Anne de Graaf's blog: International-Intrigue-Injustice

16 April 2007

Confessions of a Pirate

Filed under: Cuba Libre,Words by Others,Write on — annedegraaf @ 5:45 pm

me-writing.jpgSo I’m writing the aids survival book. And it’s going slowly, but it’s going well. Someone wiser than me said last night that my blog might also be a good forum for my comments on the writing life. Duh.

So I’m showing you a photo taken in February, of me in Cuba, writing inside a piracy museum; I felt like I belonged there.

And I’m sharing a poem that sheds light on the foggy ebb and flow that is creativity. This is how I have felt these last weeks as I played tag with the shore—running up to the ocean, gathering a few pieces of treasure brought to me by the sea, and running back to my cave.

The best part is, I’m spending more time at the beach.

Pirates and oceans, what am I really trying to say? That two weeks ago I felt like I came through to the other side of a waterfall.

From the Frontier of Writing

The tightness and the nilness round that space
when the car stops in the road, the troops inspect
its make and number and, as one bends his face

towards your window, you catch sight of more
on a hill beyond, eyeing with intent
down cradled guns that hold you under cover,

and everything is pure interrogations
until a rifle motions and you move
with guarded unconcerned accelerations—

a little emptier, a little spent
as always by that quiver in the self,
subjugated, yes, and obedient.

So you drive on to the frontier of writing
where it happens again. The guns on tripods;
the sergeant with his on-off mike repeating

data about you, waiting for the squawk
of clearance; the marksman training down
out of the sun upon you like a hawk.

And suddenly you’re through, arraigned yet freed,
as if you’d passed from behind a waterfall
on the black current of a tarmac road

past armour-plated vehicles, out between
the posted soldiers flowing and receding
like tree shadows into the polished windscreen.
—Seamus Heaney

Blog at