Archive for the ‘Creative writing by Ruth’ Category

Glad I’m a girl was the theme for this week’s poetry group, and it was not one that made me glad. I strongly dislike being called a girl, and consider it a belittling term for any woman who has menstruated. I like to watch The Chase, but I cringe whenever Bradley refers to female competitors as girls. The following was my effort for this topic:


Do not call me girl
I’m way past menarche
well past menopause
proud to be a Crone

Lady does not suit me
sounds too gentle
patient and passive
for someone who
has lived a life
engaged with earthquakes
come through Covid
three score years and ten

and creative
I am a Woman!

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Growing older
brings wisdom
  so they say
wise and old
words that fit together
  so they say
but there are gaps
sometimes a name
or a word
eludes me
could be brain fog
  so they say
do not mention
this is purely
Mild Cognitive Impairment
  so they say

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we chose an open coffin
so she could be seen
lying calmly there
in her pastel dress

no one realised
she would be reflected
in the window behind

all through the service
she looked down on us
like a guardian angel

we closed the coffin lid
screwed it down tight
she was borne away
to be seen no more

Reflection of coffin

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I used to take the shortest route
But now I meander through the park
I used to long for silence
But now I enjoy the busy noise
I used to worry when I heard a siren
But now I assume the responders are late for dinner
I used to stand back and let others through
But now I claim the best space for me
I used to read right to the end
But now I stop if I’m bored
I used to watch out for hazards
But now I go forth confidently
I used to go to work each day
But now I claim exemption

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The media this week is full of stories about Sam Neill’s memoir. They reminded me of a woman I used to know:

Reading about Sam Neill
I remembered a woman
someone I knew from school
she went out with Sam
fifty-odd years ago
can’t remember the name
perhaps it was Caroline?
if I can’t remember
it’s not dementia
but M.C.I.
Mild Cognitive Impairment
does Caroline remember him?
does he remember her?
if they’d stayed together
she might have been Lady Neill

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Telling Time

The big hand is on the 12
little hand is on the five
it must be five o’clock
but we’ve gone digital
display says 1700
someone needs to translate
important words are lost
have they gone clockwise?

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Another Day

Recent Facebook Memories have reminded me of when my daughter visited three years ago, and this poem recalls that time:

Tomorrow she will be gone
to the other side of the world
will we ever meet again?

But today we are together
sharing the chores
with precious memories
laughing at old jokes
everything so familiar
it might always have been thus

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lapping at
our threshold today
Gabrielle did not reach us here
but we are on a flood plain and climate change looms near
the end of the world is easier to imagine than the end of capitalism
we desperately need a full stop to rampant growth
decision-makers are too slow
young folk understand
their future

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Ruth is a mixture
made up of many parts
older now, some parts
don’t function as they used to
tendons tend to trail
limbs languish lazily

Ruth is a book of many pages
where the index may be muddled
but the writing is always clear
grammatical and precise

Ruth is firmly grounded
no soaring above the treetops
except in imagination

If you see a woman
sitting on top of the tower
it may just be Ruth
surveying her domain

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The paper sits silent
waiting patiently
blank lines an invitation

The poet’s busy
a list of chores
that cannot wait
plants need water
emails require response

She has no time
to write a rhyme
to fill that empty page

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