Acrylic painting by Candia Dixon-Stuart
A quennet for a woman who made a fortune with her pen:
fourth daughter Gloucestershire born Mendip Hills
religious tracts pastoral plays Sunday education
‘strange affair’ Bleeding Rock jilted female
strange plays female education pastoral landscape
Weirdly I wrote this in 2019, before the pandemic. It seems appropriate now…
Life has many lessons: what have I learned?
Maybe I should not have stayed in teaching.
Who was doing the teaching anyway?
And can one really teach old dogs new tricks?
Too much of my life has been about me.
You might be a much better focus now.
Yesterday’s me is different from today’s.
You are a different companion too.
I decided to try and work it out.
Crusoe should have had a calculator!
They say that age is only a number.
Twenty four thousand days I have wasted.
I seek forgiveness for those I have spent
in self-serving; not in others’ service.
Often I did not stand up; be counted,
but I reach out to you through poetry.
TEACH ME TO NUMBER MY DAYS
Numbering can be about gratitude –
that we are here, albeit so briefly.
Rossetti enumerated her love.
Noah counted pairs solicitously.
We count the minutes on The Doomsday Clock:
to reach midnight, we only count to two.
Teach me to number all the days I’ve left,
thus I will eke out all my time with you.
John Donne’s monument in St Paul’s Cathedral ( in his shroud)
Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward
William Dunbar 15th century Scottish poet.
Photo by Stephen C Dickson (Wikimedia)
Scottish National Portrait Gallery
To God be humble,
to thy friend be kind
and with thy neighbour, gladly lend and borrow;
his chance tonight,
it may be thine tomorrow.