Still Life with Poems

2016-09-19-09-52-35I picked up my phone today, and it automatically opened the camera, which I had used last. This is the picture it framed—a corner of my desk—and it struck me as a curious slice of my life and personality. In the picture are:

  • A flier from the library with a list of fantasy authors they recommend.
  • A couple of half-finished Sudokus—lunchtime brain breaks.
  • A Peace Corps mug—still flying those colours after 21 years. It’s a rare day I don’t think about our time in Panama. That mug is filled with more fliers for books I’d like to read.
  • A mug from the Some Like it Hot Conference—from another past life when I was Secretary of Interpretation Network New Zealand. That mug is stuffed with notes to myself—names and addresses I want to remember, ideas for birthday and Christmas gifts, web sites of interest, the odd poem.
  • A gift from my daughter—a hand-made compass, complete with a book of poetry attached.
  • A rock from our beach—part paper weight, part touchstone, grounding me in this place.
  • A pencil—my favourite writing tool.
  • A folded wad of paper to stabilise my computer stand, which wobbles on uneven legs.
  • A stack of Department of Conservation hut tickets from a trip that I intended to take my ecology students on, but which was cancelled due to weather.
  • A scrap of paper awaiting the day’s to-do list.

There you have it. The messy corner of my brain, where poems vie with the day’s to-do list, and numbers and words mix, and good intentions meet reality, and maybe
today’s to-do list
tomorrow’s poetry.

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