Now

A moment of calm … my grandchild asleep in her pushchair, sunlight pouring through the back windows, Gregorian Chant low in the background … what more could I want?

When I was teaching, a favourite lesson was to ask the class to sit in silence and write down anything that came into their heads – observations, stray thoughts, whatever – and then to turn the notes into a poem called Now. I would work alongside them on my own poem, which gave a valid reason for silence – teacher at work, do not disturb! I would encourage them to read their own poems by reading mine, first or last depending on their response. Private reading in the library only worked when I was reading too and could glare balefully at them over my glasses for disturbing me …

silence

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