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How can I write?

Updated: Mar 18, 2019


I'm at Holy Cross Monastery Poughkeepsie once again, this time for a writers' retreat, or, to be more precise, a poets' retreat. Time to write and time to share, time to give and receive feedback, to accept critique and praise. Aren't I brave?

From my desk it's a bare and wintry view out over the river, grey above and below today, the temperature several below zero and a few tiny snowflakes just beginning to rehearse a happy dance in the air outside my window.

You get to read my first poem! I thought it a good idea to start with my real question "how ... ?"... (having come with a head so hubbubbling with stuff). And lo there appeared a shining throng of words in acceptable form with pleasurable sound, which I hope you will get. I reserve the right to edit it in future!


Poet's distraction

For Lois, who was there with me

How can I write,

when my head is a Moroccan street market?

Words loll in teasing heaps,

Sentences slither round argan-oily bowls,

Concepts leap up from storefront stools

vying for attention,

demanding purchase:

Come this way, lady! I make you good price!

Ears swivel in the street clamour,

quiver with gabble of tongues.

Eyes hooked by glinting trinkets,

hypnotised by hue of shawl and rug.

Nose enticed by spice mountains,

mocked by tang of man and beast.

Tongue gushes with orange blossom water,

shrivels in the donkey-blustery dust.

Skin a scalp-drum, rattling with each beat-beat, each beat,

with the clatter of carts on cobbled streets.



by one Berber boy’s beguiling.

How can I write?


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