[Life Story]

Prompt: Tell us your life story in 30 words.

Thoughts before creating:

Shipwrecked me – emotions I did not want from memories I keep at arms length…

Tell us your life story in 30 words…

If only it were that simple. Condensing 64 years into 30 words, one for each two years.

I have struggled with this and it is no one’s fault but my own.

The Creation:

I cannot tell this particular story in thirty words:
 
Widnes son
words blind dreamer
 
owa’ Barry’s the clever one
 
I bobbed in his wake
a school somnambulist                            dreamed my first poem at twelve
 
until till I.C.I.                                                  bad poet for many years
                                                                        
cold reality
woke me up
 
a tradesman?
a fitter...forever?
 
NOT ME
 
my parents thought me puddled
giving up a good job for this
 
but I threw myself in                                                   started to get the hang of it 
and I swam                                                                   got serious
and Marjons opened my mind
and I met my wife
 
then Somerset by accident
I had intended to return to the North
 
Comm. Ed to social services
seconded social work student                                                 still writing
to hostel manager to network manager
 
father once
then twice
and two years later 
widower                                                                                     it kept me sane
 
LOST
 
no career trajectory now
poor paul 
 
LOST
 
wrong time                                                                                  Fire River Poets
wrong woman
wrong marriage
 
a hell I fought my way out of                                                     and I wrote
 
slow rebuild                                                                     First book: Burning Music
amazing children 
through all this I held their horizons open                          
you can be anything
 
right time                                                                            
right woman                                                            
 
I met my third wife                                                                    
happiness 
two children at university
redundancy                                                                       
twenty four years services
shown the door
resulting bitterness
 
scuffled                                                                                Juncture 25
                                                                                            Blessed By Magpies
 
then back to Marjons
student support
 
a poet in Torquay nearing his retirement...

Thoughts/notes post creation:

I make it 50 lines but don’t believe me dyscalculia makes numbers interesting and has gotten worse as I’ve got older.
 
There you have it.
 
Phew! 
 
That was difficult.
 
Two areas I did not want to revisit my first wife’s death, though I think I have come to terms with that twenty six 
years on, and the bad second marriage. I have difficulty believing she was not a bad person. 
When I think of her at all.
 
I have to say this was the most difficult prompt I’ve ever had, and I know that I made it so.
 
I almost gave you 30 poems but I thought that was cheating.

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