# Post card poetry #
I forget now where I saw the first mention of this project, but I remember that I was immediately intrigued, thought for 30 seconds and signed up.
I have been retired for 5 years now and during a full and demanding work life I got used to having to extemporise plans, projects and actions, so how could a post card be hard? I had a stash of cards I had built up over years, starting when we still sent postcards to each other and agonised over their composition.
I picked a selection of cards, some birds, some local places (although I am a Londoner by birth I have been living in Switzerland for 27 years), some places I knew, art from exhibitions I have seen and even a few cards I bought back in the 70’s. These seemed hopeful starts.
I have been writing poems since I was seventeen and always had the view that ‘the first draft is the greatest’ as Rod Stewart sang. In the 90’s after my first marriage failed I started up with poetry again and went along to a writing group and discovered the joys of getting useful feedback and re-drafting, and actually crafting a poem. This project seemed like an edgy way to let that demand go—write a poem, post it off. Say goodbye.
The physical space is also a challenge and there is no feeling like being halfway down a card with no idea how to end it 🙂 The space determines the form in a way, just as a rhyme scheme might, you want to use all the space, so no short lines here, and you can fit about 10 lines in. Depending on your pen, of course. I resolved to write mine with a fountain pen and waterproof ink, no editing, no going back. No cheating with a first draft in pencil or with a very fine pen. I normally started from the picture and I tried to fit in one a day to my schedule (since I retired and my wife still works, and my daughter of 17 is still at school I do the cooking and dog walking).
How was it? Great, it was much fun, there was a certain freedom sending off poems to people I had not met, and the longer I did it, the more ideas seemed to pop up, unexpectedly, and (this is the secret) always welcome. I scanned every out going card and started a collection of the poems and I look back satisfied. And receiving so many cards back has also been a spark in my day, although they are still coming because the post to/from the USA doesn’t seem to be the fastest.
So thanks to Paul and the organisers and all the people that sent me cards, I will certainly be back next year
Buying into this poemcarries a future riskidentified by phrases such as `may’`could lead to’`is like a’`growth’`cancer’.The value of any poem can fallyou may not get backthe time you spent reading,an author’s past performanceis not a guide to future readings.This poem is a medicineask your doctor or pharmacistbefore taking itseriouslystudy the noted side effectsread the package insertbefore it self-destructs.This poem has no rightto remain silent.Everything it sayswill be held against it.It has no rightto be assumedinnocent.