me. I have felt a bit flat and non-poetic lately I guess. I hope this changes!

unshed

scaggy bits of behind-fences

scan past, scad by

on the side of the train track

and I see the torso of

a dead deer or kangaroo that had

too many ribs too close together

and some of the skin was still there

my unuttered scream

is trapped somewhere in my chest

or at the base of my neck

an anxious vapour, a cloying veil

I am so afraid I can’t cut through

and share the poignancy of the world

beside the railway or

the pink clouds over the ocean

that are the colour of a ribbon for a girl

a pink ribbon that would show a spatter of blood

bright red at first then fading to brown,

rusty like dirt like old wounds like

dusk of the golden hour like

Sunday on the shortest day of the year

as evening closes down like

unshed tears, a stain

somewhere near my heart

a red-brown patch that

will never be washed away

do you know this feeling. Do you? Do you

do you unweep, unscream

and hold that feeling, yes that one

in your body

on a train?

 

Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash

Besides, I have poems to write

 

Evidently the sea

has taken away the sand

leaving rocks where

before it was dunes

 

and my shifting day

stole away an idea

beauty shimmered, lost and

never wrote it down

 

one request got through

(and first thoughts

are not best regarded

– even angels fear to tread on broken beaches)

besides, I have poems to write

 

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

Writing news – Poem published & novel progressing

Hello! How’s everyone been doing in Covid times?

We’re coming out of lockdown here in Australia and, because I’m not in a big city, things were relatively mild here. I didn’t enjoy homeschooling but I’ve never really taken to the Hausfrau stuff anyway. (I’m sure I’m not alone in that!) I feel lucky that we got off so lightly. But it has been a testing time.

Anyway, to happier news.

This week INVICTUS was published, an online mag dedicated to works produced during lockdown. They were kind enough to include one of my poems (and my recording of it) so please take a look / listen / read here: https://invictus-spark.org/claire-doble-virus/

I’m also racing to the finish line for the first draft of my novel. Wow, this has been a long time coming! It has happened via a six-month Write Your Novel course at the Australian Writers Centre. I don’t know if I would have got there without it (well, I did write a rough draft of this same book in 2016-17). The course has been great because I’ve learnt so much. Possibly the biggest shift has been in my expectations.

When I completed the rough draft of this work back in 2016, I had no idea what to do with it. It started well, I liked the world I created and the characters. But it went badly off-tangent around the three-quarter mark and therefore I thought it was a ‘failed’ attempt at a novel. Yeah, I’m not exactly easy on myself! I’ve spent a bit of time processing that recently. If I’m honest, I felt some real grief and sadness that I didn’t fully appreciate what I’d achieved back then. I thought because it was only 80% ‘there’ that it was not good enough and I discounted the whole thing. Wow. Perfectionism is a bitch.

Now, through this course, I’ve realised that’s pretty normal. Very few people are going to write a 100% killer first-draft. That’s the whole point of a first draft! So I’m back. Slow process. But I feel way more equipped now to see this through. Unfortunately for you though, this is all academic as you won’t get to see or read anything for a while!

But I like to do these semi-regular updates. It helps me to keep track of what I’m doing. For now, I’m feeling pretty good, like I’m on the right path with it all. (Even if still miles to go before I sleep.)

So yeah… watch this space!

 

PS: Totally forgot to say it’s a year since I left Switzerland! That was the other reason to write this!

Kintsugi

 

hold the wind in my arms

ghost trees toss

their shrouds of

pale cloth

while wave-feathers trail

white-peacock fringes

behind surges

irreparable

over rocks

as my tin-can heart

soaks up

songs from

half-forgotten harmonicas

I’m poised

a broken-bevel jewel

seeking kintsugi

to gild old scars

 

 

kintsugi is the Japanese art of mending broken pottery with strands of gold lacquer

Photo:  Claire Doble

Dr. Irvine

I had a job in a Sydney shoe shop

with Irvine Welsh in 95

he was a small 23yo Scottish woman

I was a noodle goth, 18

Trainspotting had just come out at the cinema

my friends did heroin

got arrested stealing mobile phones from cars

while I

did time in the storeroom

avoiding customers

Irvine and I took bellydancing lessons

drank Irn Bru in a Glebe café and

dossed in Bondi Junction

with the latest blue-bottled wine

it was before Facebook so

he will never find me now

 

Photo: John Broks on Unsplash

Lessons

 

I learnt permanence from the beach

the way the sand never shifted

and the dunes stood still

a dead spike-backed fish

forever there, the arcs of tides

ancient and fixed

 

I learnt love from the sea

constant, predictable

ever reliable

turn your back, nothing happens

risk free

and the rocks, so orderly

 

I learnt life from the wind

always that solid blue

careful, unchanged

no cloud-claw wisps

nor breeze-tossed leaf

to mar my view