Sunday, December 27, 2020


So amidst the madness of Christmas seasonal whatnot's, I've managed to write eighteen poems over this last week or so in a series of poems I've called the Van Gogh Variations. They are loosely ekphrastic poems based on paintings by Van Gogh but really, in many of the poems, just using the paintings as a jumping off point and following the poems where ever they go. They are odd little poems, incredibly absorbing and pleasurable to work on. And I'm learning a lot about the life and works of Van Gogh as I go along!

After a year of writing very little (the pandemic has not at all been conducive to my writing) working within these rhyming quatrains and couplets has released me to write. I hope to keep writing many more in this sequence of poems and I'm excited to see how far I get! 

3 comments:

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
What a good idea to kick-start inspiration, Marion. I have written nothing beyond my blogs this entire year (though within DoWY there may be a few gems). COVID is one thing, but as you know I was stuck in Edin in cares of my father. He passed away three weeks ago and I am now back in my own wee Hutch, gazing upon Bishop's Seat (currently white as I type) pondering entering 2021 with life to get back on track. That will include writing but using a trigger such as artwork seems to me to be the most elegant method of re-entering discipline. Thanks for planting that seed! All the best to you and yours for the coming year. YAM xx

Marion McCready said...

Yes, having somewhere to start like a piece of art can be really useful to launch off your own writing. But also be kind to yourself - you've had a lot to cope with. Take care Xxx

Jim Murdoch said...

It’s been an odd year for sure. I’ve actually been reasonably productive—a bit of misery always seems to do the trick with me—but it wasn’t anything to do with the pandemic. Suffice to say Carrie and I became so unhappy where we were we said, sod it, one day and bought a house. Five weeks later we were gone. No one big reason, just lots of niggles like losing a factor, but I think what pushed us over the edge were the neighbourhood kids perpetually making a mess outside our window. I’d go out at night and clear it up and they’d just find more rubbish—we’re not simply talking crisp packets and juice bottles—to strew all over the place. After seven months I’d had enough.

We’re much happier here and managed to find a buyer for the flat with far less trouble than we anticipated but the poems, I’m pleased to report, don’t seem to have dried up. I guess happier isn’t quite happy. We take what we’re given and make of it what we can. You understand that with your Van Gogh poems. Did you plan to write them? No. But you don’t turn away a good idea or even a half-baked one. You never know what you can make of it. I’ve never been particularly in control of my writing. I’ve always written what I could and, only rarely, was it also something I really wanted to write. No matter what I’ve ended up with what I can say is I enjoyed writing it. That’s one thing that never changes. It doesn’t matter if the end result is good or bad, the few minutes it took to draft (revision is another matter) is always pleasurable even when I’m miserable writing it.

I’ll leave you with one of those poems and, of course, wish you a happy new year when it comes; it can’t come soon enough.


The Third Option

The neighbourhood kids depress me.
Being kids comes naturally to them.
Being depressed comes naturally to me.

I don't know if they like being kids.
I don't like being depressed but I'm used to it.
I suppose the kids could say the same.

Of course being young gets old quickly.
Ageing is easy. Growing, not so much.
Maturity is a matter of degree or opinion.

Life isn't big on choices or possibilities.
Most of us end up as scorpions or frogs.
Me, I always wanted to be the river.



12 August 2020