He’s Out There ln The Garden.

Today is my brother in law’s Birthday. He probably doesn’t know it because he has Alzheimer’s/ Dementia.

My sister looked after him at home for as long as she could but he is now in a home, his condition got too difficult for her to cope with.

I have written quite a few poems on his and others sharing this plight. In his honour and all carers and sufferers I have taken two of my poems and reworked them into one.

Happy Birthday John. © willowdot21

*********

He is out in the garden with the secateurs again
The flowers are looking nervous and hoping it will rain.

The airing cupboard is wearing a smile
He’s is busy elsewhere so it has peace for a while.

We need to eat, it must be time for dinner.
We have just eaten, have a biscuit, that’s always a winner.

How cruel, how mean, how so unkind
To leave a feeble body and take a beautiful mind.

There are no words that can truly describe
The pain and fear of those trapped, dead, yet still alive.

You can not reason, they know no rhyme
They are gone from us left behind.

The tiny flashes of a knowing eye is just a mockery
Your loved one is no longer who they used to be.

Screams of anger, voices harsh with fists of hate
You try so hard, you have so much on your plate.

There is no more that you can in all honesty do
They may be gone. Can you hold your patience and to their love be true.

He is out in the garden with the secateurs again
The flowers are looking nervous and hoping it will rain.

The sincerest form of poetry by Geoff Le Pard.

Today I am delighted to have Author and friend Geoff Le Pard over for afternoon tea and a chat about his latest book. Which is full of delightful poetry!

Geoff, how are you, do sit down I have got everything ready for us. While you get comfy I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the book. I love the first half very much always a smile and a barb..The sonnets too very much to my liking, especially the two about the Vet, (I assume) Hand me down, and Loyalty, especially the last lines in both. Also the the guiding hand possibly about the textilist? Here have a cuppa just as you like it I think and tell me was I right? How’s that cake?

Geoff with Buster and Moo

 In fact, while hand me down is about Jenni, point of view of a shadow which came to me while doing a poetry prompt a couple of years ago.Originally it had me rhyming ‘shadow’ with ‘saddo’ which grated horribly so I’m pleased with the revision. I can spend hours getting nowhere, revising poetry, finding the right combination of… yes, another slice would be lovely… syllables, rhymes and stresses. Oddly, the thing I notice that most poets fail to appreciate is stress. They’ll nail a rhyme, ensure the right number of syllables but when you read it, the stress you place on the words makes it feel like a bad gear change. I wonder if they read the poem out loud or in their head. The imagination is too forgiving, I find.

On reflection Geoff I have to agree with you on that.

How much did your father’s poetry influence you? 

First, he spent so much time honing his work that I am constantly forcing myself to one more read through, to mimic him. Second, he loved finding humour in poetry and I think that can be my driving force. Third, we argued constantly, vigorously and with no holes barred. Thus if I write anything with a political or social angle it will almost certainly reflect my views and equally certainly be 180 degrees contrary to his. He didn’t hold back, he wasn’t shy of voicing his opinion and I often sanitise my attempts so as not to offend. That would have annoyed him mightily, so I try and fight the urge to hide. If you’ve a point to make, make it with conviction; if not, don’t make any point. That comes from him. Mostly though, he enjoyed the process, gained huge satisfaction from a job well done. I’ve learnt that, however hard it is – and it is hard – enjoy it. In a way dad only really expressed his true self, his deepest emotions, via poetry as seen in the love poems he wrote to mum and which he refused to let my brother and I see and which mum only shared after his death. I still think he would be mightily cheesed off and equally secretly pleased with her for doing that.

What made you decide to revamp some of best known poems from the BBC’s collection of British Poets?

Don’t worry about the crumbs, Ruby or Dog will pick them up , they are getting on well aren’t they.

Back to Dad, really. He loved Kipling’s poetry and many of his best efforts use the same rhyming scheme that Kipling favoured in some of his finest works. One day – I think I was walking with a couple of friends – I conjured up a couple  of lines of ‘If’ but rewritten to the discussion we were having. Again, memory suggests it was a new take on the couplet ‘if you fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run’. I got a laugh. Later I re-read the poem and some other changes, based on the current Zeitgeist occurred to me and off I went. Once I’d begun, it was a fairly natural progression to try it with others. The sharp eyed readers will see that with my re-imagining of ‘if’ I don’t keep the first line, whereas that became one of the criteria I tried to apply to my re-imaginings. Another cup? Thanks. I’ll have oat milk, as part of a new health kick.

