If you look under the ‘poetry’ tag on the WordPress reader, you’ll find more posts than you can shake a stick at. (Or read in a lifetime if I’m honest.) A lot of it is personal poetry, and if you start reading through it, a lot of it uses the same sort of language and the same sort of imagery. Anyone who has written poetry knows that when you start out it’s very easy to write poems designed to ‘sound poetic’. The subject of your poem can quite often get lost in the writing of it. Finding your voice is the most important, and the most difficult part of being a writer. No one picks up a pen for the first time and magically finds it. Part of the way I found my own voice was through poetry workshops and lectures. So for those of you who are interested I thought I’d share one of the writing exercises I’ve scoffed at, and then found quite useful, in the past. Find an object immediately to your …
‘You have a twig,’ he says fingers already picking at the knots and brambles thorned in her hair. ‘There’s a leaf caught,’ powdery fragile in the blonde, whispers of skeleton, rib rack of split ends. ‘Let me get that for you,’ sharp syllables, blunt nails, loose strands and dandelion sap rooted out from the scalp. ‘Isn’t that better now,’ no question, answer indisputable, pretty plastic petals painted white for the mirror to show. I’m in love with the piece of art above, so much so that I’m planning on buying a print of it after payday. Though I’m a little torn between this one and her piece ‘Sisters’. I’ll have to pick one and maybe allow myself a second at Christmas.
She traces after the sun, runs her hand along an arc of warmth left behind. Scatters clouds into fragments, dips into the depth of herself, the swell of an expanse unmeasured, often mistaken for shallow by craned necked mouths staring at her empty fullness. Written for tonight’s Quadrille prompt where the word was ‘sky’. Not sure what I’ve written exactly, but it’s forty-four words so we’re going with it.
Despite the hosing, stems still cling to their cobwebs. Strands draped between limbs, threads quivering in a threat to untangle. Roses grow thirsty again in a moment, stripped out of their petals heat caught up on their thorns. A lessening, in want of more.
At the start of this year I was planning on which poetry events I wanted to go to in order to publicise my new collection ‘It’s All In The Blood‘. I managed a few local ones, and had a slot booked to perform at a Ludlow poetry night, right at the beginning of March. Then 2020 hit its stride in the UK. Flooding meant that I wasn’t able to get to Ludlow, and lockdown meant no more poetry nights. What was supposed to be a year of poetry and readings, turned into four months of searching for new nooks and crannies in the house to reorganise. Of course I started off with the best intentions. I was going to finish my novel, work on my next collection of poems, and submit to every journal and competition under the sun. I did work on my novel, and I did write a few new poems, but I’m not close to finishing either project. Submission went very much the same way. In fact I’ve spent the last two …
Gutted and skinned, the rabbit seemed tiny. It was too young, but the other snares were empty, and night crept upon them before Gart could hunt the woods. Devlin boned the little creature, and carved it up into rough chunks. Enough so that there would be a piece or two each in the stew. Gart watched him across the fire and when he stood, Devlin called another of the men to watch the pot. Away from camp, Gart’s tracks faded, along with the sound of voices. ‘You’re improving,’ said Gart, his lean form rising from a crouch just inches away. He snaked a hand inside Devlin’s collar and brought the younger man closer. ‘I will make you moan like an autumn wind high in the lonesome treetops,’ he whispered, his grip tightening. ‘After,’ Devlin promised. ‘Ever after,’ said Gart. ‘From tonight, until the end.’ Lillian has selected two lines from Carl Sandburg’s Jazz Fantasia for the writers at the pub to chose between tonight. I went with the first option “moan like an autumn wind …
Misfortune comes in sets of threes, but recently I’ve lost count of the omens darkening these skies. Understanding is important, but so is justice, and memory to carry change past the span of sympathetic anger. All power in this world is man-made, the bricks still sticky with greased fingerprints. We were supposed to know better.
She brings it in with her, the rain, clung to the tip of her nose and through her hair so it’s blacker than night. Strips out of her waterproofs till she has shape. Colour, risen high in her cheeks, on the knuckles of her hands. Reveals the desperation of it, crept through zips and openings. Slid a caress down her neck till she bears a collar of its touch. Trails it deeper into the kitchen, Siren kettle a song to sodden socked feet, printing a vanishing trail across the tiles.
When I thought about it there was no memory of your name being slipped to me. Just the taste of it on my tongue and a certainty for the syllables chanted into my pillowcase when my head found home and I wished you there. I had to delay getting across to the pub tonight, as I was taking part in another poetry event with some local poets from my neck of the woods. It was done through Zoom and streamed live to Facebook (not without hiccups). I’ve included the link below for anyone interested. It might be fun to try and set up a dVerse zoom night perhaps? I start reading around the 51 minute mark, however the video is a bit choppy and my inability to listen to myself without cringing, means I’m not 100% on what the audio is like.
I tried swearing at the garden pond, to see if I could goad a water witch into dredging herself up at at ’em with enough pissed off vengeance to take at least one body down. I wasn’t decided on who I wanted, squealing in her webbed, wet grip. Half-thought if she came I’d go, grab her right back with both hands, test to see if she tasted stagnant, or like spring water breaking free after centuries underground.