Desperate times call for desperate paddling

This week’s headlines haven’t been encouraging –

Chinese political appointments, White House firings, school shootings, old Russian spies falling like flies, fake news threats and reactive legislation, fish strangled by plastic bags, weirder and weirder weather

And nothing I can do about any of it except

Doodle something

Dogs desperately paddling.jpeg
Write something

some days are like
dogs
desperately paddling
across
a mother river
dotted with styrofoam bubbles
hidden under purple hyacinth
matting over red-silt
sliding
from sacred mountains
where puffy plastic bags
shelter in dreamed-up snow-drifts
melting into run-offs
flooding
that contested southern sea
haunted by the ghosts of gill-nets
which drift unheeding
through those nine-dash lines
already settled
in the great minds
of those great leaders
heedless
of us
desperately trying
to stay afloat
above the roiling river
it’s bed
fleshed thick
with silenced tongues.

Sometimes words help

Do you agree?
What do you do in desperate times?
Let us know…

Comments
4 Responses to “Desperate times call for desperate paddling”
  1. Brilliant. Your poem sums it up – not just the words but the ‘roiling’ feeling.

    • Audrey Chin says:

      Glad you like it. Yup… desperate. That’s what the times are. And we’re still here! That’s something… Or is it? Thanks for always connecting Mary.
      BTW what was that name-press in your last blog for? What is the Little Mermaid project?

      • Well, yes, we are still here! Hanging by slim threads of reason. Topsy turvy world, isn’t it?
        I’m having the story I re-wrote a couple of Christmases ago – A Little Match Girl – printed up letterpress – the re-telling brings in the story of the Match girls’ strike of 1888 that Thel mentions. I learned about it at the People’s History Museum in Manchester (lefty version of history, as you might imagine!) who said they would stock it in their shop. I’ve been let down twice by illustrators over the last 18 months and have given up and gone for page ornamentation and quaint old letterpress. I plan to set up an online sales option in case anyone here feels moved to buy it 😉
        Interesting you wrote ‘Little Mermaid’ – as she features in my novel, The Half Life of Caroline Broadbent, of which, I hope, more anon. Probably a long wait anon!
        I liked your book, by the way, terrific sense of place and cultural insights – but don’t ask me any more about it – it’s so long since I read it I’ve forgotten the detail – I always do, it’s not just you!!!

      • Audrey Chin says:

        ah- Match Girl… not Mermaid… That’s another book

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