Really, luckily have some oat milk in the fridge, I will just get it . Here you are, just a splash. Would you like another

Tell me why did you pick sonnets for the second half of your book? 

My whole love of writing began the summer after Dad died at a summer-school in Wiltshire. July 2006. A year later, at the self same summer-school I took a poetry appreciation course that looked at British poets from Chaucer G to Cope W. In amongst the many marvels were a variety of sonnets, from Shakespeare through Rossetti to Manley Hopkins. That week I wrote two, or at least the first drafts, of the sonnets that appear here  – the opening work on the frontispiece and what turned into ‘Only skin deep’ a re-imagined Shakespearean sonnet. After that, I spun out several, I entered a number into some on line magazines and had a few published or won or were placed in competitions. I adore the simplicity, the discipline and the history of the sonnet, hence it is my go to form of choice. Hmm, is that lemon drizzle? Oh al right, just a small slice. No, not that small….

Sorry is that better?

Tell me how different do you find the experience of writing poetry as compared to fiction or flash fiction? Do you find poetry a more difficult discipline to writing prose?

Oh my, chalk and cheese. Give me a word, a picture, a phrase, a theme, a genre and I’ll write you a piece of flash, a short story or a novel, often with the bizarrest, most unlikely take imaginable. But do the same with poetry and you may be lucky one in five times. I’ve tried committing to poetry prompts and sometimes that has led to something part way decent. But mostly it just grates. Poetry = emotion and that’s something I’ve taken from dad; without a core of emotion, of self it’s just clunky prose dressed up as something pretentious and clever sounding.

Can I get you a you anything else, Oh Look Ruby and dog are asleep out in the sun. Let’s have a look at my two choices from your book.

A Dog At Leisure

(Leisure, William Henry Davies)
What is this life, if full of care?
Go fetch my lead, don’t comb your hair.
Don’t give in to untimely sloth
I know what fun awaits us both.
Let’s try the park; we know it’s free,
Full of places for me to pee.
Squirrels anxious to play chase,
Friends who’ll let me lick their face.
Secret corners where I can poo
Long lost balls for me to chew.
Picnic scraps and chicken bones,
Stale crusts and broken scones.
These treats and many, many more
Are just beyond the bloody door.
So find your shoes, tie those laces
And I’ll take you now to wondrous places
Full of fun, grass and the freshest air
And while I play, you’ll stand and stare.

And the beautiful sonnet.

Hand -Me-Down

Still wet from the womb, she flapped a fat hand,
A mindless hello that captured my soul.
Older, unsteady, like a day old foal,
She gripped me so tight, determined to stand.
She didn’t let go till the first day at school;
Then she wept as I forced her fingers apart.
From that betrayal she developed her art;
Round her finger I’d twist: her so willing fool.
One day, so glorious, and, yes, there were tears
I released her hand as I gave her away.
I smiled her free, and felt no dismay
At the thought of that other hand itwrapped round hers.
But it’s only a loan, for when I come to my last
She’ll be holding my hand, as I let go life’s grasp.

********

Now for your Authors Bio and all your book details.

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Geoff’s books

My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself? 

   

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Smashwords

Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The sincerest form of poetry.

Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

********

I can honestly say I have read all these books and enjoyed them greatly.

Thank for joining me today Geoff it was

To have you and Dog visit.

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 3/2020

Shelley Krupa

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “new/old.” Use either or both of the words “new and old” any way you’d like. Bonus points for starting and ending with either one. Have fun!

News hit my email that made me sad. Though it was not other than my I might of expected yet I am railing against it. Nothing new, age old it’s the circle we all go through no one and nothing lives forever.

I tossed and turned and in my dreams I was lost on a journey on a train. Again nothing new about that, it seems I am forever lost. I awoke ever hour on the hour, same old scared feeling. Life goes on until it stops. None of this makes sense.

New Life brings new hope

Old nightmares retreat quietly

Souls never grow old.

******

This is part of LindaGHill’s Saturday Stream of Consciousness.

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