There are folders filled
with thousands of poems,
and I mean thousands
and I dare not look at them.
Composed between 1990
and 1994 – but to say ‘composed’
is going a little far.
Hacked out, coughed up, farted
in the general direction of a
Prolific is an insult.
At the very least it’s an understatement.
I carried these pages
from one town to another, and
one day when I was moving flat
the wind picked up just as I put
a stack of folders on the ground to
open the car door.
It wasn’t quite biblical, it was
certainly comical (though it didn’t
feel that way at the time).
The wind disappeared almost
instantly – along with some of
And I thought about it for a little while
and if I ever go through those folders
in disgust I can always console myself
by knowing that it was the very best
poems that were swept away on that
Writing. Writing. It was always happening.
A match-fitness that I would eventually
put into use as a newspaper columnist and
a daily blogger and now – back to
poems and stories and anything that
needs writing – and far too many things
that never did.
I know exactly where those piles
of pages sit – they’re as far back in the
storage space as is possible.
And if I ever look through them I imagine
I’ll make it to page five or six of five or
But it’s proof – in a way – of an
apprenticeship served. Or the start of
one. Which is ongoing. Which
is forever. Which is all I can point at
to apologise – for that indulgence.
And for this.