Downsizing the downsizing plan—instant poem

Iceland poppies and orange California poppies growing lush with feathery dill and sunflowers
Shall we upsize Nature and downsize our stuff?

A downsizing plan

After 6 hours 48 minutes asleep
(according to my phone)
I sprang out of bed
did the preprandials 
at double speed
because Wednesday keeps 
in its cardboard kayak
the remaining dates
of this peak week 
downsized to four:
a social sea-swim
plate-glass Pilates
a friendly scone 
and (maybe) Hula by Zoom.

Then my brain gave a hint
that it planned to go slushy
to punish me 
for smashing
its floating routine 
so I said OK brain
my good little brain
you done good work
in last week's mandatory 
RAT-bitten writer's retreat.
Take a sick day. Take radio.
Take Middlemarch by audio.
Take your eyes away 
from the screen.

And thus we have floated
(my brain and I)
through a zig-zag day
and Raffles is dead
his sleazy secret 
off like an eel
and Bulstrode has got his come-uppance
and Rosamund is mourning her stuff
and my clipboard is spattered
with a grandiose plan 
to downsize three rooms into one
for no reason except I was empty
and one day I might have to 
and it could be a painful sort of fun.

But my downsizing plan
needs downsizing
into a million
tiny eggs

~ Rachel McAlpine (to be amended)

(I know. These are not sonnets. But thanks for pointing it out.)

PS I have heard that Rosamund and Tertius have been engaged to star in Married At First Sight Middlemarch.

PPS This is my third encounter (at least) with Middlemarch by George Eliot, and this time I’m listening to the audiobook provided free by LIBBY, a public library app. So much depends on the reader, and this reader, Juliet Aubrey, is perfect.

Screenshot of Audiobook of Middlemarch by George Eliot on LIBBY
Audiobook of Middlemarch by George Eliot on LIBBY

14 thoughts on “Downsizing the downsizing plan—instant poem

  1. I love your poem. It’s exactly what it’s like when plans go awry – and what an ambitious day was planned! Upsizing Nature sounds great to me.

  2. Your poem is a perfect representation of a busy day and more busyness tomorrow!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It was fun to write, at the end of the day. What a mishmash.

  3. Delightful!! I read you lovely, whimsical poem while lying in bed. Normally we’d be walking, but rain was beating on the window. Our beginning routine was downsized.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Heaven in a grain of sand…

  4. Your posts consistently delight my addled Canadian wintered brain. I’m hugging out my downsized, zig zagging brain. I appreciate you.

  5. josaiawrites says:

    Perfect. I’m downsizing my grandiose, unrealistic downsizing plan…..I doubt that anyone would write “terrible downsizer and declutterer” on my tombstone… And if they did, who cares?

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Insightful, Josaia! Or as my grandson would say, profound!

  6. I’m all for upsizing nature, and we are downsizing stuff – slowly slowly!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That’s the way!

  7. Ally Bean says:

    Middlemarch is one of those novels I think I *should* read but never have. Your experience with listening to it gives me an idea…

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Great ! Your ideas tend to be pretty interesting ones… I find that an incompatible reader (or too dramatic, too flat, too amateurish) is a huge deterrent with audio books. I heard the Penguin version. Read by Juliet Aubrey.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I first read “Middlemarch” in college the semester I had for some insane reason taken “The Nineteenth Century Novel,” basically 750 pages a week. I got through it but that was all. Then I read it through as an adult and appreciated it very much. Then, like you, I listened to it. That made me slow down and really absorb the descriptions which I certainly had rushed through the previous two time.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Fancy: the identical process! It’s a book that returns throughout life.