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Not me, not at all

I have to make it clear that today’s poem is nothing to do with me, not a bit, not at all. Any conjunction with my life is entirely coincidental Winking smile.

Not really up to scratch but was a bit crook today so cranked this out with little real focus.


My life was spent hammering out
code. Not the long and the short
of Morse, nor the cryptolalic
whisperings of the dispossessed.
I crafted adjuncts to accountants,
put people in their place, Smythe
after Smith, plotted the smells
from vials of oil, and harnessed
a universe of data to take
the pulse of a star. All are gone,
now, superseded by better bits.
At home, I paint, hoping even
now, to make a mark.

Spending time

Still keeping up. This is my third effort and, once again, ignores the prompt completely (I loved the image but could not connect it to the word prompts). The first line below just came into my head. I had an idea of what I wanted to say thereafter but, as usual, the poem had other ideas. One day I might steal the first few lines again and see if I can get it back on track.

Spending time

We mostly shrink from work,
Contract by law and custom
Days and hours spent making
a living
And consider time stolen
That might have been given
In re-creation of
Yet with retirement we
Accrete labours like
A caterpillar cocooned.

Retired, bemused

At the end of June the SKUA project finished and so, too, did the only contribution to my position at Leicester: I was receiving 0.3FTE towards my salary. After June, nothing. There had been several irons in the fire (and a lot of time spent organising and writing proposals) but all came to naught and, around the end of September, the university served notice of redundancy. October was spent negotiating this and the upshot was that I took early retirement.

And it is truly weird. We had already booked a couple of weeks up in the Scottish Highlands at the end of October, so the last two weeks of my employment were spent on holiday and so the date of retirement passed largely unnoticed. I still, two weeks later, feel as if I am on holiday. I guess I am at that … until I drop dead that is.

No idea what I will do in retirement (even typing that is surreal: I am too immature to be retired!). Idea of a PhD in Philosophy disappeared when I discovered that I would have to fund it myself: my meagre pension would not cover that. The current plan is to write and I’m working on, initially, some science fiction stories. It is well known that no-one gets published straight off so what I will do when I receive nowt but rejection letters, I do not know. I do not take rejection well.

I bought a DSLR at last (Nikon D90) with some of the redundancy payout and have also ordered a new computer with the idea to use it to work up some of my photographs for display. That at least is something I can do solely for my own pleasure (whereas writing has to be published IMO).

And, there is always art: I like drawing and would like to learn how to paint but I am not sure I am ready yet to join all the real OAPs at the village hall for watercolours.

First thing to do is to get off my butt and finish at least one story. More on that later…