When I was at primary school I wrote a poem.
I can’t remember any other poems I wrote or short stories I attempted. Primary school is a bit of a blur, as I assume it is for most over thirties. The only other work I remember is a science homework where we had to think of a mnemonic for the order of the planets. My older brother had had the same homework 4 years before and my mother was not prepared to come up with a new idea, so I submitted the same homework to the same teacher as he had done before me.
My Vest Eats Muddy Jam Sandwiches Under Naughty Parrots
(Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto)
I remember writing the poem, sat in a classroom on my own. I have no idea why, unless I was in some sort of detention. I decorated the sides of the paper with an entwined pillar design. In silver pen. That I can picture clearly in my mind, because I spent so long on it.
Even then, aged 9, I felt I had written something brilliant. I don’t presume to think it was amazing by any one else’s standards, I was not a child genius. It was a masterpiece by my own standards though.
I had written a poem that made me feel strong emotions. Sad, a sense of loss, loneliness. It had a depth to it that was intense enough that even now, whenever I think of that poem, I experience a wistfulness and need to read it again.
The sad end to this tale is that I cannot remember the poem itself.
I can remember the beginning, I recall there was staring out at the landscape. Maybe it was the sea. I think it was implied the death of his wife. But that is all that I recall, except for the feelings it engendered.
So – here is the beginning of my poem. Maybe I will write a new ending one day. Perhaps you can suggest one for me?
“The old man sat in his rocking chair”
Having written this post, it occurred to me to look up the words, in case I had accidentally plagiarised some published author. Interestingly, there are other poems that begin with the same line. But, they are not my poem. I don’t recognise them. So, unless I can find it in a forgotten folder somewhere in my mother’s loft with other priceless pieces of childhood work she has saved, it seems I have lost it forever.