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8.7.17

I wake up and
my body feels like half a body.
Lying naked on my side,
I see myself in two dimensions.
Pink paper doll.
If I rolled over I’d expose the space
of something missing,
half a body
empty, hollow,
like a stage set building
elaborate on one side
exposed beams on the other.
Here’s the plywood prop
holding up my lung.
Here’s the ways
I spend my days
doing my best to fill the space,
determined to feel whole
on my own
but it’s too late;

my body is just half a body.

18.12.16

I recline, and glow

with the knowledge of you

as the moon rises

reflecting the sun

8.11.16

My first year in Melbourne
I spent mostly in Hobart.
Two grandparents required my presence at their funerals.
And my heart held a year-long wake
for a love it wasn’t sure was dead.
(It breathes still.)

I learn again and again
how we don’t know that we are sleeping
until we wake up.
Every day now I am yawning and stretching
into something that feels more like being alive.

And that let-go love breathes quietly
in the corner of my mind,
keeping me company in my lonely moments
with its eternal sleeping beauty.

I carry your absence

I carry the weight of your absence.
Some days I get lighter as I learn
acceptance of what is, learn
the tao of letting things be
but still
as I dance and smile
I carry the weight of your absence.

it’s a small but heavy little ache
a smooth round stone sitting in my chest
heavy sighs come thick
attempt to dislodge
this stone I yet still love to carry

i love you
and I am gifted
small moments of pearly joy and
jewelled taste,
the moments I see you & smile
together, touch & feel
the miracle of how we move together

and when with words we
find some new depth
of understanding,
some richness of real
another layer cleared away
there is movement finally,
I feel the breeze, fresh air
on my skin like at home

but it is so long in between
drinks
from a running source
our waters slow,
become still
the air is stale

I carry the weight of your absence
sitting stonelike and still
unmoving & unchanging.
Caught in limbo we
cannot move forward
cannot step back
a slow distance grows and even
as we learn acceptance even
as we become calmer
this stagnancy drowns us slowly

my life grows, takes root, blossoms
comes alive around it
but this one seed
at the heart of it all
containing a waiting universe
sits dormant
remains quiet
I carry it inside me
I carry the weight of your absence
and our sleeping love story

7.5.16

28.1.14

the streetlight sends
venetian stripes
across my belly.
I am full in this warmth,
button by button
fasten the deep red nightshirt
(the last fingers
to undo them
were yours)
feel the softness of the silk
where your skin should be,
against mine.

night sighs and settles.
on my mind, the repeating record
of your mouth
and seeking eyes.
your weight on the bed beside me,
your hand around my wrist.

the night is warm.
or is it just
your touch, the memory
against my skin.

31.10.11.ii

do I unsettle you?
his eyes in place of dark stars
oil on the water –
now;
it’s time to stop running.

October ’11

 

Writing on demand & beating the Block

When I first began my residence as Café Poet at Chado, I was a bit nervous. I’d never done anything like this before, and was concerned about what I’d be able to produce. In the past, all my best poems have just come to me, and haven’t needed much editing. I’d never allocated specific time to sit down and just write – I just wrote when something occurred to me.

I worried that when I came to Chado specifically to write, it would be like the creative writing classes I’d done in college and highschool – in which I never felt particularly inspired, just under pressure. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to write anything, with other peoples’ expectations of me to produce results hanging over my head.

I’ve been very pleasantly surprised with how easy it has become, and the new things that I’ve learnt so far, even in a short amount of time. I’ve had ideas, not just for poetry but for methods of writing & coaxing out inspiration.

Before beginning my residency at Chado, in my recent writing, I have been learning to not always expect that brilliant burst of inspiration which brings on a near-perfect poem that doesn’t need editing. Because of a very long dry spell in which I wrote next to nothing, I realised that I can’t always rely on that. In the past I have attempted to force out poetry, just write and write and throw away all the crap poems that come as a result, until the blockage seemed to come undone and the good stuff started flowing again. This has worked, but it doesn’t feel very good.

Instead, I’ve learnt to have patience with my words, and not disregard a poem just because it isn’t absolutely stunningly perfect the first time it comes out. I’ve been learning to let things stew, and to edit.

My residency at Chado has reinforced this lesson, as well as helped the inspiration to come more naturally in the first place. I’ve found that instead of putting pressure on me, it has helped me feel more confident in my ability to produce writing. Having the time set aside to come to a tranquil place, have a relaxing pot of tea, and just do nothing but write for an hour or so, has been incredibly productive. It’s definitely in part thanks to what a beautiful, relaxing place Chado is (I’m not just saying this, either – everything there, from the tea to the people to the colours on the walls, makes me feel so comfortable & relaxed). But I think the main thing is how easy it makes it to write, when I come in, forget about everything else going on, sit down, and just take the time to let it come.

I’d recommend it to any writer in a block, or any writer just wanting to produce more. Set aside a specific time, 2-3 times a week, for an hour or so, to just do nothing but write. I’d suggest doing it somewhere other than home – home has internet, phone, dirty dishes that need doing, other distractions. Even if your favourite café is more busy-hustle-and-bustle than relaxing & Zen, it’s still a much more productive environment than somewhere like school or home where there are other things you could be doing.

It’s somewhat like getting around to writing this blog post has been. I’ve been meaning to do it for a week or so now. But writing it at my desk has proved impossible. So I’ve simply taken my laptop and gone to sit on my bed by the window. Suddenly it’s become much easier.

If you’re feeling stagnant, change the way you are doing things. It helps!

P.S: I post every morning on my Twitter when I am planning on heading in to Chado. If you’d like to try & catch me in the act, follow or bookmark my Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/RebeccaTilley
As always, it is 100% sandwich-free!


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This blog is the collection of my poetry and prose, in chronological order from most recent to oldest.

Constructive critique is actively encouraged!

I am usually singing words as well as writing them, and make lots of other art. You can find me & my other art at any of the below links. x

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