Tag Archives: Weather

Spring Is Failing

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Spring is failing.

And it’s not just the forecast

Crooned by the weather person

Or the news headlines saying –

‘Scotland still without power,’ – it’s failing!

 

It’s failing the birds

And the hibernating animals,

Too scared to wake, too tired to sleep.

 

It’s failing the people;

Stung from the gas boards who rub

Their fat hands over fat blue flames.

 

And as the meter’s tick, tick, tick, empty –

Spring is failing.

 

 

And still the snow dances,

Falling from the sky like confetti

On a stone man’s wedding,

While the red breasted bird

Salvages the last piece of fat

From the half moon, hanging by a rope

out back.

Spring is failing.

 

 

 

Social Media Down Time

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I have been toying with the idea of a social media down day ever since a tutor at university spoke of his own positive experience. Sunday past seemed like the perfect day to give it a go, not only because I already associate Sunday as a kind of  down day, but also because I have  just completed my first week studying  mindfulness. I began the online mindfulness course because I often struggle with anxiety. Anxiety, for those who have experienced it, can be debilitating; exhausting on the mind and the body. For myself, I experience social anxiety, dread and an inability to rest;  my thoughts go into overdrive and I feel them crashing together. My usual “go to” is social media where I can loose myself amongst everyone else’s lives – in other words I detach myself from myself. I knew something had to change; there had to be another way of dealing with my anxiety. Then right on time, along came an e-mail telling me about a  free course with Future Learn –  Mindfulness.  

Mindfulness (and remember I am still learning) is learning how to be present in our experiences, an, in our lives.  Even on my non anxious days I am constantly distracted by social media, not because it is a riveting alternative to real life, but because it is a filler. For me, Facebook more so than any other social media platform,  fills the time between breakfast and walking the dogs or when the dinner is cooking, or basically whenever I have a spare moment. E-mail is another source of distraction, as a writer, I find myself falling into the trap of checking my e-mail whenever I have a spare minute; I send between five and fifteen pieces of writing to magazines and competitions every quarter so am always waiting on reply. So, when I sat down and really thought about it, it seemed that I had forgotten how to just sit and do nothing. Thus, the idea to go ahead with the social media down day was decided.

Sunday 11th February

It is amazing how your hand automatically reaches for your phone in the morning. I decided to turn my internet off so that I wouldn’t receive any notifications tempting me to pick it up. Once that was done, I put my phone on my writing bureau (it usually sits on the arm of the sofa) and got on with my day. I found myself enjoying really quite mundane things such as putting the clean washing away – not only did I tidy my wardrobe; I re-arranged it. Then I decided on a few items that were ready for the charity shop. It was nice to take time to look at my clothes properly, to see the nice items that I have purchased over the winter (mostly from charity shops or from sales), and appreciate what I have..

Lunchtime was interesting; I found myself looking at my lunch rather that looking at my phone while eating lunch – it is amazing how much better food tastes when you look at it and pay attention to what you are eating.

By mid afternoon I had forgotten about my phone and about E-mails and Facebook and all of the other internet distractions that usually filled my time and I sat and looked out the window. We have recently moved into a new house and the living-room window faces onto a private garden with lots of trees and sky and birds. The sun was shining and the sky was clear and blue and I just sat,  and looked.  It reminded me of my teenage self, eighteen years old, no internet,  and looking out the bedroom window of our family home. There was fields and hills, trees – and a castle nestled behind some Scots pine’s. I was taken to a place where I felt like my old self again, (although I am sure if you asked my eighteen year old self how I felt, I would have declared my utter boredom) but at forty-five, letting myself be still, just looking and experiencing how that felt, I’ve never felt less bored in my life.

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My phone vibrated mid afternoon and I got my other half to take a look. Somehow, without any internet, a notification had got through. I ignored it although I am still baffled by how that could happened.

All in all, my day trotted along at a much slower pace. I had the odd moment when I wondered about what was happening in the land of Facebook or if some magazine had sent me an e-mail, but apart from the weird sensation of not picking my phone up every twenty minutes, it was a pleasant experience. Now I know that it isn’t for everyone, and I am certainly not trying to encourage anyone to follow my example, but for me – someone who grew up in the days before internet – it was like opening my eyes after a long daydream. I do enjoy social media and I would be lost today without the wonder of internet, but I will continue to have my Sunday down days, where I can see the week through wider eyes.

 

The Moon is Misplaced

Wooden benches under white blossom trees,

a slimming world sign – newly hung,  over daffodils –

scattered and bent on a roadside bank.

Pavements  crawl with naked legs,

white dimpled hunks of flesh – oil slicked.

And the people –

the people are slow in motion.

Bicycles and  haircuts and pastel shorts

rip up the road in ribbons of rainbow

And through my sunglasses – I see sunglasses.

Heat stretches the benches –

slats  are filled with bums and thighs

and shiny magazine sheen,

and fallen adverts;

a spa springtime treat for £59 falls

under an old oak tree,

as old as the grey derelict hospital that stands

as still as stone. I smell horse dung.

And the farmers farm and the farm machinery,

and the cows – right before the greasy smell

of Thursday special – Sausage Supper for £2.50.

The horses reflect in the chippy window.

And on the horizon, the moon is misplaced.

While kids on scooters, scoot

around an immaculately groomed roundabout.

surrounded by wooden benches

under white blossom trees.

©Eilidh G Clark

I Can See the Wind

I can see the wind.

You can see the airborne leaves, scooped

up from the ground,

You can see the waving branches

on tired trees

 

but I see the wind.

 

Not the inside out umbrellas

or the skirts around red faced ladies,

or even the cigarette packet

zipping through the air.

 

I can see it.

 

It’s not invisible!

Its long and its night coloured

and shaped like a snake and

it slithers and swishes through my hair

playing invisible.

 

I can see the wind.

 

I see it laughing

when it reaches in our chest

and sucks our breath

then whips our words into a whisper.

 

I’m not fooled

by its malice

when it asks the rain

to join in.

 

I can see the wind

and it’s ugly.

©Eilidh G Clark