poetry

2020 words and goals

Happy new year, happy new decade! Hard to believe this will be the sixth year of Clairevetica. Where does the time go?

I like to write these goal blogs, mostly for myself to refer back to. Here are my

2019 – mid-year life update

2019 goals

2018 goals

2017 goals and words – consolidation & realignment

2016 goals and words – small, incremental changes

2015 goals and words – surrender

previous words – don’t rush in where angels fear to tread

I was originally about just putting writing goals here but I think Clairevetica can take it if mention some of the other stuff that’s important to me. It’s my space! So, in no particular order, here’s my update / goals / ideas for the year ahead.

Running: I had a goal to reach 1,000kms in 2019, which I achieved. This was not easy, I noticed late November that I was way behind and made the slightly rash decision to run 5km/day for the rest of the year to hit my target. I achieved this and with some spare change (plus a couple of rest days!) I’m pleased with this and I’ve set myself the same target again for 2020. I said I’d like to do one or two half-marathons in 2019 and I managed one. The move from Switzerland to Australia meant things were a bit all over the place in that respect. I will try to sign up for two halfs in 2020. Not sure I’m ready for a full mara yet.

Fitness: a new one! Fitness is becoming increasingly important to me as I move into my 40s. I plan to incorporate some more strength training this year and I’d like to swim more again (I used to do a fair bit of swimming). Since I live on the coast now, this should be a no-brainer. I’d also love to learn to Surf! 🙂

Sobriety: It has been almost an entire year since my last alcoholic drink and a full year since I last got drunk. Definitely the best decision I made in 2019.

Writing: I managed a decent amount of writing in 2019. Including writing about 150 blogs on the sober support website I joined. Since returning to Australia, I’ve done a fair bit of freelance and that has been mostly enjoyable. I’ve been trying to focus more on writing articles about things I am truly interested in rather than ones to merely pay the bills.

Novel: In the last quarter of 2019 I did an 8-week novel-writing course, which was good. I’m probably going to do the follow-up six-month course as, with both kids in school this year, I will finally have those precious few hours per day to devote to it. In retrospect, I was overambitious to think I’d be able to write the novel in 2019 with all the change and upheaval. But I did think about my WiP a lot and took positive steps. And I have refined my approach. I realised, for me, it’s not so much about churning out the words (I am pretty decent at that) but spending more time refining each section in shorter blocks/ bursts and that’s hopefully what’s going to be my process.

Short stories/submissions: I did have one short story published this year! But I’ve basically stopped submitting to literary mags etc. It takes too much time and the payoff is not amazing. I think my energy is better spent in the above and below, penning poems. I also decided a while back I would not submit/enter anything that had an entry fee.

Poetry: the poems just come when they do. It’s interesting to observe how, the past two weeks while on holiday, I have been more inspired to write more poetry. Maybe it requires a bit of difference / out of comfort zone or eye-opening to new things.

WORDS

Finally, I have been in the habit the past few years of choosing a word or words to be a sort of mantra for the year. In 2019 my words were ‘Wild’ and ‘New’ and there was definitely huge amounts of both those things.

In 2020, my words will be ‘Raw’ and ‘Curious’

Curious – because I’ve discovered that a sense of openness and curiosity is one of the best ways to ‘get out of my own head’ and divert negative thoughts. If I remain open and interested, I am far less likely to allow doubts and insecurities rule my thinking or actions. I’m also getting interested in spirituality! So this is a good quality to bring to that.

Raw – I hesitated on this one. The idea of being raw and vulnerable scares me. And really, that’s why I chose it. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway. I suspect that to be truly curious and open, as per my desire above, one must also allow for a certain rawness and stripping back. The best writing can come from here too, which is both exciting and terrifying!

So that’s where I’m at. What are your goals, writing and otherwise, for 2020?

Photo: night-blooming cactus flower by Claire Doble

Grave Yard

Bushfire moon

an eye prickly with tired

in the night

things expire

by day

the sand’s a ribcage and

there’s always dead things on the beach

is it unusual?

Embarrassed, shy by my

disconnect

I do not know

I’ve been away

it takes a year but

didn’t ask

in case

no one has noticed and

I’m afraid

what that might mean

 

I didn’t set out to write a series of ‘bushfire’ poems but I guess I did and it seems appropriate for this time of year in NSW, Australia as we’re suffering some bad fires at present. Where I am is OK, we are safe, but there’s smoke in the air most days. 

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Spider season

in morning light

things look thin

like weak coffee and skim milk

it’s spring

Thursday

Halloween

snake season, a doorway

in between

with bushfire skies

edged dark, hazy

and the rain is

wrong, lazy

spiders make

no noise at all

this is how

we silence the small

 

Photo: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Two minutes to midnight

The night air is full of the sea
and it pours, thick
through the kitchen flyscreen
as poignant-melancholy music
rises to meet it like a wave
and I contemplate never drinking again

Watch Greta Thunberg on TV
fist-bump Obama and then
make an impassioned plea
her hair grown to Rapunzel length
that means
it’s been at least a year, please let her win

As the rain falls helpless, heavy here
in parched fields beyond
farmers cry drought-tears
and I see broken, unfixed water pipes
beside the train line I’m overwhelmed
by how little we care

 

Image: Pacifica Australis #3 – Tiger Nautilus Shell by Christopher Diaz (sculptures at Killalea). Photo: Claire Doble

fingernails

In the 3.30am

wake to the lurch of

oh no

drinking again

lacerations and sharp cuts

hatred and harm

half asleep

haven’t

don’t do that any more

old habits

the gut of fear

try to make good

fingernails flayed raw

fault lines begin

deep

where the mouth worries

spoiling each side

it’s raining

and blowing

spinning through grey air

not sure

we’re in Kansas anymore

 

Image: cyclone scene from The Wizard of Oz stolen from https://www.ifc.com/2009/08/movie-tornadoes

these waves

these waves

stacked like trays

in the corner of Vinnes

a mess of levels

all over the place

and whoever said

liquid is flat

a plane of rock

like a jewellery box

glory spots, lots of treasure pools

the smooth grace of sea

draws up her skirt

gathers into a bastion

of Prussian blue and

as wind stipples the topfoam

back in a cockatoo crest

and the rest

tips forward

crashes on and over

those uneven shelves, the

cutlery drawer

of my coastal shore.

elephant-hide stone, I hop

from plane to plane and feel

brave

like the water could

engulf me

at any stage but of course

I’m safe

not near enough the edge

prefer to watch

put my mind

in the boiling blueturquoisewhite

cauldron and thrill

to the thought of

how I’d die, cold and afraid

while a cormorant

slips oilsmooth

quicksilver, alive in the place

that would surely be

my grave

 

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Finally recorded one!

Link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/these-waves

 

Plan B

 

 

dreaming of Anne Boelyn

how she risked everything

was she all alone

in her head, she must have been

yet she succeeded

if sacrificed

seeded

the throne

no one ever says that

if she’d been a man

what a noble deed, Genghis Khan creed

your progeny

make history

wonder if she

had time to be

a mother

what about her autobiography

a redemption memoir

My Fall from (his) Grace

or

The Anne-ti Dote

or simply

Plan B

release date

19 May

biggest news since

the black plague?

sorry that

your church was razed

 

 

Image: https://www.biography.com/royalty/anne-boleyn