My name is Jane Avery or Janieairoil or Janie or Prat, depending on who the speaker is. I am married with eleven children, (only four are mine thank goodness) and thirteen grandchildren (again, thank goodness, only one is mine!).
I’m forty-nine and in total denial that I will reach fifty next month.
I have been writing poetry since junior school; used it during senior school to earn a smoke by creating personalised valentines, used it through my first marriage as a survival kit, and use it now as an outlet for joy or grief, equally. I have had a few poems included in anthologies, and been longlisted for a competition I don’t remember entering.
I studied Creative writing with the Open University (how I got to meet Nigel) and discovered a love of not only writing, but reading poetry.
Elizabeth Bishop, Stevie Smith and Dorothy parker, Maya Angelou and Simon Armitage are some of my favourite poets. Stevie Smith totally embodied by Paternal grandmother in looks and derision – I think she was hysterical. As unfashionable as it is now, I could listen to Pam Ayers read for days on end – it was her rendition of Oh I wish I’d looked after me teeth that introduced me to rhyme and a love of storytelling.
A plethora of errors. Now we watch you pace and climb. You’re wondering, what’s the biggest fear – when duty calls, or these four walls? You never asked – just nodded. No, you never witnessed changes of direction; chasing thoughts where raw emotion held us fast. Too fast to pace. Too weak to climb. If only it were only these four walls.
There was a moment more than a moment her lips almost lifted, but Almost was there - strangling her words and her thoughts in despair she looked up and the cloud-lines were forming a word, but in whispers she couldn’t make out they wouldn’t be heard Almost was laughing, she heard it, its words ‘go on – shake off the dust’ but knowing its purpose, she bit down hard relinquished the words that were foaming and rushing and placed them back under the pillow not trusting for Almost was weighing and sharpening its knife it was waiting until opportunity knocked though quiet, she heard it – and ran to the door but Almost was waiting and got there before she could come to her senses then walking on air, it patted the albatross hanging from where her shoulders once lived, but gave up the ghost on account of, in hope of, and fear of, Almost.
‘Mine’ is what I want to say each time I hear your name. Spoken gently, or in anger, or in passing, for it’s all the same. ‘Mine’ is what I want to say. ‘Here’ is what I’d like to say when someone asks where you have been; just casually, as people do… Like, where’s the arm on which you lean? ‘Here’ is what I’d like to say. ‘Home’ I dearly want to say to comments thrown indifferently, about where you might hang your hat. I want to utter, literally, ‘Home’ I dearly want to say. ‘Gone’. I never thought I’d say when off the cuff a neighbour asks about the empty washing line, and all those feet that filled those socks. ‘Gone’, I never thought I’d say.