Notes from Workshop 7: Poetry Corner

To ease us into POVEMBER we covered various forms of poetry this week. Here are some of the notes and creations from one of our groups (Maria, James, Heather). If anyone else has stuff to share that they came up with, please email it to gucreativewritingsociety@gmail.com — we look forward to reading it! x

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We brainstormed around a colour theme before individually writing haiku. 
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W
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‘Ode to Donald’ featuring a corn candy windmill (Trump hates windmills, and corn candy is obviously quintessentially American). 
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Some scrappy first draft ‘free verse’ – Maria

Reminder for POVEMBER

So November may be over but there’s still time to send us your poems! Anyone can enter, whether you attend our meetings or not :)

Feel free to go back over any of the prompts from previous days on the POVEMBER page, or else try out the ones from the 30th: ‘contemplate, press, end’. There’s a submission form on the POVEMBER page or else you can email your work along with your name and a title to gucreativewritingsociety@gmail.com

 

— Thanks to everyone who has submitted already, it’s been really fun reading all your work!

x

West Coast

West Coast

I paced the beach a lot as a teenager,
supposing it was a way of being lost,
going lost, finding my lostness
in the sound of the waves, seagulls
in the eaves of a sky cast black
by fire and onyx.

There were shells stuck in my skin,
bits of them sharp and ridged as glass. Adolescence.
Bottles of Bacardi and Glens
in remnants of lovelorn summers—
each one dug deeper as I walked
and I felt the call of the sea
like a summons. Come back to me

—the waves were strange consolation.
I loved
the loneliness of the sea, its sense of otherness,
of distant worlds, blue and green.

Salt spray
in the faces of children;
sand dunes
where we gathered for drinking and smoking,
wasting time
in the dry ice of shared menthols.

You dig your heels deep
by the shoreline, where your feet sink soft
through the mulch of watery sand,
sinking as if to drift down,
to ease yourself out of matter.

I paced the beach a lot on weekday evenings,
while cars passed behind me, while
normal people went home.
I learned to love
the gulls that croaked on the rocks,
crying cormorants, gannets
and black-feathered auks—
I always longed to spot an albatross,
imagining its body swooping
out of the sea fog
like an omen.

I thought I had forgotten these shores,
the way it felt to know nothing
of what would come; great drawings
dissolved in the tidal pull—come with us.
I thought this world was lost;
I thought
I had lost it all.

by Maria S.

(prompt: seagull photo)

Crossing

Opposite sides of the road, waiting for the little green man.

An old lady mutters near me, impatient, laden with plastic bags.

I can’t wait to pass you in the middle,

I know that the beeping and the grumbling engines will fall silent,

As I catch your gaze.

But today is one of those days –

Headphones firmly in and beanie hat pulled down tight,

Your eyes never lift from the tarmac

That glisters with frost in this cold month.

You’re like an animal that hibernates, so tentative in every winter breath.

When it was warm you used to catch my gaze. In the summer

When I wore jeans and a belly top,

And not this school skirt, with the wool socks,

And broken plimsolls,

Around cold wet toes.

I wonder if we will cross paths again in the summer when I’m seventeen,

And I wonder–

“Eh, love – the light’s just gone green.”

 

By Rachel Norris

(Prompts: wistful, traffic lights, Alan Warner quote)

The Grene Man

Quha douttis thair ane twa een;

Forenicht I had wanderit in ane midow grene

And thair I meit ane unco littill man,

Quho was dancin as he can.

Me thocht him the king of farye

And he sade “Cum with me.”

I haid herd of riches littill men kepe

So I followit him to tha forest depe

Me thocht sevin year the journay tuke.

Quod he “A gift to ye I’ll give but ye maun no luik”;

Me thocht he micht gif me a jasp

So I held oot my haun to clasp.

Bot than I herd a laff fra the littill man in grene,

And quhen I darit to luik, he pluck’d oot baith my ene.

 

By H.R.

(prompts: green man picture, passage)

Doomed Affection

You press your hand against mine and my grip
is limp, lacking the conviction you desire.
I cannot, I can’t, be that thing that you need.

Your eyes are on me, and I can feel their weight
like kidney stones pushing hard against a nerve.
Because I cannot, I can’t, look at you like that.

I turn my gaze away, let the music play, and speak
the words I never will. My conscience is too ill,
to say the lines, so I miss my cue.

It’s like a dress rehearsal for a cancelled play,
this doomed affection.

By Rachel Norris

(Prompts: conscience, ill / disillusion, lover)

The Crow Rr’karva

The Crow Rr’karva
Ailsa Williamson

English:

A crow sat high on the wall
Cawing so loud, all heard his call
People looked up from field and road,
Wondering what terrors he foretold
Times and change and times of woe
Lips parted, expressing pure sorrow
But as they listened to his echowing caw
They realised he was not calling to them at all.

Gengen’vor (language in development):

Karva mea’di sha kakata rr’ethr
Korvok’ni kat’val ranna mesh’di lelne efat
Enepis pepe’di volk komp sharat e megmali
Ava’ni ven tandes lel vanashika’di
Garshais me’draka e garshais me’falhi
Banies govo’di lelami’ni finita falhi
Ta’a as lelnn bane’ni ot lelne korvok
Lelnn pafi’di lel gm’di nen efat’ni ot lelnn nen ranna.

 

(Prompts: crow, lips, change)

Watching

Watching
Ailsa Williamson

With the final piece of sunlight the day disappears

The full moon stretches his lunar fingers extensively

Clouds fade in the wake of the million stars to shine

The night becomes king over all and he watches

Witness to the dark and to the doom that settles

The quiet moans of the wolves of this metropolis

Ever watchful this guardian keeps a careful eye

But he is silent

Forever silent

Uttering nothing of the atrocities he sees

(Prompts: img_3265.jpg, adamant, witness)

The Distant One

I remember so little   of the many lives that I have lived.

The sea-wide echoes   stray in distance,

And return to the shore,   telling stories I have forgotten.

Were those my tales   that thrummed over the waves,

And reached the edges   of the otherworld?

Those plundered dreams,   like pebbles in the surf,

Have a smoother face   when seen anew,

And seem no longer   such a load to bear.

If in another land   a lone figure walks with purpose,

Let it be her   to whom the whispers speak,

For she is in the newer life,   and should I forget all,

The distant one will live,   and I will die gladly.

 

By Rachel Norris

Prompts: memory, distance