Welcome to Abigail's Journal Space
In addition to the outlets mentioned above and in fairness to all the editors to whom I am equally grateful, my work has also appeared in: 'Ink, Sweat & Tears', 'Symmetry Pebbles', 'Reflections Magazine', 'Earth Love', 'First Edition', 'Magnificent Me', 'The Human Genre Project' and 'Rumble'. If I have left anyone out, I apologise in advance. I will rectify any omissions of discovery. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Abi
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Sunday, 1 November 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
In the mid-sixties and at a similar age (to the girl in the Polanski case who was 13) I was 'groomed' by a man who would now be termed a paedophile. This 'grooming' went on over a period of months. I was persaded to engage in sexual activity of various kinds by a subtle blend of kind words, emotional blackmail, and terror. Eventually, I was taken - at the point of a knife - to the other end of the country where he took my spectacles - I am very short-sighted - and hacked off my long hair with a hunting knife. Eventually, after three days of fear and miser, he was cornered by the police and gave himself up. I thought that my troubles were over. I could not have been more wrong. The woman police sergeant that came to see me the next day called me a 'dirty little tart' and I was sent to a hell-hole of a remand home while he was released on bail. Finally, in court, his barrister was permitted to humiliate me utterly while presentin his client as a respectable man who had been tempted by the amorous overtures of some kind of Lolita figure. My tormentor was not actually acquitted but he served only three months in a 'soft' open prison and, on his return to my home town, mocked me in a very public way. I received no counselling. In fact, when I returned to my school, I was shunned by my classmates whose parents had instructed them not to talk to me. There is no doubt in my mind that this experience has affected me throughout my life. I would like to think that, over the past decades, the world has moved on. It seems, however, both from the fact that Polanski continues to evade justice and from the presence of so many men willing to blame the child in this case, that if the world has moved at all, it has has not moved very far.
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Then, to my rescue came my cousin, Kim, who works for the Fire Service in Essex. Showing considerable resourcefulness - and no small amount of kindness - she telephoned her colleagues in Cornwall and arranged for two ot them to call on me and my errant smoke alarm. They came this evening, just after eight, and showed me how to fix it. One of them was tall and handsome with broad shoulders and extremely good teeth - in short, everything one would hope a dashing fire-fighter would be. The other was sweet and friendly - and he had nice eyes - but, compared to his colleague, he was - there is no was to say this tactfully - positively diminutive. He couldn't reach the smoke alarm either, not even when he stood on the chair.
Now, surely, this can't be right, can it? In the event of an emergency involving a fire (rather than a smoke alarm) there would have been more chance of me carrying him than of him carrying me. Or am I just hopelessly behind the time? Is this, perhaps, a new breed of firefighter, one that has been developed for emergencies in mine shafts, tunnels and other confined spaces? Is it the Jack Russell of firefighters, as it were, tiny but tough and ferocious? If there are any firefighters out there reading this, then - really - I need to know!
In the meantime, I am hopeful that I will soon be able to dispense with my cotton wool ear-plugs. Tomorrow, I will buy a new battery - and now I know how to put it in. Of course, I may still need someone much taller to complete the operation. Would it be rude and ingracious, if I telephone the station, to ask them to send the larger model?
Tuesday, 29 September 2009
Saturday, 26 September 2009
Thursday, 10 September 2009
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
Earlier, I made the mistake of venturing onto Amazon to investigate a notebook someone had mentioned online. I did not order the notebook but I did fall foul of a book that promises advice and guidance from Ted Hughes on the subject of making poetry. I have also ordered a book about writing for radio. What on earth possessed me? I can scarcely afford the fees for this course much less additional reading material, no matter how enticing. Heeding the advice of those who have gone before, I have tuned my radio to Radio 4 and have set the recorder for the 'Afternoon Play'. I shall aim to listen to as many as these as possible since it seems a relatively painless way of learning about the medium. Time now for a light lunch. Is there anything left in the fridge?
Sunday, 6 September 2009
I have finished 'Hystories', the Showalter book. I wish I had not read it. If I had not read it, I could have the pleasure of reading it again. For me, it is a great book. It has stirred my mud in the direction of greater clarity. As I grow older, I find that the books that do this are less and less likely to be novels. So many novels now I never finish: is the fault in me or in them?
