another scrap of paper for the bin?

Here’s a little villanelle about not giving up, seems appropriate for these dark days and tired times. As always you can hear it on audioboo by clicking the play button, if it appears for you, or else clicking on the title. This poem was published in 2013 in my new book of poems The Singing Bowl


Perhaps this poem’s just another write-off,
Another scrap of paper for the bin.
So, should I struggle on or turn the light off?

My muse, maybe, has booked another night off
Without her help I can’t even begin.
Perhaps this poem’s just another write-off.

And yet I can’t forget what I caught sight of;
A grace I mustn’t lose, but cannot win,
So, shall I struggle on, or turn the light off?

I’m weighted by the love I most make light of,
I cast aside what’s not yet counted in.
Could I presume to recognise a write-off?

It is despair itself that I must fight off
When giving up feels just like giving in
So, do I struggle on, or turn the light off?

There’s something here to salvage, something right off
Life’s radar, or else underneath her skin.
Since I’m redeemed, (and I was once a write-off)
I’ll struggle on until they turn the light off.


Filed under literature, Poems

6 responses to “Salvage

  1. David Grieve

    ‘Writing anyway’ regains rhythm in Museless times.
    I think it’s optional whether or not it rhymes

    • malcolmguite

      So heres a rhythmic clickety clak,
      To practice till my errant muse gets back
      she hears afar, my longing in that rhythm
      and smiles and says ‘he wants me- I’ll be with him’!

  2. Somehow the villanelle seems a deeply pleasing form for themes such as this – there’s something about its breezy rhythm and its repetitions that is exactly suited to plain old sruggling on!

  3. Ed

    I’ve printed this out for my wife – I think she’ll enjoy it!

  4. Pingback: Villanelle: A poem with a pulse | All Nine

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