Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Out of the tunnel

Poem ideas developed during 15minutes exercises from the workshop on 'Maps, Charts & Plans' with Emma Purshouse during the Audlem Festival on Sunday 25th May 2014.

Exercise 1. Describe yourself as a journey.

A walk on the pier
Drawn in by loudness, laughter
ice creams and screams.
Look down through separated planks,
a glimpse of unknown depths.

Exercise 2. Develop a piece of writing from a list of found place names.

They came from Little Shrewley
Looking all the same.
Small, wizened, pointy faces
looking for others to take the blame.

They made us stand on Ugly Bridge.
ugly in spirit, ugly in deed
different from them they said,
following a different creed.

But now we are on Gallows Bridge
gazing into shallow depths.
Our rainbow Cape of love and pride
blowing proudly in the breeze.

Exercise 3. Map out a well known personal route as a description for others to follow

Out the door the wind will take your breath away
even before you see the sea.
Follow the noise of mixed tongues
strolling unawares, unconcerned
into the path of cyclists
in training, in a rush.

Down the ramp framed by peeling green ironwork
into the drift of smoking fish
and discarded seafood seashells.
Past the incessant rise and fall
of circular song, and in the distance
the skeletal remains rise out of the sea
creating art from disaster.

And finally a pause, below the Grand facade
seduced to sit and sip the warm exotic scents
and watch the world go by 
wrapped in overheard conversations.

Out of a tunnel and into the light

Sheltering from a rainstorm under a canal bridge at Audlem

I can never believe the time that elapses between urges to write in my blog. 
It's not that I stop writing, I just often don't feel the need to share what I think or write.
However, sometimes you meet people in life that encourage you to re-consider the potential of what you create sporadically, and this is where the happy accident of meeting the talented, generous spirit of Emma Purshouse comes in. A stroll along the canal at Norbury Junction during the festival there a few weeks ago led to me experiencing my first poetry slam (as a member of the audience-let's not get ahead of ourselves!) and subsequently participating in one of Emma's creative writing workshops a couple of days later.

I can't deny that walking down to The Mill in Audlem the stress of only just making it there on time was exchanged for reticent anticipation and a lurking fear of that I may not be able to write in company, or in response to someone else's themes or starting points. Emma knew most of the people in the workshop, some of whom were devotees of her performance poetry and others whom she had inspired in previous workshops and who now attended regular groups formed from relationships developed in those workshops. Emma's positivity and ability to make encouraging comments on each of the results form the exercises she developed created a supportive environment in which the majority felt able to share their attempts without fear of ridicule or negative reaction. Over a 2 hour period I learnt more about my own ability than I had recognised before and was pleasantly surprised by my response.

The next few posts will hopefully now come more often as I have a little more confidence in sharing the intermittent episodes of writing and hopefully develop a consistent creative text and image related output.

Watch this space...occasionally!