Author: Claire

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

Lost times

windchimes and fingernails

I miss you

do you know?

the pain

of never-enough

and not-the-right-time

a hole

old and bitter

defeat

must be brave

afraid, what sits

on the other side,

lying and lies

lost moments

and cry

over far-away fingernails

and the corner

of your eye

 

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Oh my word, GloPoWriMo  – global poetry month – starts today! I checked the website yesterday and it’s a miraculous Covid-free zone. WTAF? Awesome. Not sure I’ll manage a daily poem this April but I’ll definitely do a few!