Sunday, 25 January 2009

Thoughts after last week´s meeting.

I was at the meeting last week when Liane Carter gave her talk on how she got into writing. It was very interesting and you couldn´t help but be inspired and carried along by her enthusiasm. It made me realise that I have a very long way to go , not only in the actual writing but in attitude of mind. You really have to want it, go for it, never be knocked back for long. I´m afraid that I´m one of ( I suspect) the many people out there who won´t ever get very far unless they shape up a lot more and stop letting a thousand and one other things have precedence over their writing.

Anyway, enough of this self castigation! I thought I´d post the poem I wrote for that meeting and ask for any constructive criticism that´s going.
Chris Johansson

So You Think You´ve Got Problems.

It´s three in the morning and you just can´t sleep
You´re thinking of the promises you´ve got to keep.
The last two years have been really hard
But you´ve kept on your toes and held up your guard.
It´s great to be you and to be where you are
To fight and to struggle and to come so far.
Well, now the fight´s over and you´ve got right through
But you wonder if you´ve bitten off too much to chew.
There are problems galore wherever you look
And they can´t be solved by consulting a book.
Everyone admires you and expects a great deal
You hope they don´t realise how scared you feel.
So you sit and you worry on the edge of your bed
Going over and over all the things that you´ve said.
You shiver in your jim-jams and hope for good Karma
And pray for a miracle for Barack Obama.


  1. I'm not much cop with poetry writing
    Though I can tell if it's scanning
    This piece hits the spot
    Even if there's no plot
    It says what the Man's thinking
    And beats my rhyme which is stinking!
    Well done, Chris. Where are the comments/crits, folks?
    - Nik

  2. Chrissie Baby,
    Did you really think that Liames' talk was inspiring? I listened and digested her comments in a slightly different way. I agree that to have single minded views on the amount of endeavour, effort and self denial, necessary to produce 'publishable work'is admirable, but where on any scale would that equate to really important personal issues?

    You said that you were going to stop '1001' other things having precedent over your writing? I have six, as a bare minumum, which take precedence - spouse, family, extended family, health, good friends and possibly pets, are way ahead of the 'written word'. By her own admission, Liane put at least two on that list behind her ambition. Was I alone in the opinion that her talk was slightly Kate Winslettish??

    Anyway, Chris, that's my opinion. Another opinion is that you do not need to castigate yourself. Your poetry. I have always found, to be crisp, descriptive, informative and full of detail. So much so, that you have permission to delete Ben Adhem's name on the last line and insert Chris Johansson.

    Glyn and Ned

  3. Thanks, Glyn. Like everything in life, it helps to have some perspective - a reality check, if you will. Thanks also for pointing out the Arab Muslim saint and mystic, Ben Adhem. For those who are interested, here's Leigh Hunt's poem about him (courtesy of Wikipedia):

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:-
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    "What writest thou?"-The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said, "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."
    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blest,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
    - James Leigh Hunt

    And it rhymes, thank heavens!
    - Nik