Fast work if you can get it

” Wisely, and slow. They stumble that run fast,” said Shakespeare, indubitably talking about me and the perils of fast work.

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Fast work (at least, trying to work TOO fast) probably doesn’t pay in the field of copywriting or proofreading. Accuracy is key. That’s not to say I work SLOWLY – it’s a balance between speed and efficiency, that’s all.

With creative writing? Another matter entirely.

Creative writing class on Monday. I’ve already blogged about speed writing assignments which somehow force my brain…no, ALLOW my brain… to pour forth some completely uninhibited stuff that sometimes seems to work.

The same applies to homework.

It’s 3 p.m. on Monday afternoon. I haven’t done my homework.

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I have lots of work-work to do between now and leaving for the class at 7 p.m. Fast work it’ll have to be!

I don’t like going to classes without having done my homework. First, I’m a goody-two-shoes teacher’s pet. Second, it’s a waste of an opportunity of having my work heard and assessed by other people.

Okay then, I’ll DO it. Quickly. Poems are quick. The subject? ‘The birthday present.’ NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! More slushy sentimentalism opportunities. (Remember, I DON’T DO NICE.)

Subvert, Caroline. Subvert. You have ten minutes.

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My title -‘The greatest gift of all’ – a gushing load of…gush…from Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Find it on YouTube if you want gush.


The greatest gift of all

The only noise is a soft…blip…blip… and the incessant gargling of in-out breathing through a tube.
White ceiling tiles, like slices of bread waiting to be sandwiches, form his sky.
He calls out to let them know he’s awake, but he can’t hear himself, his tongue a big, sticky glob.
She squeezes his hand. Tells him she loves him, through a veil of tears.
But he doesn’t know who she is.
Still, love can never be bad, wherever it finds you.
In to his line of vision, candles splutter on a cake he’ll never eat.
“Happy birthday, darling,” she says.
Why, is this the day he’ll be born again?
That would be happy.
The sound of the switch is soft.
His sky turns to thunder black
And lightning forks electricity through his chest.
His last thought. Thank you.
She clicks life into the switch again, blows out the candles.
Both they and he beyond reignition.

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Fast work if you can get it …and you can get it if you try.

Or don’t try?

(The poem was chosen to feature on the website.)

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