Editor Christopher Writes – #PoemADayForAYear: 20/05/15

Sometimes I think I do not read enough.

Sometimes I know I do not read enough.

There’s something quite magical about reading.

Not being whisked away on mystery tours of

the imagination, the swirls of colours

that make up the mind’s eye being shaped into

landscapes, room, foregrounds, back-drops,

faces, clothes, smells, sights, sounds

by the words on the page and the care

with which they are crafted.

It is not the genuine deep emotions we feel for

characters we care about,

sadness or empathy with tragedy,

true fear at moments of terror.

Reading is not also just amazing

for the things we learn from what we read,

our knowledge and world view shaped

by stories on pages.

Reading is…is…

When I was 10, my father took me on

holiday to Scotland in a camper van.

My bed was located above the driver’s cabin

and, try as he might, he could not stop it leaking

when it rained, and on this holiday,

it rained a lot. On the first night,

we stayed on a car park by a cliff.

The camper van was not the sturdiest of things

and was being ragged around by the wind

and it sounded like a million machines guns were peppering

the sides all at once all night.

I got into bed scared by the storm and

that we were going to be blown over the edge

and missing home. I reached into my bag

and pulled out a torch and a book –

a Goosebumps one I think –

and read until I fell asleep.

As I read, my fear dripped away

down my body until it joined the flood at

the bottom of my bed.

I huddled under the duvet with the torch,

bundled into a ball and felt relaxed,

no longer scared – not by the storm anyway.

R. L. Stine knew how to shit kids up.

Being curled up with a book and letting the world

ebb away is a very unique, very human experience.

Reading makes us better, more human,

for whatever that is worth.

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