Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Maloney, A Stranger’s Table, trees and poems

Lovely to see Maloney’s Law on both Amazon Canada and Barnes & Noble in the States today. Well, gosh. And PD Publishing have asked me to make a list of places/people who would be willing to review the book, so that’s my main task tonight. Ooh and at work the lovely Stuart in Marketing has put Maloney on the University intranet – what a star. He even mentioned the book’s shortlisting for the Harry Bowling Novel Prize. Cheque’s in the post, Stuart!...

Also nice to see that A Stranger’s Table on Lulu UK now has a sales rating on it. I am Number 117,489, which for me is pretty good, I must say. My work here is done, Carruthers, time to retire …

Anyway, I’ve been slogging away at work creating another option for our Personal Tutors’ Handbook, which this time divides it into two sections for (a) basic, vital information and (b) stuff that’s interesting, plus an index – and weirdly I’ve found I do quite enjoy doing indexes. Makes everything seem more contained and controllable, you know. Yes, I know that’s a false reality, but hey a nice one nonetheless. Not only that, but I feel it may well be the version we end up going with, double hurrah. After that, I’ve got the themed (that’s a nice, executive word …) version of the Awayday report to do. Ye gods, I am indeed the archetypal secretary. And (mutter it not in the byways …) the Queen of Mapping …

Today’s office excitement (you have to bear in mind that all our windows are mirrored so people passing on the concrete walkway outside can’t see in. Though it’s ideal for checking one’s appearance, naturally): two young ladies redoing their make-up by use of the window outside the Dean’s office and one of them says – do you ever think there might be some old bloke in an office looking back at us when we do this? To which the Dean’s answer was a yelped yes. Sadly we don’t think they heard him, as there was no reaction before they moved on … Still, it does prove beyond all doubt that no-one knows where we are and that Student Care Services and the Dean are indeed the forgotten offices here at the educational coalface.

At lunchtime, I joined one of the Sports Centre’s themed (that word again!) walks focusing on trees. Which wasn’t too exhausting, thank goodness – I don’t want to tire myself out, you know. Anyway I really enjoyed it and I am now the Godalming Tree Expert. Ho ho. Not only that but I saw parts of the campus I’d never seen before – shame on me. And here’s a poem about something I learnt today:

Dutch elm dance

Burrowing into dead bark,
the beetle plants eggs,
scores fragile skin.

In the silence
sticky spores
flow from fungi,

contaminate the young.
A slow dance of death.
Once awoken

the new beetle,
small disease-carrier,
flies to living bark

and the yellowing begins.
Summer or autumn, the tree
fades to brown,

a parched circle of discolouration.
But death is not final,
there is no mercy in nature.

The elm's suckers remain,
spring up once more -
a twenty year resurrection -

before the cycle begins again:
elm bark beetles, attracted
only to the not yet fully-grown,

carve out the almost-life
of the tree.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for poor Mrs Darwin and that canoe - there's always an alternative view, after all!

The Darwin Case, July 2008
(or One Man and a Canoe)

The nation is shocked
that a mother
could lie to her children
for so long
and so effectively

when all the time
I’ve believed
that secrets, deceit
and downright prevarication

are the only things
holding most families

Not much on TV tonight, sigh … but hey “Bonekickers” last night just gets worse, and therefore better! My, how I love it.

Today’s nice things:

1. Maloney on, Barnes & Noble and the University intranet!
2. A Stranger’s Table having a rating
3. Window amusements
4. Trees
5. Writing two poems.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website


Nik Perring said...

Marvellous poems, Anne - especially liked the second one.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Nik! Glad you liked them.