Sunday, 19 July 2015

A Variation on the Tortoise and the Hare


Dear Reader,

I am going to tell you today about the following poem and why I wrote it.  I went to a rather boring poetry workshop  for a three day course and met there other poets.  Not that they weren't very nice but they were all very intense and there weren't many jokes to be had.  On the last day we were asked to write a poem with the idea of a myth or a fable as its subject.  I don't know any myths so I had to rely on my rather vague memories of fables read to me as a child.  We had only an hour to produce something and racing against time I produced the following poem and hope you enjoy it.

A Variation on the Tortoise and the Hare

The tortoise, shell-encased,
shy and timid,
was fond of quiet places.
He ate lettuce sandwiches,
drank bottled water
and did deep breathing exercises.
He was slow alright,
but kept on "keeping on", getting there,
although a little fearful
of what life can bring.

Then, he discovered anxiety pills
and grew bolder,
he opinionated more,
rejected lettuce,
ate avocado and prawn cocktails,
drank vodka,
and tried his hand at salsa dancing.
Confidence changed him.
He became the hare.

Ah ha the hare.

This hare spoke his mind.
He jumped and danced
texted and mobiled friends,
arranged outings,
and had a ball.
But the Gods were watching him,
they sent a "don't forget card"
to remind him of his tortoise life,
his quiet life,
the life that was right and good
for a tortoise.

He threw the anxiety pills away
and slowly his shell grew back,
he started reading again,
he talked less,
thought more,
enjoyed lettuce sandwiches
and drank bottled water.
He became the tortoise
that he was meant to be.

Musing this week:

Am I the only person to not appreciate the Pluto landing which seems to have caused so much excitement.  It is a very long way to go and, I think, took thirteen years to achieve. When you finally arrive it all looks grey,  grim looking, and empty.  No nice spots for a picnic or a  pretty country walk, no birds, no flowers,  in fact nothing, I would say, to recommend it.

Best wishes, Patricia

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