What I know

Today’s very exciting (mostly because it’s been so long and I thought any creative part of me had turned to stone) writing was inspired/motivated by a short, free Open University course called Writing what you know.  It basically does what it says and helps you to look at ways to write what you know.  It’s not overly detailed but it’s worth a quick look if you have a spare hour or so and are looking to spark something creative.  The following is very very much a work in progress but I was pleased to have written something and I despite being exhausted I know I won’t sleep easily tonight.  Hence the late night blogpost.

I know that inside
Skin, blood gushes like oil.
Dark shadows hide secrets

I know that torture
Wounds, releasing scalding lava.
The body spills stories.

I know that rushing
Relief, peacefully painfully draining.
Slaughterhouse queue carries on.

Constructive criticism would be helpful please.

Sylvia Path’s Mother (or, A Tree in Spring Time)

I was reminded recently of acrostic poems.  I had flashbacks to a classroom in my village primary school writing poems about autumn on orange paper.  It filled me with a kind of dread.  But it’s a useful tool for playing with words.  

I was watching A Poet’s Guide to Britain about Sylvia Plath.  And then there was a clip with her mother, who’s name was Aurelia.  It seemed like a very pleasing combination of letters so I wrote it down the left hand side of the paper and then added some words.  My aim was to keep hold of this moment of inspiration and so I scribbled very quickly without too much thought so the results are rather rough.  Unfortunately in my haste, I did mis-spell her name…  But the point for me isn’t the word down the side, it’s the letters which give you a starting point.  That, and the fact I actually paused iplayer and got off the sofa to do something creative.

A Tree in Spring Time

Apple white blossom

Under intoxicating life

Radiates inspiration.

Experience this

Intensity and 

Let your heart beat

A little faster.

A reminder to myself

One of the links I’ve had on my ‘to read’ list was How To Read A Poem (part of a series) and is well worth a look at, or at least worth adding to your ‘to read’ list!  The website looks like it has lots of interesting things on but there was a particular article which caught my eye.  It details three ways of creating poems from others’ words and links to a blog post with a lovely couple of examples of found poetry.

This post is mostly a reminder to myself to revisit these links.

i’m trying the ‘stealing things from twitter’ approach with newspapers.  So Sunday morning saw me looking at the Guardian from the day before with a pen in hand, picking out interesting articles and selecting words and phrases to add to my notebook.  Then at a later date, with fresh eyes, I went back and tried to write.  I seem to be getting better at editing.  I wrote last night, tweaked it a bit at the time.  I went back to my notebook to type it up and amended it.  And I edited it as I typed it up.  It’s interesting (and hopefully positive) as when I used to write I would very very rarely edit.  The words would be written and that was that.

The following is from ‘The battle to eliminate FGM is long, but it’s one we must win‘.

Smiling and dancing
Celebratory

Drums beat
Voices sing
Loudly

Louder
& louder

Prevent the screaming
From offending

Crimes committed against
Blindfolded girls

Cut to preserve
Cut to control
Cut to stop.

Fragments

For the past few weeks I have been writing down fragments of poetry.  Hopefully I will revisit them at a later day and make them whole.  These are my own words, not words stolen from others.  I’m hoping that by putting them here, they will have a place to rest until I can do something with them.  The alternative is that they will haunt me until they are complete.

At risk of flight
I clip my wings

Wearing words from others
Weaving them into myself

Mind spinning circles
Round a body
Fighting to 
Exist

toes cling to cliff
edges and i try
not to breathe

crawl toward the horizon
then rest
in the vanishing point

The gate keeper of thoughts
Has left his post unattended
Rogue voices creep in

If I write the script
Will you play your part
& speak the words
I need to hear

Her soul has been
Hollowed out
Leaving a shell
Waiting to collapse
In on itself

Remaining within the comfort zone

People tend to talk about the comfort zone as something you should be aiming to leave.  I disagree.  Sometimes you need that space.  So in that vein, I have more twitter poetry:

Emergency scribbles
Discover ideas
Recover feelings

Days spent hunting
Dreams in the sea
Poems in a notebook
Acceptance in woodlands

A full time poet

I do have plans to stop stealing other people’s tweets, just not today.  Maybe tomorrow I will feel around the edge of my comfort zone.

Wearing words from others

I am wearing words from others
I am weaving them into myself

An amazingly talented friend of mine @HopeGraceFury frequently inspires me.  She writes beautiful, moving tweets which I used to create this:

Battle warrior
Hero of ancient Greek myth
Epic daily fight
For Utopian dream

Astonishingly jubilant
Soul dead
Brain dead

Spin the coin till
Two sides blur

Handwritten letters
Show all calling points.
Evidence. 

The purpose of this blog is to document my writing, to make it something I do consciously and to keep me grounded.  Writing using other people’s words is a very good way of doing this.  However, alongside this conscious attempt I am struggling with words and phrases passing through me, uninvited.  I’m torn.  This means that I am slowly unlocking the part of me which writes.  But it is happening without my control and that, for me, is very dangerous.  It also defeats the point of doing this.