Psalm 151 – The Reckoning

It’s the strangest feeling,
When someone else is pouring,
Over words that you,
And you alone, have known.
Your baby, your secret, yours
But now no longer so.
It’s out there, in the wild.
It’s prone, susceptible.
Exposed to public whim.
How will they handle it?
With care or carelessness?
Indifference or joy?
Now the time of reckoning.

My thesis is rewritten and has just returned from my proofreader. Soon it will be submitted, and this labour of love and anger will be handed over to others to judge…

© Ben Quant 2022

The Pause

I’ve been more than a little quiet on the poetry front recently, and may remain so for a little longer. Let me explain….

Some of you may be aware that alongside writing poems last year, I was also writing my thesis for a DMin (Doctor of Ministry) – I’m a church minister as well as a dabbler in verse. If you read Poem 71 – The Verdict, you would have picked up that it didn’t quite go to plan… My thesis as it stood was failed in my viva, and they sent me away with a year to rewrite and submit if I wanted to. I won’t go into all the ins and outs here, but I won’t lie, I was and am still angry and emotional about this, as Poem 71 might suggest! Still, I’ve got on with it, and am currently crashing through the final chapters. This is taking a lot of time and attention as it is a complete rewrite, and I’ve not got time/emotion to spare for poems alongside this and work (a family wedding was another distraction, but much nicer, see Poem 137!) I’m aiming at getting a complete draft done by the end of September if I can, and so hopefully after then the poems will begin to reappear more regularly.

Today I’m celebrating having completed a major milestone, a significant chapter finished! It suddenly all begins to look a little more possible. Time for a deep breath and I’ll see you on the other side!

Poem 71 – The Verdict

Today, I feel bereft, by lover scorned
A father’s ache as wayward child withdraws
I breathed my breath in you, my pulse, my thought
Do I deserve your snarling teeth and claws?

The pain of losing one too close is yet
Unknown to me but here I gain a taste
The labour throes expectantly endured
But cuckoo-like competing twins supplace

Adrift I grapple to regain control
An aimless ship that’s lost its sense of place
The pride anticipated at your birth
Usurped as hollowness and anger rage

Give me some space to rant and weep then pass
A paper bag to help me once more breathe
I know tomorrow I will find a way
But until then I simply need to grieve

Yesterday I received the written report on my viva for my DMin which took place just before Christmas. I already knew the outcome, after seven years of work the examiners sent me away to substantially rewrite it, which came as a complete shock to me, but receiving the formal letter and report once more unmoored me.

© Ben Quant 2022