a strange feeling of
hopelessness overwhelms me
this morning, as though
my own inadequacy
were some desperate secret

Very much wishing again that I could break free and just write poetry from the heart, instead of remaining constrained by the forms of tanka and haiku. And my poem too, is an expression of the wish to break free (from my own pretence of bravado). I did at least break free, in the poem, from my dream images, concentrating instead on how it felt in the moment. Pleasingly, I realise now that ‘bravado’ might well describe some important aspects of my maternal grandfather’s character, whom I dreamed of last night. He was conducting Brahms’ 2nd Symphony. In real life he was a music teacher and did some amateur conducting. He must have felt quite intimidated by my father’s being a professional conductor. My father’s professionalism nearly inspired a whole different poem this morning. It’s an admirable thing (as any professionalism is). But if I’m to understand my own feelings concerning it, my maternal grandfather is a crucial part of the equation. The two men are almost like caricatures of weakness and strength respectively, at some level of my imagination, if I look back with my child’s eyes. I wish I could go back and change that. Improve the relationship between those two aspects of myself, by improving the relationship between the two men in the real world.


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