Today I am showcasing two amazing poems by author, Geoff Le Pard from TanGental blog. Geoff is a big supporter of the blogging community and is one of the organizers of the annual Bloggers Bash that takes place in London. He has an array of great books ranging from longer flash fiction, a biography of his mother’s life and a selection of novels. Geoff and I were among the twenty authors how had short stories in Amazon best selling horror anthology, Dark Visions, last year, edited by Dan Alatorre.
And now, over to Geoff:
“Thank you for including me in your readathon
This poem began very early on in my writing life. In 2007 I took a course on poetry appreciation, having begun writing fiction the year before. As part of the course we were encouraged to try our hand at some verse and I was immediately attracted to the sonnet form. I wrote two rather silly humorous pieces that week and polished them over the weeks after. They were my entry into the world of poetry. About a year later I felt the urge to write a poem. I had already found writing poetry hard – I needed a lot more stimulus to write. I need more passion than I needed for fiction. I had tried in that year but nothing really worked. Then we took my son to University in the October and I wrote this, partly recalling my own memories of my first day at Uni, away from home for the first time.
(written after I dropped off my son at University on his first day)
Today you walked away from me.
You didn’t look round to let me see
If you were smiling or close to tears;
You kept from me your hopes and fears
And let me do the babbling chat
As I spoke fondly of this and that,
Memories from a sanitized youth.
How lovely, how fine; so far from truth.
Of course. I sat on my bed that night,
Alone, home sick, nerves held tight.
Would they be friendly, would they be friends?
True companions or means to an end?
Why had I come? Why take a chance?
Was I reading too much in that glance?
You stopped and stared across the lawn,
Profile blurred, I watched forlorn
As you held a pose, firm upright,
Then turned away, and out of sight.
I blew out a long-held breath,
Closed my eyes, ground my teeth.
I held in mind that final frame,
An image that might dull my pain.
A picture of your long straight back,
Cropped blond hair, rolling gait.
You walked away, my darling Sam
This day when you became a man.
On the way home I began the above but I also started a second poem – a sonnet – to my daughter who was then 13. I imagined my life with my daughter from her beginnings to my endings and this is the result.
Still wet from the womb, she flapped a fat hand,
A mindless hello that captured my soul.
Older, unsteady, like a day old foal,
She gripped me so tight, determined to stand.
She didn’t let go till the first day at school;
Then she wept as I forced her fingers apart.
From that betrayal she developed her art;
Round her finger I’d twist: her so willing fool.
One day, so glorious, and yes there were tears
I released her hand as I gave her away.
I smiled her free, and felt no dismay
At the thought of that other hand wrapped round hers.
Because come what may, when I come to my last
She’ll be holding my hand, as I let go life’s grasp.
In August this year, I totally crippled the guests at her wedding when I read it out – lots of ‘ah’s and sniffles. I’m rotten like that but on a serious note it epitomes to me what I need to generate poetry. Love, passion, emotion. It isn’t a considered or a calculated form of writing, it is far more instinctive and far more meaningful as a result.
I’m sorry that I’ve slipped in two – I just did that for your context – it is the second to my daughter that I’d like to include.”
I included both, Geoff, as they are both wonderful and full of emotion. I also find that poetry requires a lot more emotion from me when I write it.
Thank you, Geoff, for visiting Robbie’s Inspiration today with these delightful poems.
About Geoff Le Pard
Geoff Le Pard (not Geoffrey, except to his mother) was born in 1956 and is a lawyer who saw the light. He started writing (creatively) in 2006 following a summer school course. Being a course junkie he had spells at Birkbeck College, twice at Arvon and most recently at Sheffield Hallam where he achieved an MA in Creative Writing. And what did he learn? That they are great fun, you meet wonderful people but the best lessons come from the unexpected places. He has a line of books waiting to be published but it has taken until now to find the courage to go live. He blogs at https://geofflepard.com/ on anything and everything. His aim is for each novel to be in a different style and genre. Most people have been nice about his writing (though when his brother’s dog peed on the manuscript he was editing, he did wonder) but he knows the skill is in seeking and accepting criticism. His career in the law has helped prepare him.
Find Geoff Le Pard
My review of Life in a Flash by Geoff Le Pard
It is amazing to me how a piece of flash fiction or a really short story can have a huge impact on you. The imagery and idea can bore into your mind and take up residency there so that you keep going back to the idea and turning it over and reflecting on it. To me, a huge reader all my life, a piece of writing that can do that to you is amazing. I found a number of pieces of writing like this in Geoff Le Pard’s book, Life in a Flash.
There are a few pieces with the common theme of planet Earth effectively being used as a plaything of the gods. The gods wreak havoc on Earth when they are feeling a bit boisterous and it has huge implications to the humans that live there. I thought the stories in this theme were really fun and unique.
Cold, Cold, Snow was the story in this collection that made the biggest impact on me. The idea of a woman and her children being intrigued by, and extending the hand of friendship, to an elderly man who is guarding a building site warmed my heart. The weather is terribly cold in the story and the old man has a fire to keep him warm. The fire is quite central to the story as it plays a leading role in the beginning and end of the friendship.
Another story that took over my mind was It’ll be Lonely This Christmas – Please. In under 500 words, Geoff conveys the dreadful loneliness and sadness of the loss of a spouse by an elderly man. He depicts the relationships between the old man and his deceased wife’s friends, his son and an old friend of his during his first Christmas alone and really captures how the old man sees and feels about what is happening around him.