The Poetry Daily harks back to some art I saw in Glasgow on my visit in May. I was really attracted by a series of three oils on board by Lois Green called Sevenish. I love domesticity elevated to art. Women writers and artists often get criticised for  using domestic settings and themes. When they go against that rubric I want to ‘Hurray!’ When these subjects are deemed museum worthy I feel the world turns a little more in favour of ‘women’s work’, recognising its value and validating it. When a theme for poetry practice doesn’t immediately leap to mind in the morning, artwork that moved me on a museum or gallery visit is there in my iPad to inspire.  Green’s 7am portrait is definitely not at high summer, wheras mine is rooted in this season. 

But I do seem to be still on a five line jag. Not using yesterday’s formula, but a syllabic pattern of my own devising.

In reverse order Sevenish 3,2,1

And my version in five parts.


The only chat is with the cats.

The bed is tossed. A book is lost.

Bright sun. No cloud. Farm machines sound loud.

The sink fills up with cups and plates.

It’s still early. But feels so late.

Copyright 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.


Not a Normal Morning

Jo! It’s happened again. Overnight the aliens abducted your friend and she is all weird and full of get up and go on rising.

As my husband, family members, or any friends who have inhabited communal space with me know, Barbara is not a Chatty Cathy in the morning. As my friend Nigel once said, ” The body has come downstairs. The spirit will arrive in another fifteen minutes.” We observe radio silence in the house in the morning. Even young children in my care learned early, radio silence is sacrosanct. You do not want to tamper with the tender and fragile early morning instrumentation in this vessel.

Except this morning I woke up like this.

Once, I did wake up all bouncy and conversational. That was after a sound bath the night before. My friend Diarmuid asked me, “Why are you so talkative this morning?” and my perky reply was, “I’ve been up since 5am.” And Jo, still nursing her first cup of coffee, was thinking “Goddess, please make her shut up! We liked the other version of her better.”

None of these circumstances apply. I had an uninterrupted nine hours sleep. I cleaned for forty-five minutes, for feck’s sake, before I even switched on the kettle for my morning beverage. Which is the morning ritual. Let dog out. put kettle on. Make tea. Let dog back in. Start writing.

I’m freaking myself out!


Mornings are not usually
turbo charged.
I'm a one litre kinda gal
without much
pick up to get up and motor
into day.

What happened overnight?
Did someone
go tinker under my bonnet?
Turbo charge
my morning engine, change spark plugs,
my fuel injection system?

Because this is one alien
this morning
in my body, tearing into
some cleaning!
Before the writing! And that is
mind blowing,
disorienting. And just plain
so not me.

Maybe aliens abducted
the old me,
coughing engine, shoddy body work,
some weird kind of new circuitry
that make me
go all handmaiden to the cats
who really
have inherited my planet..

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Excuse me while I just go clean my very dirty house before the battery in the robot that invaded my body overnight runs flat. Women writers are not particularly famous for being enthusiastic housekeepers.

Featured image Photo by Charlotte Coneybeer on Unsplash