It felt rather brazen but I did it anyway. After all, I had nothing to lose.
The story starts long ago. Paul has been dead 25 years, and the hole in the centre of me has not diminished. In fact, in recent years, it has got bigger. All my friends are acquiring grandchildren to dote on. I wouldn't want them not to share their pride in their grandchildren as it would make my life even more marginalised. But I cannot help feeling wistful. I have no talisman to throw into the future. I identify with Yeats' "I have no child, only a book". I have several books, but poetry is anti-social; I try to tell, even if in black humour mode, the truth of my situation. It's not a truth for everyone.
So I had a dream, a dream I nourished for a year or more that I would like to hear some of my poems set to music. In the end, I got brave enough to write an explain the dilemma to the eminent NZ composer, Anthony Ritchie. He was willing to undertake the task, selected 7 poems and we have agreed work will be piano, violin but are still deciding on the register of the voice.
The work will be launched for the first time in my living room before it goes public (wow!).
He was up in Christchurch a fortnight ago and played and sang sketches of all 7 songs, which will have the name, 'Thoughts from an inner garden'. Of course, the piano part included the violin part, but even so, to me it sounded lovely and all together is very exciting.