And so I Threw Away the Plan

It is an interesting moment in my life, even my writing life. We are exhorted to have a plan. That without a plan we plan to fail. But where is there serendipity? Where is synchronicity? Having been a nicely organised woman for sixty-one years, buying a new diary to calendar the upcoming new year three months in advance of the actual event of New Year, I am declaring myself a calendar-free republic! At least in terms of having long-term plans. I have just seen too many scribbles out over the past two years.

It began in small ways when I stepped back from many evening committments. It has now spread into planning professional engagements. I tried to ordain what the future might hold with tarot cards. But all I could see was a blank space. Some silence. Some time with the page.


And so I threw away the plan

too many crossings-outs on the wall calendar

evidentiary of intent confounded,

a failure to commit to a moment in its prime.

Focus, they say, because failing to plan is

planning to fail.  Feel like a guilty sot.

When plans fail,

when the world is spinning on a new axis

and everything is a bit skewwhiff, upscuttled,

the time space continuum is discontinued.


Diaries have gone digital.  Calendars cyborgs. Just as

emails are now the equivalent of Edwardians’

prompt morning, afternoon, and evening post

when every word travelled first class

(except for the dreaded telegram,

the boy on his bicycle removing his cap

to deliver the black-bordered

news from the War Office.

Until even he was replaced

by a girl.)


Everything changes. Even the moon

was not Herself recently, tensely

going full twice in a calendar moon-th.

I query the stars in the sky,

ask the planets in the courses why.

To plan or not to plan?

Or just always swim upstream

against the current? So it seems.


If not now, when?

The oracles are silent.

No one knows anything anymore.

Not the time.

Or the timing.

Perhaps the tide table (just).

Or (maybe)

still able to read rip tides.


Copyright © Bee Smith 2018

Featured image Photo by Emma Matthews on Unsplash