There are a number of people I can think of whose lives might be the better/easier/more honest for reading 'Hystories'. Two of these have hurt me badly and, while it is my sincere hope that I do not seek revenge, I could wish that these people might be properly tried and sentenced to the reading of this book. If any of them should happen to read this blog, then I most heartily commend the book to them. It is available from the library at Camborne College Cornwall. I send it with my love.
No other news except that 'Word Salad Poetry Magazine' have accepted my poem, 'The Fool'. I am told that the new edition will be available online from 21st September. 'Word Salad' is a very reputable magazine and I am delighted that they have taken my poem. Still, I cannot help but wish that I had never seen 'The Fool' in question.
Thursday, 3 September 2009
A candle in the window burns
to show by its uncertain light
that here dwells one who knows what fears
may plague a traveller through the night.
If he or she, or known or not
will not much signify -
this candle shed its kindly light
on lonely souls that pass close by.
For though the hearth of home’s behind,
or burns still many miles ahead,
a traveller sighs relief to find
a simple meal, a makeshift bed.
So there he’ll rest; but long before
the sun smiles on the road again,
he’ll take his boots and close the door.
Then, will this candle burn again?
Wednesday, 2 September 2009
I received the course materials for A363 yesterday. They have brought with them great excitement and some trepidation. No more fannying around: it is time to get down to some serious writing. I am encouraged in this intention by the fact that 'Long Story Short' have accepted two of my poems which are to appear in the January and March editions. I feel that it is only proper that I should mention here the very prompt and very friendly response of the editor, Marie Travis, who had confirmed my acceptance within just a few hours of submission. The magazine is still open to submissions for 2110 so, if you are interested, follow the link at the that appears above.
Monday, 31 August 2009
All in all, it has been a quiet but productive weekend. Not only have I turned my attention to some long-neglected household chores but I have also restored order to the chaos of desk and sorted and filed all my paperwork in readiness for the challenge of a new academic year. The course (OU A363) is scheduled to begin in October; however, is is rumoured that the course materials are already on their way. This has spooked me into laying aside my poetry in favour of some (frantic) prose. It is my firm intention to have at least three pieces from which to select my first assignment since it seems that the thing must be turned into a screenplay for TMA2. I am apprehensive: I have never attempted such a thing before...
Friday, 28 August 2009
The bad stuff? Well, it's Bank Holiday weekend and there will be the usual mass invasion of Tesco. This will be accompanied by a 'love fest' of family feeling that will find its chief expression in an outbreak of barbecues and picnics. Forgive the note of cynicism: it's self-defence. It's hard being on your own through Bank Holiday weekends, almost as painful as Christmas. Believe me, just popping out for a loaf of bread and some cat food can reduce you tears. Last year, at this time... No, that's enough of that. It won't make things better to dwell on them. Soon, it will be Tuesday morning and things won't seem so bad.
Thursday, 27 August 2009
When the deserts filled with roses
and white towers scrape the sky,
then, may daisies crown a queen
and butterflies not die?
May lovers ever after love
and ships thought lost come sailing home?
And shall the sea give up its dead?
And I not live alone?
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
To make a prairie
It takes one clover and one bee,
One clover and a bee,
The revery alone will do
If bees are few.
Tuesday, 25 August 2009
Monday, 24 August 2009
Too late for tears;
trees wet with yesterday's rain.
Ideas begin to form
like green buds
and there is the long, slow growth
of the tree still to come -
the roots, the sap rising.
My moment was then;
yours is imminent.
Jenny, February, 2008
This morning, Sadie and I took advantage of a rare break in the rain to do a spot of blackberrying. (Sadie likes her blackerries al fresco while I am fond of blackberry and apple crumble.) Since Sadie has quite a sweet tooth, it has always been my practice to give her the ripest berries and to feed them to her at intervals. In this way, she is encouraged to wait patiently rather than pulling at the leash. Today, though, it all proved too much and, the blackberries being plump and juicy, Sadie decided there was nothing for it but to pick the fruit herself. It was endearing and amusing to see what pains she took to sniff her way along the bottom of the hedgrows. Moreover, it was quite remarkable to observe the speed and the delicacy with which she was able to remove the berries once she had located them. It seemed to me that she was able to satisfy her appetite without scratching her nose at all. Indeed, I think it quite likely that, in the course of our walk, I suffered more injury than she did.
In terms of today's writing, little that is new has been accomplished. I have, however, spent some time organising - and sometimes revising - some verses originally written two summers ago. I have repeately promised myself that I will undertake this task but, somehow, I have always been distracted. Perhaps I will post one or two examples.