Thursday, 8 December 2016

Fear of heights: a poetry post


Way back in 2013 I wrote a blog post about how all the time I lived in Moffat I never managed to get up Grey Mare's Tail (very long waterfall) to the loch at the top of the very big hill. I tried, I really did, but the path was very steep, and the way down was very far, and I have a huge problem with heights. The time I got up the farthest my husband called our mission off because I was holding on to the ground, and passing people was becoming a huge problem.

Since I went to Ilkley Literature Festival this year I've been inspired to try out different poetic forms, like list poems, and pantoums. I know that formal poetry and rhyming are not currently fashionable, but I love to work with those restrictions. Occasionally something will burst out and become free verse, but I love the interesting things that can come out of pattern.

So, today I'm sharing a pantoum. This is one of my current favourite things, and involves repetition, although I'm not quite repeating, so I'm not sure that it is a proper pantoum, but I love the rhythm that the repetition brings, and the depth of meaning. This is how I think. Is this how everyone thinks?

Anyway, I'm taking a walk everyday to combat my usual Winter depression which tends to set in about now, and today I went up a very steep hill (I mean it looked steep, but I figured it would level out in a minute... it was a lot of minutes). The path went up the side of the hill and the drop to the valley below kept getting bigger. Happily for me there was a big pile of manky looking earth at the side of the recently widened path, and gorse bushes below that. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't choose to fall in a gorse bush (I know, I've tried), but better that than air.

So, up I went, and then I took pictures. Mostly to prove how high up I was, with only minor palpitations!


I should really have taken a picture down the hillside, but I couldn't. Sorry!

Anyway, after this I decided to try a pantoum(ish) about fear of heights. Here it is.

Fear of Heights

Held back by fear
(which limits me)
I can't go near
(fear cowers me).

It limits me
(I feel the fright)
it cowers me
when at a height.

I feel the fright
when I'm high up.
A dizzy height
(and I should jump).

When I'm high up
I get the thought
that I should jump
(and not be caught).

I get the thought
that I will fall
and not be caught
(so end it all).

I mustn't fall
(I can't go near),
I'll end it all.
I'm stopped by fear.


© Cara L McKee 30/11/16


Now, I'm figuring that courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway, and as that's the prompt this week from Sara at Mum Turned Mom, I'm going to include this in her linky. I'm also linking up with Victoria at Verily Victoria Vocalises (click on picture below). Hi!

In addition, I'm linking up to Maddy's What I'm Writing linky (click on the picture below to see more). To be honest, I've not been writing a lot since the end of November. NaNoWriMo felt like an all consuming drag by the end of it, and I've been catching up on the mundanities of cleaning, and on Christmas preparations as well as going for walks. However, I have been submitting poems to places, and look, I'm blogging! More hours are required I think.

I am thrilled to have received my gorgeous copy of the first issue of 404 Ink magazine, which I've got a poem in (p53, thrillseekers), if you've not got a copy yet, you can buy one here (and get the print one if you can because it's a lovely thing). I've also got a poem in this quarter's Allegro Poetry online magazine (called Barcelona), so those things are helping me to feel better about the book rejections I keep getting.

So many book rejections that I've decided to change tack and try to find a smaller, Scottish publisher. Wish me luck! Or breaking legs, or something!

I'm planning to go up a hill again tomorrow, but hopefully it won't be quite so steep!


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