Sunday Poem – Rachel McGladdery

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Evening everybody. I’ve had an eventful weekend so far – on Saturday morning I received a red letter from a debt collection agency saying that they I owed £2,500 to NPower Northern.  As I have a card meter in my house for both the electric and the gas, I was pretty sure that it was a mistake, but I still panicked a little when I opened it, and felt sick when I read it.  Anyway, I rang the debt collection company and apparently they have on their records that I am still living at an address in Birmingham, which I left 8 years ago.  They have on their record that I moved out in 2012.  Luckily I can prove that I haven’t lived their for 8 years obviously, and the company emailed NPower to tell them this and now I just have to wait for a letter to tell me what to do next – I may have to send written proof apparently.  It’s quite creepy thinking someone has probably been using my ID and annoying as well – I guess its one of those faceless crimes that people commit – not thinking about the effect it has on the person – if I was vulnerable, or old, or not well educated I think the letter would have been even scarier.  Anyway – this wasn’t a great start to my Saturday morning but after sorting this out, I headed over to Lancaster to run a workshop ‘Starting to Publish’ for Lancaster Spotlight.  I really enjoyed the workshop and I hope people got something out of it.  It’s the third time I’ve done the workshop – I’ve ran it for Leeds Writers Circle and at Ledbury Poetry Festival as well – it’s probably my favourite workshop to run because I think its really exciting to see these poets who are just starting out at the beginning of their writing usually  – most of them haven’t submitted to magazines before and they have all of that excitement to come – well I found it exciting submitting anyway – I know not everybody feels like this!

Afterwards I had a really nice meal with Kevin McVeigh and his friend Sarah and then I was off again to Kendal to go to Ann Wilson’s Open mic event at the Brewery in Kendal.  I really enjoyed this as well – there were poets as well as prose writers and Antony Christie did a cracking set to finish off the end of the night.

Today I’ve been tidying up some of my mess which has got a bit out of control, walked the dogs on Birkrigg Common and finally saw the stone circle which I’ve never been up to even though I’ve been here for eight years and tonight I’m going to do some reading – John Donne for the Writing School course that I’m doing.  Next week I’ve got my writing group Fourth Monday Poets on Monday in Ulverston, reading in Maulds Meaburn on Tuesday and then its a quiet week. 🙂

Today’s Sunday poem is by Rachel McGladdery.  I met Rachel first of all at Lancaster Spotlight – I remember her performing from memory a fantastic, moving poem about her father.  She read this poem recently at the Estuary Anthology reading in Grange and I love it.  She’s very good at writing portraits of people – I think she really gets to the essence of people in her poetry – if that makes sense.  I normally don’t like poems about people’s children either – I find them very boring normally – but there are exceptions and this is one of them!  I find this very moving – and it’s not just about a child, I don’t think.  I think it’s also about what it means to grow up in our society, what it means to grow up as a female in our society…I also like Don Paterson’s poems about his twins.  They’re not boring.  !

Rachel McGladderylives in rural Lancashire. She has 4 children, 2 cats and a dog.  Rachel regularly performs at live literature events around the North West and has both poetry and reviews widely published online, in anthologies, most recently the soon to be launched ‘Sculpted’ and also in magazines. She won the Lennon Poet 2010 competition, awarded by Carol Ann Duffy. She is currently working on her first collection and poetry source material for use in schools and she says she would love to hear from prospective publishers willing to offer HUGE sums of money in order to stop her from having to get a proper job.

I hope you enjoy!

You move like Mowgli – Rachel McGladdery

You move like Mowgli.
My jungli.
My wild girl.
Leap-frogger of bollards.
Wall-clamberer.
Runner-with-your-school-socks-falling-down.

Don’t change,
yet,
oh writer of most min-i-at-ure love notes
to your friends, and me.
don’t stop singing,
in your nasal way, off-key
the narration of your life when you think that no-one’s listening.
I see ‘the false’ encroaching
I see a polish, a finish,
a veneer approaching
and even though I’d like to keep it back with kisses
I recognize the day
of growing up and in’s not far away.

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3 responses »

  1. Hi Mick
    I will double check with Rachel, but I did copy and paste this poem, so I don’t think I’ve made a mistake. I think what she means is growing inward, becoming more self-conscious. I’ve heard her read this poem as well, and I think she says ‘growing in’ there as well….but I will check!

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