#atinylife subs

Submissions are open!

submissions

I’m delighted to announce that submissions are open for my anthology, Lanterne Rouge: The Last. I have managed to raise enough funding to pay each chosen poet £50, and I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. There ain’t no money in poetry, as Guy Clark said. Well, usually there isn’t…

Here is a link to my submissions page. All of the details for your submission should be here. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

In terms of what I’m looking for, poetry is such a subjective old thing, I’m afraid I can’t say much beyond ‘poems that I like.’ I will be looking for work that fits the theme well – and bear in mind, it’s not ‘the first,’ it’s ‘the last.’

I can’t wait to read your submissions. Please tell your friends!

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Cheryl Smith: #atinylife Sleep

I slept till after nine this morning, and I don’t mean dozing, or lazing, or duvet diving. I mean sleeping.

This is the kind of sleep that drags you downwards into bliss, the sleep that triumphs over daybreak, obliterating awareness of the light. Plans made before bedtime are voided and cheerful greetings of the new day are postponed, sometimes indefinitely.

And I love it. I have always loved it. Throughout the teenage years, I especially loved it. During the child-rearing years, I longed for it with the yearning of the abandoned, in despair of ever again having and holding. Then the alarm-clock years, when weekend visitation rights were reinstated and hope was restored.

Now it’s back, fully pledged to me at last, bringing the precious gift of guilt-free slumber into the depth of winter mornings. Welcome home, my lifelong love.

 

Sleep

 

#atinylife the greatest of these is

I may speak in the tongues of yoga and of cycling for miles, but if I still love food, I will become neither svelte nor sinuous. And if I have fast days, or avoid dairy or meat, or if I have all faith, and chunter on about my heart health and how weight is just a number, but still love food, I am not, and will never be thin. If I give away all my Dairy Milks, and hand over my cola bottles, I may kid myself on I’m being ‘good,’ but if I still love food, I gain, um, everything …the greatest of these is

 

Food is patient; food is kind; food does not insist on its own way; it is not as irritable or resentful as I am about societal beauty standards; it rejoices in my ‘wrong’doings.

It rejoices … in my fat rolls.

#atinylife sing

You know I try not to think about male privilege all the time…

Right, now everyone else has clicked off this post – it’s just – OK, I admit that I have never learned to play an instrument. I play oboe, but that doesn’t translate into a folk session environment. I’m lucky to have several people in my life who play the guitar for me – and I’m grateful for each and every one of them.

sing

 

But without them, I can’t sing at a session. The men usually have huge voices, and can sing away. Folk join in, or listen, or sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t matter – because they can be heard.

It doesn’t often happen that I’m at a session without anyone to play for me. But when it does, I’m left feeling less-than. Because my voice, literally can’t be heard.

Cheryl Smith: #atinylife Letter

I wrote an angry letter to the council yesterday.

As you probably know, this is both an art and a science, with rules pertaining to both.

The science bit involves precision. They must be persuaded that they are Just Plain Wrong and should change their minds immediately. Here you must stick to the facts.

But let’s not forget that this is an Angry Letter, and strictly speaking, ‘I find this situation unacceptable’ is a fact too. And there’s the art of it – the invoking of emotion. Of course, the artist has little control over the audience’s response, but I’m hoping for something like contrition that inspires action, which brings us back to the objective – and further from the notion of art.

If it is an art at all, it’s disposable, once it’s achieved its aim. As is the anger, thankfully.

 

Letter.png

#atinylife car scraper

Scraping the car in the morning, I was reminded of how much it reminds me of sitting in the freezing cold watching my Dad do the same thing.

car scraperHow pleasing it was to watch him methodically remove the sugary coating from the windows so we could see out again, the fan blowing so loud we couldn’t hear ourselves think.

Now I have to sort my own car out.

But: I have a car.

I live somewhere with crisp frosty mornings, beautiful clear skies.

I got a new scraper the other day and it’s a good one.

I have my fans going full blast so when I’m ready to drive the car won’t be as cold.

I have excellent, thick waterproof gloves.

And unlike my youngest, I can reach the middle of the windscreen.

 

Just a tinylife job that brings joy!