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1st January 2021

January 1, 2021

First poem of the new year:

My new coffee cup
said rise and shine, wake up!

I woke up lazily
and smelled the sovereignty. 

Bitter as stewed tea,
it sickened me.

I rose not, neither did I shine 
till well past nine.

In other news, I’ve been pursuing the “100 rejections in a year” mirage. In 2020 I sent off 103 individual poems and 11 collections or sequences. Seventy rejections so far, and 33 still waiting for a result, so in my mind I’ve already ticked the box.
Two collections were short-listed. Six poems were published or are forthcoming in print, two appeared online and one was awarded a £50 h/comm prize.
I need a change of direction this year. No goals. Just write for the pleasure of it, and occasionally make beautiful small editions for family and friends. These, after all, are the kind of books I most like to buy.

What I’ve missed most in 2020 has been dancing. I’ve walked much more than usual, and it has certainly lifted my spirits, but not in the way that dancing does. Of the dozen or so folk-dance clubs we used to go to, I wonder how many will survive.

A daily source of joy has been the Shetland Webcams, which I check usually first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Birds, seals, sky, sea, ships, sun, moon, stars, Northern Lights. My cup runneth over. Usually onto the kitchen floor.

I wish you, my dear reader, all you wish for in 2021, and may your targets be achievable. I’m starting with a sensible resolution to wash the kitchen floor. And maybe clean a few windows. Let some light in.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 1, 2021 5:16 pm

    I agree with your plan of writing for pleasure and without targets, and sadly I also agree with your poem… Hope we can meet up again for a socially distanced outdoor coffee when the weather warms up a bit. Blessings for this year xx

  2. Jane Paterson permalink
    January 1, 2021 9:09 pm

    Dear Ama Your poem exactly expressed my own feelings on waking up this morning, a sadness that lasted all day. I am so sorry getting poetry published is so difficult. I love your poetry and would publish it all. Happy New Year. It must eventually be better than last year. Surely … With love Jane

    Sent from my iPad


  3. January 2, 2021 10:45 am

    Thank you, Jo and Jane. Actually I’m feeling good about an almost 10% success rate! But this year I’m not going to be counting.

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