Friday, 9 September 2016

An Everyman's Portfolio of Wishful Thinking


Few of us can say in all honesty that we have no regrets, and have made no mistakes. Even so, there is no point in crying over spilt milk. (As good a philosophy as any, I say.) Besides, sometimes we need to make mistakes in order to discover our true path in life; we can but try and learn from them and move on. Life is a learning curve, after all.

When I look back at my worst mistakes I can also see how some good has come from having made them. Whatever, if you want to do something badly enough, I wholeheartedly agree with giving it a go; if it turns out to be a mistake, better regret having tried and failed than wonder how things might have turned out. [Story of my life…]

I am often asked by heterosexual readers if I regret including gay-interest poems in my collections and if it has damaged my reputation as a poet in the wider arena. The answer is ‘no’ to the first question. As for the second…yes, it has probably adversely affected my reputation as a poet in the wider arena (and why the arts media practically ignore me) but…no, I have no regrets.

I can't expect to please everyone with every poem I write (nor do I exclude myself) but have received some lovely emails from readers all over the world who enjoy reading them. What poet can ask for more?

Oh, and do feel free to email me any time on any subject. I will always reply as soon as I can. If you don’t like my poetry, but still want to exchange points of view, no problem. Contact rogertab@aol.com; with ‘Blogs’ or ‘Poems’ in the subject field ot it will not be opened.

This poem is a kenning,

AN EVERYMAN’S PORTFOLIO OF WISHFUL THINKING

I move without favour or prejudice
among men, women, children;
To whoever calls me out, I will
always answer, no one denied
the music I bring, Blues I sing;
rich, poor, famous, infamous, saints
and sinners…welcome to tap
into a wisdom some like to call Fate,
lessons learned too late

I touch without favour or prejudice
the loose thread missing a button,
that odd sock, empty vase in rooms
yawning with boredom for what’s
on TV and must have heard that CD
a thousand times (surely?) though
any sound has to be better than none,
answerable (finally) to a plaintive purr
beside a lap tray set for one

I bury without favour or prejudice
forgotten dreams, misspent ideals,
all wishful thinking on falling stars
meant to light a kinder, better world
that’s not meant to be though
we mull over old letters, photos, poems,
home videos…as dead as the cat
whose meow we miss and listen for
at every mealtime

Call me Regret, configuring half-lies
for poetry’s own Bridge of Sighs

Copyright R. N. Taber 2007; 2016


[Note: A slightly different version of this poem appears under the title 'Regret' in 1st eds. of Accomplices to Illusion by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books 2007; revised ed. in e-format in preparation.]

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