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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

sometimes there's no substitute for inspiration

Live2write2day suggests something on schools for this return-to-school week.

Take your time. I don't, of course. At best, I'm reading every other word.
Blind panic drives me on. It's all a friggin' mess, it is. I think of dad.
Out there in that dark and draughty corridor, still full of hope. Eternal
optimist. Doesn't realise. But when he does... I know just what he'll say:
Snip it out and paste it in the book we call Experience. That's him. Ever
hopeful that experience will see us through. Well drawn, these characters.
I'll give them that. Immigrants. Before the word got tagged, acquired its
usual epithet. Illegal. Spending their first Christmas here and never
having seen real snow before. I should have read with greater care. That
much is clear. Of course I should. I smile and pass the clip-board back.
More questions. No prize for guessing what about. Easy to begin with.
Relax, I tell myself. I try, but not successfully. Then: What could you
say about their homeland? Was it a warmer place than here? Or would it
have been colder? Warmer. Two boys run past the window waving flags.
A rugby football match has finished and they have run the lines. I grab
what reassurance such endorsement from the powers that be might offer.
Flags are flags. They signify approval, celebration. Proof positive are
smiles across the table. How do you know? I've forgotten how I know. I
simply know I know. I read it, didn't I? Was in the script. A gardener
goes by outside. A barrow load of leaf mould. Apt comment. Quite agree!
And so do they. Their faces look well mulched. They're going through
the motions now. Like me, they want the farce to end. What do you want
to be when you leave school? Ah, shall I give them A or B or C? I plump
for B. An architect. This pleases them. Half hopefully I steal a glance
to see if other flags are waving. No, not a chance! Now let's pretend
we've come to you, your practice, asking you, your team, to plan a new
school. One like this, let's say. What might you think about including
to benefit both boys and staff? Take your time. This time I'm going to!
My glance goes through the window once again, across the garden to the
cycle sheds where earlier I'd seen boys struggling to stack their bikes
in almost vertical positions - as the frame demands. Even as my inner
editor blue pencils this and other thoughts, my lips and tongue have
jumped the gun, by-passed the process altogether, and are saying that
I'd go for good heating, lighting and good air-conditioning. I've given
it no thought at all, my answer. Now I hear a bell sound somewhere near.
Sounds of running feet and laughter follow. Another omen from the great
beyond? Well certainly, they're smiling now. One answer rubbishes the
endless rubbish that I'd spread before. It takes a moment, then I'm in!

15 comments:

kaykuala said...

Fantastic Dave! You've made a run through of school life as I remembered it. In fact, I could relate very much to it, especially 'struggling to stack their bikes'(I cycled to school)

We could have gone to the same school - but on different continents!

Such is the similarity and the fun of school life!

Hank

Mary said...

An enjoyable read this morning. Thoughts of one who is sitting in school wanting to be finished with the 'farce.' Always good to hear the bell at the end of the day!

I enjoyed your comment in my blog! It seems we will always stay the same age forever. Mirrors, be darned.

Jim Murdoch said...

It’s been a while since I attempted any stream of consciousness writing like this. Not the easiest of reads – certainly required rereading – but quite effective and a nice change of pace.

120 Socks said...

I love reading prose pieces using stream of consiousness - very effective:)

Brian Miller said...

wow you just take off and let it go...you capture school life well dave...at least as i remember it...

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Fantastic - I've read it four times and want to read it again. The pace is tremendous.

Anna :o]

Victoria said...

This is definitely a read-it-through-again poem. Thought-provoking, especially the references to the point of view of immigrants. At times I felt as though the narrator was a student, at other times a teacher. Thanks for linking ths, Dave

MISH said...

Really interesting ... I'm wondering if this stream-of-consciousness is an entire free writing piece ... did you stop anywhere in between and reflect or simply write on and on , just going in the direction it took you ... ? Great pacing !

http://writer-in-transit.co.za/school/

Windsmoke. said...

I reckon this is one of your best, very enjoyable :-).

Rachna Chhabria said...

A great post, Dave. Enjoyed reading it.

Dave King said...

kaykuala
I like that, the same school, but on different continents! Thanks for the cheering comment. Really appreciated that!

Mary
Thanks for this, Mary. Yes, the bell was always a relief - well, nearly always!

Jim
Yes, I've not tried it for a goodly while, either, and didn't set out to do so. It's just the way it went. I decided to let the words have their head.

120 Socks
I agree, yes, it can be very effective. Difficult to know, though, how far to go in turning the words loose as against reining them in a tad.

Brian
I did let it go, yes. Good - and useful - to hear that you think it came off.

HyperCRYPTICAL
Wow! Thanks very much for saying that. Not just good to know, useful too.

Victoria
Sounds like I let it go too much. The narrator was me. It was 1944. It was my interview for the Grammar School - a new possibility opened up by the 1944 Act. I obviously inferred too much and stated too little.

MISH
No, I didn't deliberately stop. I was interrupted at one point, but apart from that it was all free-flowing.

Windsmoke
That's a really encouraging response. Thank you for it.

Rachna
Much thanks. Greatly appreciated.

Jingle Poetry said...

wow, you are quite a talent.
keep it up.


Hello,

Hope all is well.

Appreciated your support to Jingle Poetry Community,

Welcome sharing your talent in our new garden home.



Bless you.
Happy End of August.
Hope to see you share today.
xoxox

Victoria said...

Dave, I don't think you let it go too much. For me, one of the beauties of poetry is that the reader will relate to it according to their own perception...a continuation of the creative process.

bodhirose said...

I felt like I was back in school--ack--being overwhelmed by my senses taking in so much energy. You portrayed that feeling for me very well.

Isadora said...

A very emotional delivery of a time gone by when wmotions are so high.
Very interesting read,
Isadora