Vocation. Vocation.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I’m tendrils today. Speak to me, I’ll write a poem. Show me the bark, I’ll plant you a tree. Crash me skyblue, I’ll comfort you a cloud. Stand at the bus reading a novel, I’ll oratorio right back at you in a strange and distant land she stood like no other fearless in the face of contumely. Take me to song and record a melody, I’ll be grounded. (Bullock 2016: n.pag)

This hybrid paper of creative work and critical reflections draws on my writing experience and recent poems, largely in the prose poetry form. I describe feelings of lack of identity, of failure, of sometimes being out of place in the world in the struggle to follow one’s vocation. My vocation is to write poetry. This doesn’t fit well with earning a living. I wanted to write from the age of ten. It was short stories at first, and then poetry kicked in at age 14, which I remember as the moment when I started to think for myself. The unhelpful advice of others attempted to steer me away from such a vocation. They meant well. They didn’t want to see me suffer. Teachers at school and older friends said that I should go to University, but they couldn’t give me a reason that I could relate to. I wanted to travel, and to read what I wanted to read – I had discovered reading for pleasure. There were no books in our house, and the fact that I was vaguely academic was a disaster to my family. Writing poetry made one even more suspect, and a sensibility that is perceived as too sensitive can be bullied or ignored. But this vocation is non-negotiable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAxon: Creative Explorations
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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