Plans and Chickens

This is typical of me. I came home with grand ideas and plans. This is a chance to write, I thought. A writing holiday. A chance to prove to myself that, with a bit of dedication and perseverance, I’d come out with some good stuff.

Well, it’s blooming slow going at the start. I’m getting very easily distracted, and the few things I’ve tried to produce over the last few days have been abortive bilge. While this doesn’t bode well if I was hoping for a career in writing – something that takes more perseverance and persistence than I’ve so far exhibited – I’m not giving up. I’m going to tell my family when I’m locking myself in my new office, and that way I’m enforcing my own writing time. I’ve got out a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle, which may seem counter productive, but as a thing to settle my mind down before I write, it’s so far doing ok. And that way I can’t get frustrated about doing absolutely nothing, staring at the keys. And I’m going to go on walks. And not just walks – drives. I’ll try and take myself to “inspirational” places and sit down and with nothing else to do, write. Let’s get this party started, as it were.

Here’s a poem a few of you have seen before. I brought it to my Creative Writing circle,

inside a shed
One's of my father's broiler sheds

thinking I wasn’t that fond of it, but found myself defending my decisions so vehemently that I figured I must have done a few things right. It’s about the huge chicken broiler sheds we have on my Dad’s farm. I’ve not been to see them since I got back, so I couldn’t even tell you how old the current “crop” are.  It’s something like 50,000 chickens per massive shed, although there are less per shed as they get bigger.  As I had to explain patiently to one friend, they are never old enough to lay eggs, and unlike the aforementioned friend, are presumably free of dirty sex thoughts. For him alone, this poem is called “Edenic Chickens!” to hammer the point home.



The lights were dimmed –

chickens falling asleep in

seconds in the dark,

and this vast sea of white backs

stretches into obscurity.


So eager, flighty in the day,

there was something nearly as

cloying as the heat and smell in seeing

thirty thousand birds resting in peace.


Two birds lay touching, one

resting his head on the soft down

cushion of the other’s back.


They seemed happy.

I told myself.

Six weeks old.

* * * * *

That night I couldn’t sleep

tossing and turning at one in the morning.


When the rustle of bedsheets died down,

I heard the distant rumble of lorries over the road,

come to take them away.


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