Ten Years Learning How To Be A Poet – Part One: Submitting And Publishing

2022 marks ten years since I first read my own poetry in front of a live audience. I was lucky enough to be invited to respond to the displays at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery in Shropshire. My poem ‘The Boats’ was perhaps one of the shortest pieces on the launch night, and I was also horribly late due to a misread signpost, but it was a fantastic experience and one that pushed me towards open mics. I will not sure share the bio that I wrote for the Shrewsbury Museum, as quite honestly, I reread it and cringed. I was far more confident as an eighteen-year-old than I am at twenty-eight, which raises the question of what else may have changed about me and my poetry since then. What have I managed to learn over ten years of writing, performing, and publishing? More importantly, would it make a good series for my blog? Somewhat wonderfully, I have poetry on display in a museum again this year, this time in Nantwich, Cheshire. It seems like a very good point to pause, and take stock.

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Down To Dregs – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

I find enough dregs in this coffee cup
to stay past closing,
beyond the last click of the latch catching
and the solid drone of the dishwasher ending
the soft clink, clink, clink of glasses settling
back into their neat, tidy shelves.

We listen to the distant dissonant clamour
of other lingering loiterers,
drifting through honeyed darkness,
a slow breath seeping
out, out, out,
like a last.

My own chest filled with gurgle, and cackle,
a sunken, sodden conversation
I dread to dredge up.
Embellish the quiet with a sudden, empty sigh
your own tense shoulders easing
when I finally chose the word goodnight.

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When The Muse Spits Blood – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

These gums are splinter strewn with pencil shards
from musing on ideas,
chewing the fat,
picking bones from the meat of a thought
until it sits on the page just right
stripped to sinew,
muscles drawn tight
pure power
in a few dangerous words.

Speculative Fiction Prompt – January 2022

It’s a new year, and in the spirit of 2022, the speculative fiction prompt is back! On the first of each month there will be a new image for writers to use to inspire work. We accept all styles of writing, be that a poem, a short story, of a chapter for a novel. This prompt was originally the brainchild of D Wallace Peach over at Myths of the Mirror. Writing and Works took over 2019 and it went on hiatus at the start of the pandemic.

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Baby’s First Year – Welcoming Christmas

This year I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to take part in a poetry advent calendar over at ‘Sarah Writes Poems’. Make sure to pop over and check out the full calendar in all it’s Christmassy glory.

Sarah writes poems

We have wrapped this first Christmas in red paper.
Bow around the box to keep the anticipation
from jumping out of its cardboard hiding place
beneath our artificial tree with twinkly lights
all aglitter in their reflections on dark windows,
your face just as much a bulb of brilliance
when your smile lights the spark behind your eyes
and joy rushes into our room early
leaps onto the bedding and laughs
at all these presents we are opening
too much in love with each other
to contain ourselves.

I love this poem about baby’s first Christmas. It’s so full of love and joy.

Carol J Forrester is a writer, history geek, and new mum. Her time is spent balancing dirty nappies, half-finished poems, and ever vanishing book marks. Somewhat obsessed with mythology and folklore, ancient deities often sneak into her writing and she spends too much money on books her…

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