Guest Artists

 

Guest Artist, Glenys Doull

It is my privilege to introduce Glenys as part of our Guest Artist Series.  I believe she is an important poet of our times and for the people.  Unencumbered by the literary judgements of intellectuals, she is part of the movement to return poetry to the people–where it rightfully belongs.  I hope you take the time to enjoy her wonderful skill of imagery and verse.

These poems are used by permission and copyrighted by Glenys Doull.

 

Sweet Peas

Heavily scented warm
summer air draws in
buzzing bees eagerly
seeking precious nectar.

Sweet peas swarm up
netting on the old shed wall
a perfumed rainbow
tapestry of many hues.

Pale pastels to bright
reds, purples, pinks,
blues and lilacs paint a
masterpiece on old timbers.

Rich pickings for the
school children’s flower show.

 

Blackbird In The Rain

In steady light rain
low clouds compress
the light’s dull glare.
The blackbird’s feathers
sparkle under their fine cloak
of minute droplets.
His chuckles and shrieks of glee
from the clothesline pole
fill the garden as he raises
his head, half spreads his wings
in the sensual joy
of tiny moist diamonds.

 

Far Away

In her early fifties with
grown children flown, yet
no one in her life replacing
the long gone husband, while
her erratic workplace called
for voluntary redundancies,
her thoughts turned to the
family friend who had often
visited on business from
his distant home country.

After his next visit
they increased emails and
long distance phone calls.
Finally she was ready,
took redundancy on her
workplace’s next call,
sold up, moved far away
to his home for her
country would not allow
him to live with her there.

His country allowed her to
live there in a happy life and
marriage for over ten years.

Until her body betrayed her,
tiny blood vessels burst in
her brain letting go of her
memories so that she only
wanted to be in the land
she used to know for
over fifty years.

He could not live there
with her, to care for her.

She could no longer
live alone.

 

Dog’s Domain

The dog’s backyard is her domain,
a vital part of herself.
She polices it, sniffing out
marauding cats and prowling hedgehogs.
The cats are routed
at high speed
with growls and loud barks.
She bites the curled up hedgehogs
then cries when their spikes
pierce her tongue.
Now she is led firmly inside
to have the spikes removed.

The luxuriant foliage of the vegetable garden
with fascinating odors
is minutely nosed at row by row
for possible animal scents.
The gardener works under her surveillance,
pulled up weeds are all sniffed.

The sunny concrete path is a warming pad
for middle aged limbs and back,
the shady trees a summer refuge
for a panting matron in a fur coat,
the deck an airy resting place.

Her inspection of her domain complete,
the dog stretches out
dozing in the sun.

 

ABOUT THE WRITER

 

Over the years I have worked as a librarian, clerical worker, call centre operator. Also for over thirty years I taught five to eight year olds at primary school level. I have been single for some years now, and have no children. However I am involved with children in my extended family, and still have an active life even though I am no longer in paid employment.

My time of paid employment ended some years ago. With national unemployment soaring, I went overseas for eighteen months to earn a living until I reached the age of eligibility for our retirement benefit. I had hoped to work part time for some years while on the retirement pension but local unemployment was still high. I have pulled in my belt, adjusted my life style, traveling round town by bus and on foot, and settled down to live on my reduced income.

 

Guest Artist Glenys Doull Interview

When and how did you become a poet?

After I went on to our retirement pension I was trying to decide what I would do to fill my days with more stimulation once I realized I would not be able to get part time paid employment. I met a former co worker on the street one day, who said that while she was still working she had nonetheless enrolled for polytechnic courses just for the interest after working days at a fairly monotonous job. 

It occurred to me that I would enjoy writing. Not being at all sure what I wanted to write, I enrolled in four one semester courses in creative writing at our local small university which lasted throughout 2013. They covered fiction, non fiction, and poetry. I passed all four courses, then tried different types of writing throughout 2014. I found it hard to maintain interest in writing fiction, which was much longer than poetry, and moved to a focus on poetry which is more satisfying to my interest in words and their usage. I had already done better on the poetry course to my surprise, so I moved on to poetry writing. A number of occurrences made it clear that the type of poetry that interested me was not perceived to be “literary” or “academic” in the 21st century. I decided to seek a forum for my writing on the internet. By mid 2015 I had a body of poems written, and decided that I could sustain my writing enough to post them on a blogging website. I posted on Tumblr from July to December 2015, then switched to WordPress from November 2015.

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I love your work because it highlights strong images of everyday life. Which poets, if any, inspired you to write in your particular style of poetry ?

I completed a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature in the 1960’s, after doing well in English at secondary school, but retained no great interest in literature after university. My serious reading was focused on what I needed to read for my teaching, and other interests such as family history research and gardening. For relaxation I tended to read relaxing fiction, with an occasional “literary” book. So I came to literature almost completely fresh, as if I had been away from it for some time. I enjoyed reading the poems set for our course work, and our classes and seminars in a small group were interesting and informal. As I read other contemporary poetry in books and magazines I found myself unable to relate to much of the 21st century “literary” or “academic” poetry. 


I found it annoying that some topics were thought to be more literary than others, that the everyday matter was excluded. It also annoyed me that children are not “literary” even though everyone has been a child at the start of their lives and should understand key moments and high points of their lives. Often mundane moments indicate crucial points in our lives, and those moments are very illuminating. Some of my poems about elderly people with dementia are about those telling moments.

In recent years I have particularly enjoyed poems by William Carlos Williams and Emily Dickinson. I also enjoyed poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins in my last year at school, although a recent rereading of them did not bring to mind those poems which we then read and studied.

On WordPress I have enjoyed poems by a number of writers including Kym Whysall Hammond on “The Cheeseseller’s Wife, Sofia Korogliou on De Rerum Natura, Maureen Sudlow on kiwis-soar.com, and Chris Hancock, and Rachel McAlpine on “Poems In The Wild”, to name just a few.

You can read more of Glenys’ work at wordpresscom7862wordpress.wordpress.com 

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