Letting go of clutter—video poetry reading

Bowl of books, pens, tissues, safety pins and other clutter

It’s Friday afternoon, which means it’s time for a short video poetry reading. I like to think you might sit back and watch, and enjoy a few minutes quietly inside your own head.

This time, a couple of poems about decluttering and letting go of stuff. They’re relevant at any age but especially so if you think about yourself as almost old. (Or old. Or even very old.) A certain kind of transformation needs to happen when we have lived a few decades. It’s not just material things that clutter up your life. There’s a sort of psychic clutter that has also got to go.

Both poems are from my new collection, HOW TO BE OLD, published by The Cuba Press.

9 thoughts on “Letting go of clutter—video poetry reading

  1. Elizabeth says:

    These meshed very well with a deep pondering not about the physical stuff but the ways to spend my time. I am realizing that my ideas of what I want to do don’t fit into the time I actually have. I think when younger I lived by the Eliot line “indeed there will be time.” And now I realize that there is less of it than I expected. On a side note your Peter Pan collar reminded me of the “name” blouses in my adolescence. I had one with “Betsy” stitched on it and wore it happily.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      A good deal of such pondering has been brought about in this year of the coronavirus I think. Even if our priorities were clear before this, now they shift at least a little.

      1. Elizabeth says:


    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Good stuff! You and your wife have got it sorted.

  2. cedar51 says:

    I spent quite a lot of time of the last decade sorting/sifting up stuff – both the physical and the mental.

    And I’m on that pathway again with physical stuff – what I find at times, the items I dearly want to keep, but no reason to keep is the most difficult. But if I think I might “miss” or “need” a little, I keep a small selection. I know that in the next “journey” if they haven’t been used, I can deal to them. And actually a number of items have gone the same this time around…actually been rather ruthless!

    In the process, things get disjointed, I will hopefully by Spring got them into dedicated boxes etc, so that if I do need them, they will be easily found..

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Sure, the job is ongoing. But you seem to be on the right path. Sometimes we have to outwit ourselves — tricky!

  3. KENDI KARIMI says:

    This is so wonderful. I love love love it. 🤗

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s terrific — thank you.

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