While on lifeguard duty early this morning - I'm not normally afforded the time but today was unusually quiet - I wrote some poems (onto tissue, the only type of paper available).
Disclaimer: I'm not as unhappy as the poems are or as unhappy as they no doubt make me appear. However, getting up at 4.50am, travelling to a job I don't particularly enjoy, via two night buses instead of the tube in order to get there on time and still somehow managing to be late - through no fault of my own - can put you on a bit of a downer.
However, once the sun came up - an hour or so into my shift - like the sky, my mood lightened. Although, unfortunately I don't really write happy poems and so when my mood improved the writing stopped.
Not that I'm saying I need to be unhappy to write. Not at all. But it certainly seems to help sometimes.
They no doubt need some more editing time but here are some of the poems I wrote:
4.50am is no time to be waking up
4.50am deep in the Forest, in a shared house
where only the loneliest of beasts dwell.
Just 4 hours into what should be a nights sleep
the violent alarm wakes me from a nightmare.
Edges blurred I'm not sure where I am
and as my tired brain slowly wakes itself
I imagine that I died during the summer.
That I walked into on coming motorway traffic.
For my sins I have been dealt an eternity
of waking up at 4.50am - not a time to be waking up -
to cycle through the cold and dark of the urban forest
where homes, kebab houses and fabric shops replace trees.
To an endless job of bad pay and unsociable hours,
where time seeps slower than an egg timer filled with treacle.
And although the media is a constant reminder
that things could certainly be a lot worse.
I can't help but feel as though I'm trapped,
deep in the forest feeling frustrated and weary.
Alone in my own personal hell!
4.50am really is no time to be waking up.
Under one long strip of grey raincloud
stretching out for eternity
I cycle lonely as a nimbus
down the eternity that is Lea Bridge Road.
Fighting against the weather,
cars, vans, lorries, buses
and even other cyclists
I take stock.
I don't regret buying my bike
but on cat and dog day afternoons like these,
wet through with rain
and many more miles of tarmac
still laid out in front.
I can't help but wish
I was riding the warm, dry tube instead.
Sunrise over Waitrose
As the sun rises over Waitrose
I start to feel a little better
and the impulse to text you
starts to wain.
I sit on the humid poolside,
my back against the cold window
and write poetry about how unhappy I am.
Looking over my shoulder,
I watch the sky above Waitrose
as it changes from black to blue.
I think about my bruised heart
and how - although very slowly -
it is finally starting to heal.