Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Fallow

From the nook of the tree at the top of the field,
the writer spoke to the view of the sea,
"How may I be all the mother they need,
when words have taken hold of me?"

The sea answered not but the fallow said -
A mother first, so words must wait.

She frowned at this, it pleased her not,
she asked the gate by the sunny spot -
"To wait to write while children grow?
I'll lose the words, forget them all."

The gate answered not but the fallow said -
How can you lose what's in your head?

So she replied -

"This work, this life, these chores abound,
take of the time and the voice I have found,
push me and pull me and tire me out,
drag it from mind and then water it down."

The fallow said -
Stop - ask yourself what you're writing about.

No fertile mind can continually sow, 
absent of rest and un-wearied by woe,
artists and makers and writers of words, 
cannot glimpse beauty or pain in the world,
without being daughters or mothers or sons, 
lovers or fighters or babes in the womb,
husbands or wives or the friend on the phone,
nurse at the bedside or chaperone home,
giddy with laughter and rested from work, 
bright in the morning and warm in the sun.

To recognise beauty you have to live first.

So put down your paper, take leave of your pen, 
look to your child, remember her name, 
speak to your loved one, return to your way, 
empty your mind and make best of your day.

You shall grow rich in all you have to say.

And she did -
walked through the wood and remembered to live.

Then later?

Found the fallow sown,
vibrant, healthy life to show,
active, working, busy growth,
sprouting, shooting, row on row on row.

Idle, rested, fertile earth once more sprung green and gold... x

Once Upon A Time


  1. Absolutely fantastic. So so comforting and heartening and- just very wise. In order to write you have to live first. You need to be a mother, a wife, a friend to have something to say and share with the world. Really something I need to hear at the moment. Thank you. xxx

    1. I'm glad it spoke sense to you. I'm not claiming to be as wise as the lady in the story - I do wish I could relax about it more and have a better write/life balance - but sometimes the call of the keyboard is just too much :) x

  2. Such wise wise words. Sometimes the simplest things just need to spelled out to us. And this just did. Thank you xx

  3. That was stunning... I don't know what else to say, and what a timely reminder. Before you can truly write from the heart, you have to live in every way manageable.... that's the only way to get inspiration. Do you know that most authors don't get their first novels published until until at least their late thirties... life experience! Thank you so much for linking up again. XXX

    1. Thank you - I guess that makes total sense about the life experience and publishing thing - I'm late 30's so maybe there is a little hope!

  4. I absolutely love this - the sentiment and the way you've written it. I think this is one for all of us bloggers/writers - live a little!

    1. Yep - before blogging and twitter sucks us in and traps us for good ;-) xx

  5. Your posts are always so beautiful honey xx Thanks for linking up with #magicmoments

    1. My pleasure its such a wonderful linky x

  6. Just lovely. As a teacher I'm always aiming to give children experiences first so they can write about them later, it's so important! x

    1. Thank you lovely lady (I didn't know you were a teacher!) x

  7. Oh my goodnesss!!!!!!Lady I cried at that post! Beautifully written and oh so true xxx

  8. Helen you have the ability and talent to just stun me over and over again. I wish with all my heart that someone would publish your work, you have so much talent and I'm really honoured to be allowed to read your poetry freely and whenever I want x

    1. Oh that is just the loveliest comment I've ever had. Thank you Nichola you are so supportive of my blog. If amazingly I do ever get published I'm sending you a big bunch of flowers for all your moral support! x


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