A difficult piece i’m working on, please help x

25 Feb

For years you’ve been sat on my shelf.

Gathering dust but never curling.

There was once a time I’d forgotten your name,

I’d thought maybe the only difference between the two

I would have called you was age.

Now I realise, it was presence that had me confused.


13 and so far, life had dealt me small corners,

secreted beige walls and a puzzle piece back bone.

Yet a Rigamortis temperament had me be my own

cause, and who better to snap the bones back?

How many times can I thank you?


Never enough.


You didn’t speak to me for weeks after that, stuck between a daughter,

a wife and a child, I forced you to be someone you weren’t.

How many times can I tell you I’m sorry?


Never enough.


Through my time there you scolded me with daisies,

punished me with pride. You taught me about the kind of

people who wore masks just to trick you into turning around

so they didn’t have to move to stab you in the back.

And you taught me how to give them second chances.


You calved kind into the trees we climbed and the tree’s my

Children will breath in ages to come. Sometimes, you operate

In areas of grey, but even between tick-tock millimetre movement

my God, you are always draped in red.


You still sweat to give me whatever I need and have grown wise to

my declinations being a shroud for politeness. I know you’re running

short now. A cat has nine lives for the purpose of using them.


I can accept my own vulnerability. But what I cannot accept is yours.

I can see it in your floppy hair, in your hands.

If I could capture disease in a frame, I would burn out my eyes so the

prospect of a you shaped hole in my life wasn’t visible.

But it is visible.


I was the first to call you Grandad, and the first to confuse it

with Dad. I don’t ever want to have to call you gone. 

– Georgina Wilding


4 Responses to “A difficult piece i’m working on, please help x”

  1. Adam Broome February 26, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    I’m currently working on a poem for an old friend, and it’s a lot like this one thematically 🙂

    -I like the ‘Never enough’ lines at the beginning, it would be great if you could end with this line, or at least have it once more in the piece before the end (as it just kinda disappears)

    – “You calved kind into the trees we climbed and the tree’s my Children will breath in ages to come.” ~ Carved, not calved? ‘Tree’s’ doesn’t need an apostrophe, and does the word ‘and’ really need to be in it?

    -I like what you’re saying in the second verse, but it comes across a little cliche. Perhaps you’ve made the metaphor too obvious – try and think of a different word for bones. Skeleton, structure, or perhaps refer to joints or vertebrae?

    Hope this helps 🙂 ~X~

  2. Anne February 27, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    So: it is about your relationship with your grandfather, how not only has he always been there for you, but he has been father and grandfather. Now his health is failing and you are afraid of losing him.
    In the first stanza you talk about him on the shelf, not curling, gathering dust – so is he like a book or a toy or a jigsaw puzzle. . I’m confused by that, but I think it’s because he’s there for you when you need him, but you didn’t make use if him very much?
    I wonder if there is some kind of object that lies in wait for us all until we are old enough to realise we need it? On the shelf makes me think of an old maid.
    What do you mean by ‘presence had me confused’?
    Second stanza: back to the puzzle, I like the idea that you are pieces being put together, corner pieces, your spine, but I think it needs more clarity here. Play around with the concept. Are the beige walls the walls of his house?
    RigAmortis temperament is a great idea as its rigid and not alive, so not growing.i also love the idea of being scolded with daisies, but wonder if it is a bit odd stuck in like that. Is there a way you can set the scene for that image better? Punishing with pride- is that because his pride in you made you feel ashamed/guilty?
    I like the idea of false people wearing masks, but again feel this could be phrased in a way it is less spelled out, but having said that I love the simplicity of language you are using.
    Love the carving into trees!
    Is he draped in red or highlighted, or coloured in or outlined.
    I think you could make more of the idea of a puzzle, children’s games, carving into trees etc, the thing about the role of dad and grandad is that mums and dads have to discipline us but grandparents can just play- so maybe there is some thing in the fact that because of the relationship you had he was forced to be a parent when really he should have been enjoying being a grandad. Does this make sense?
    You’re really onto something here, but I think you have to dig around a bit longer.
    What can you see in his hands? Could the two of you be working on an old jigsaw puzzle as you speak this to him? Could some pieces be missing? Could his fingers fumble with the pieces?
    Describe them to me. What can those hands do, or not do that they used to?
    Capturing disease in a frame- I get this but I think I need a link before the next bit- the you shaped hole is great.
    I love the simplicity of, “but it is visible” also the final lines, but I’m not sure if they are too simple?
    Love the open feeling, I believe you are speaking from the heart, but remember what Nick Makoha said at Arvon, what are you holding back?
    Keep at it… Keep carving!
    Hope this helps!

    • mouthypoets March 4, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      Guys thank you! There are alot of really valid comments here, so much so i’m going to print them out, annotate/answer your questions, and then work all comments into the poem! Might take me a while, but i’ll let you know when the edit is up, thank you xxx

  3. mouthypoets April 20, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Hey George,

    Where are you with this piece? I want to comment but am aware you already have a lot to work with so maybe if you post the new version you have up we could work from there?

    Thank you for putting something up that is so important to you, I really appreciate the openness and bravery of that action.


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