Sorry, the dog ate my muse

Here’s a thing what I wrote as an antidote to all those sickeningly smug blog posts and articles about the (I’ve lost count how many) “good habits of all successful people”. Because yeah, we all get up at 5am, run 10 miles, meditate, mindfully smash an avocado and read a chapter of War and Peace before starting work, don’t we?

Can you remember that horrible feeling on a Sunday afternoon as Songs of Praise droned in the background and the spectre of homework loomed? Well I don’t think it ever left me. I just managed to suppress it, become an epic procrastinator, a paper shuffling martyr, a daydreamer, a desk rearranger…

I always delivered though, and there was only one Monday morning when I had to say, “sorry, the dog ate my homework.” It wasn’t my dog, but neither was it a lie.

Drifting into late adulthood, as if I needed any proof that I still possess the same lazy habits and lack of drive of my teenage years, this is it. I was tasked with writing a poem ahead of a mentored session of self-development that would get me doing things I used to do before work took over – like writing poems. I can’t work out if this was a success or not. All I know is, my standard M.O. kicked in and it got a result, however self-fulfilling.


8.31am 6 April

With one eye on the clock
Waiting for the knock
You don’t get to choose
When the deadline is your muse.

In the panic to unlock
A stubborn creative block
When there’s nothing left to lose
The deadline is my muse.

It’s not come as a shock
This wall, this granite block
Just me in my own shoes
I’ve missed you, my old muse.

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