At present, I am happy to say, I am writing poetry prolifically. In my experience it happens that sometimes I don't write poetry for a while, nothing flows easily. This is fine. I know the process now. Once I worried a poem would never come again. Then, for no apparent reason, it will begin, and there will be a deluge for a while, perhaps a few weeks, at the end of which I may have written 50 poems in draft form. Of course they will need a few more drafts over months before they are finished. I understand I am quite lucky. Poets vary in their output. Some write more. Some write less. It isn't a measure of quality. It's just an individual process. I have tried to be as honest as I can in describing how it works for me. Here is quite a recent one that came easily and has needed very little re-drafting, that I am happy enough to show. It will be included in my new book.
I am continuing to edit my poetry book which will be published later this year. In addition I am busy editing two more collections - a manuscript of dark poems. And another of selected early poems.
For Cllr. Michéal McNamara
Each time it is a surprise, its firm white curves
hooping over the waves in a steely sculpture;
a present for the eyes; a legacy for the island;
a plaything for the seagulls. A vision of loveliness,
a gleaming gift under summer skies; each trip
we are Jonah swallowed alive until, having passed
through the whale’s ribcage, we are released
on the other side into all that island glitter.
My first crossing, in the slack tide I spied
a silvered seal look up querulous, and rise
from its ripple-slick to catch a better glimpse,
flippers folded in proffered prayer - a benediction.
Then it sank slowly into its own reflection
and disappeared; like magic.
© Mark F Chaddock 2009