My series poem Clear Sailing was published at Bewildering Stories last week and Don Webb asked some interesting questions about it so I responded and the response is up HERE

I like to respond to Don’s challenge questions because they make me see my own work in quite a different light. For instance, when I was writing this the references to Mars and Wales seemed to come out of nowhere. I literally was writing 13 sections about a bottle of water I’d just bought before my Carte Blanche session. I noticed it came from Brecon and I know Brecon, I lived 14 years in South Wales. It made me feel a little ‘homesick’ but for a place that is really not my home. Don’s question about the references to Wales and Mars made me think about that recurrent theme in my poetry – alienation. And that it is indeed recurrent. That one crops up unbidden, in various forms, all the time.

That train of thought continued and developed but the poem you see published is barely half its original length. These thoughts condensed into the finished poem and on the way – for a poem is a journey in itself – it began to flow into the rhythms and sounds it has now as I chiseled away at the words. That was when I decided to remove all the punctuation. Some of it was punctuated and some not.

The decision to remove punctuation also informed changes in the Mars stanza. The voice of that stanza was originally the planet speaking to the bottle but that wouldn’t work without standard speech marks – it became confusing. So the punctuation issue that Don raised was more than relevant to the poem. It was vital in its construction.

More than a paean to water, Don said. Well in the ode stanza that begins ‘eau’ 😉 my wee smirk towrds Babel and babble, water’s real role as life-giver and enhancer and necessity is very clear (no pun intended) in the line

“…every context of your vital art”

every context for me being, art, language, science, concept, industry, change… Anyway we think about any ‘thing’ enhances that thing and enhances our knowledge and perceptions of our world and of ourselves. I write poetry to discover who and what I am. Who was it who described the universe in terms of God’s exploratrion of himself? I’ll try to find that out – or you tell me… Anyway, that is the creative process as I see it.

To follow further the discussion of PUNCTUATION go HERE