When I Swept Under the Couch Today

When I swept under the couch today

Something wonderful took my breath away;

A building block frolicked with Peppa the Pig,

While Bob the builder taught crayons to dig!

And although he was legless, with two missing hands,

The Blue Power Ranger was leading a dance;

He was gracefully spinning a yellow tin top

Who happily hummed from the start to the stop.

In a far away corner an old teddy bear

Sat dejectedly picking his worn, matted hair.

As I watched him, a dirty wee bean bag doll

Took his hand very shyly and, though very small,

Said, “Join me and we can imagine for hours

That we’re tumbling through meadows of sweet summer flowers;

I find that’s the best way to banish your woes.”

And with that they were off with a skip on their toes.

So plastic piano’s sweet, tinkling noise

Kept the forgotten, lost and abandoned toys

Happily dancing and whiling away

The hours that they spent ‘neath the sofa that day.

And late in the evening when all was still

I gently removed them, up onto a sill

So the morning sunlight would waken each one

To a glorious dawn, in the Playroom of Fun.

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Feelers out, kids; you’re on your own…

Thanks to Josie at Sleep is for the Weak for another thought-provoking workshop.

3. What do you secretly dream of your children doing?

Don’t run with scissors, take much care
Be smart and always comb your hair

Stay safe and stable,
Firm and able,
Joints off table,
Take your time

Always polish up your shoes
Be orderly when joining queues

Respect the rule,
No playing fool,
Be good in school,
Toe the line

But sing like angels, run like wolves
Be joyous, dippy, crazy fools

Be fun and scatty,
cool and natty,
wild and batty,
racy, nuts

Snatch this life and scoff it down
Roll in red paint, daub the town

Have wild romances,
Drinks and dances,
Flights of fancies,
Booms and busts

I hope for you contentment, joy;
Perhaps a little girl, or boy?
A homely or a travelling life?
A wealthy husband? Loving wife?
These wishes are your mother’s kind,
Not aspirations of your mind.
So children, pave your own bright way…
…Just relish every glorious day.

Writing workshop: sieves and mantras

For Writing Workshop #14 from Josie at Sleep is for the weak:

1. What is your personal motto?

As I sat frowning with my hands poised over the keyboard, having typed the addresses and with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ hanging ominously at the top of a blank page, my old mantra came back to me.  These are the words that adorned the welcome screen of my mobile phone and flashed boldly in pink on my screensaver at work:

LET IT GO

Sage advice for a stroppy soul like me.  You see, being furious is easy.  It’s a little harder, true, to channel that fury into actions that might get results.  And it’s even more tricky to supress that anger and seethe quietly, remaining outwardly composed.  But the supreme challenge is taking a deep breath, exhaling and genuinely letting it go.

When you’ve re-filled the toy box for the fourteenth time that morning.
When the supermarket run is met with an exasperated *sigh*, drifting forth from the rear car seat (like it’s going to float your boat).
When those limpet lips are clamped shut on presentation of your spoon, after you’ve boiled, mashed, pureed and pulverised all morning.
When work encroaches, niggling away at your subconcious as you’re trying so hard to be with your children.
And when that bloody shop assistant turns away from you to yak away with her cohort, draping an arm casually across the counter in anticipation of you meekly sliding a bank card between her limp fingers.

This is when you should let it all go properly.  Now, what did my mum say?  Lift your head as if you’re a puppet with a string running from your crown to your heels that someone’s pulling taught. Drop those shoulders back. Eyes ahead, or closed if you prefer. Feet flat on the ground. And…inhale through the nostrils…that’s it, blow up that beach ball inside you…now exhale through the mouth….aaaaand relax.

Feeling better? No?!  Okay then.  Grasp the keyboard at either end….raise your arms slowly above your head…now inhale deeply…aaaand….WHACK!!

And…relax.

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And I can’t help adding something which could come under 3. Write a letter to something that you own, that you love, or maybe that you hate, or perhaps 5. Talk about a time where you found something magical in the mundane…

…Because I’m loving a certain bit of kitchenware I bought myself recently (how sad).  Somehow it reminds me of my Gran, who was the kind of woman to have dead poultry hanging in the pantry:

I raise a glass of Bollinger

And toast thee, lovely colander

Suspended from your kitchen rail

O sleek, enamel, holey grail