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Quite a few people have asked me how I came up with the idea for my blog, and although I didn’t start writing a poem every day consistently until mid-November – or use random word generators until December –  I like to think the real genesis can be dated back to around the time I wrote the poem about the Muse.

It was late September last year (my sister’s birthday, actually), the season was on the turn, and I could feel the ‘November Melancholy’ starting to settle in already.

I came home from dropping our youngest at nursery (he had only started there the month before) and felt that instead of cleaning up or plonking myself in front of the TV (at that time I was glutting on Medium in my new childless 1.5 hr window in my day)  I would write something.  It couldn’t do any harm, could it?

Sitting on the edge of my bed, in the midst of the school morning madness, I had already taken it upon myself to pop a little writerly post on Facebook:

And so it was: the dark mornings began to close in upon her, and our heroine’s muse fluttered about the room unbidden.

“Start your sentences with conjunctions, while sitting for long periods penning angsty tomes into the small hours” he breathed.

“I can’t, my love” she whispered back “I have grown up too far, have too many responsibilities.”

“Nonsense!” a mischievous smile played across his lips “let me show you the way…”


So I decided to write a bit more of the conversation, this time in poem form, imagining this ‘muse’ was looking over my shoulder and commenting, on the blank page in front of me.  I had a LOT to think about by the time I’d finished…:


“Oh! How black your pen today! No thought for creativity?!”

“I have thought, but I am pushed for time these days…”


His eyes filled as he held her gaze.


“I have waited far too long already.”

“I know. But you’ve had others” she snapped.

“That is true, but none as worthy”


She turned from him and sighed, mourned the enormity implied.


“I stopped so other things could start…” “But you and I weren’t meant to part!!

Your venturing forth without my wings has led to uninvited things.”

“I know! I see! I hear your truth! But my heart is full of others’ youth…

I cannot run without restraint, lest life around me grows too faint!”

“Intoxicating as I am, we shall not deem said life a sham!

Our two realms can coincide, I promise that not much will slide…”

“I remember your florid dance and, frankly, I can’t take that chance!

The time it takes to extricate makes me fearful to create!”


“Just trust in all you have become (and destiny’s not near begun!)

Don’t grow old and all forget – that brain of yours can still be whet!

Use your gift, I beg you dear…for one day I might…” “Disappear?!

Be gone! Desist! Away! Vamoose! Such talk just tugs upon my noose!”


“Your gift is not a threat, dear heart – you’re just questioning the art.

That’s how you grow and reach new heights; furnish the world with new delights!

It’s healthy, not the gloom you see – you’re not surrendering to me!

You’re delving deep, unearthing pain, to purge and make you whole again!

All Motherhood’s bright hue and cry, somehow negates the need to try?!

No NO sweet child, this cannot be! (Delude yourself, but please spare me…!)”


She wrung her hands and held back tears: each word of his, her heart had seared.

All that time wasted, pages blank; her ideas into boxes shrank…


He closed the distance, ‘cross the floor, and touched her with his wings once more;

Growing taller, broader, til: he’d shielded her amongst his quill…



I had to put the pen down on the first draft and run to pick up our Youngest, but I went back and tweaked parts through the day, posting bits on Facebook as I went, and getting a few likes. 

The poem stayed with me.

Gnawed at me, actually.

I often speak in this blog about my subconscious being responsible for writing most of my poetry, and the one above seemed like a loud frustrated scream from the depths of my soul 😛

As I reread the poem, I took in the fact that the female speaker doesn’t fall in line with the Muse straight away.  Her first answer doesn’t scan well, and has a weak rhyme, so makes the Muse feel that he has lost (or failed) her, and needs to keep convincing her that their partnership is a good thing.

The first page of scribbles

Her second answer is a blatant dropping of his conventions, because she is angry at him for flitting to other writer types, leaving her in a creative dip as she tackled motherhood and pressing reality.

It is not until her fourth answer that we see the female speaker embrace the rhythm and rhyming conventions that the Muse has started, and it seems to be a spilling over of how she feels: two successive lines of explanation, then another two once he responds; and she lays out her fears and obstacles.

The Muse rebuffs all his charge’s protestations that she can’t attend to her creative life while upholding her responsibilities as a mother.  He takes down all the arguments I would have thrown at him, in the process, of course!

In the end, he envelopes her, and it is not an entirely settling feeling I get from that line most days – though on some hard ones it can be greatly comforting to think I have feathers cushioning me from the world!

So I kept coming back to this, and thinking about the conundrum posed by wanting to be a good mother, but also needing the release that writing gives me.

I thought about how I liked having this sudden empty time to just sit and stare at a screen, or sort out some housework, or catch up with Facebook…now that Youngest was at nursery.

I also realised that I was feeling guilty for ‘just’ doing those things, and I had been silencing a huge part of myself in order to be content doing ‘just’ those things, then pitching back into the hurly burly of motherhood straight afterwards.

Corners of the house started singing to me: siren calls of creativity.  The unfinished novel, the half-crocheted objects, the piles of crafty books and magazines I’d barely touched were harmonizing.

I was restless in this (apparent) comfort. It’s just not me.

I ignored it for a while, but the advancing darkness outside started to affect me as the weeks went by, and I decided that I was going to ride that and use that to propel myself towards whatever the ultimate thing that I needed was.

So here I am: still unsure that these two ‘lives’ of mine are compatible; still under the protective wings, but flexing my own.

Some day I hope to soar.


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One Response to “Muse?”

  1. A Comfy Kind Of Restless » Blog Archive » Graffiti Says:

    […] that had side effects as I have explored before. […]

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