Archive for April, 2013|Monthly archive page

30 Poems in 30 Days – Poem #5

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Today’s poem is based on a prompt by Jo Bell, who is tweeting prompts each day.
It was to read this poem:
and then to write about a historical/great event which happened within your lifetime and how it affected you – or not.

Poem #5

1997 – I am four.
The face which would be repeatedly beamed in news reports,
up until the present day, doesn’t mean much to a four year old.
Conspiracies spring up whilst I eat jam sandwiches and green apples for lunch.

Car breaks are scrutinised, Parisian bridges closed off, funerals organised.
Princes a few years older than me dressed in black,
grief – the knot of their tightly tied ties.

But a woman will tell me one day,
how the night she heard – her husband woke her up shouting “she’s dead, she’s dead”
and she thought he was talking about her –
she tried to grasp at the darkness of her black – out,
waking from an alcohol induced slumber to the news of her death.
She didn’t want to die yet, but how close she had come.  

30 Poems in 30 Days – Poem #4

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Today, I took part in the Slambassador Sessions – which consists of a workshop beforehand and then a performance where former Slambassador winners are filmed. It was led by the effervescent Joelle Taylor – so much love for her – and was a wonderful way to spend the evening. Here is the poem I generated in response to one of the tasks. 

Poem #4

Today she is sad. 
The passing buses are a dull red. 
The sun is a star too big for its boots.
Sparrows harmonising become sorrowful drones. 

When she returns home, we will watch television, 
a monotonous noise filling space we can’t. 
Her big grey dog pants, thirsty for water that doesn’t taste of drowning.

30 Poems in 30 Days – Poem #3

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Poem #3

TGIs, Westfield – 03/04/13

Daniel, our TGI waiter with badges on his braces that are holding up his trousers
and oversized black glasses resting on his rounded face,
delivers our third order of tap water.

There is a pause in which he turns to leave but reconsiders
“out of interest, I heard you talking about uni, where do you go?”
He addresses the seven of us as one,
not knowing we are spread across maps like splattered paint on a decorator’s overalls.

We work our way around the table –
Essex, Warwick, Greenwich, Exeter, Southampton, Hull, Coventry,
extending ourselves across the UK like train lines.

“So, you just all decided to meet here today”
we laugh – he must know there is something about home you never want to shake.
Sitting in Stratford Westfield – our friendships are older than this infrastructure.

It’s crazy, how every time we meet we feel past and future fusing into present,
our bodies are handbags caught in closing lifts.
Confusing how moments shift, places drift by,
we sift through people who no longer matter,
list old faces we’ve seen since we’ve been back.

We are only too aware that time has a way of scurrying through blinks, last drinks, fifty winks.
Youth does not quantify immortality just as
age is not an immediate measure of how many dreams you achieved.

Talk inevitably turns to where we’ll all be this time next year:
tasting new food and praising it in foreign languages.
Years abroad, work placements,
closer to the beginning of something and the end of everything.

We have a thousand new stories we will probably never find time to tell each other
-I didn’t know you’d passed your driving test.
-You’re running a radio show now?
-How was the house party you threw for your 20th?

Catch ups dotted around clashing term times.

Daniel returns with the bill.
In a way only students can, we work out the exact price of each of our meals,
pay half cash, half card, animatedly debate who owes the missing pound.

Paid up, we reluctantly find another place to chatter until gradually,
we split like banana peels,
holding our breath for the next time we can root ourselves in memories,
laughing until the tears come,
remembering the things we said we’d do when we were thirteen,
with the people we said them to.

30 Poems in 30 Days – Poem #2

In Uncategorized on April 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm

Poem #2

Steam curdles against blue kitchen tiles,
the kettle comes to boil as constant as morning.
Phone calls in the middle of the night still make my back muscles tense,
like cats hearing a fox at the locked garden gate.

Stansted at 6 am is clinical – too white for eyes readying themselves for a funeral,
awash with cleaners that work on the brim of dawn and sleep in the lap of day –
an unknown host of city dwellers whose body clocks run to different times than the city slickers they pander to.

Our family huddles at a table in the overhead Starbucks that has just opened,
stirring sugar into overpriced coffee,
gulping it whilst it’s too hot so it will burn our throat –
we need an excuse for not talking:
who can form words when tongue becomes rotted tree-stump?

I was always a five year old granddaughter with too much energy
when I spoke to my Nan on the phone.
Her voice had the trick of making the world shrink,
it would vacuum pack me into a bubble of security
but the fact is –
I was not in the same country as her when she died.

Announcement for flight FR254 to Dublin –
we clutch our hand luggage,
packed in the time it takes to book an online flight with Ryanair
whilst simultaneously chewing over the words “she’s dead”.

Above ground, the land expands at such a rate
I find it impossible to believe I will ever be able to reach where I’m needed
before it’s too late.

30 Poems in 30 Days – Poem #1

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2013 at 7:27 pm

It can be hard to slot in time to write amongst all of the other more pressing things we have to do from day to day. In order to combat this, I’ve decided to take part in NaPoWriMo – National Poetry Writing Month. April is National Poetry Month, so what better way to procrastinate from all of the revision I should be doing – the challenge is to write 30 poems in 30 days. I’ll be attempting to write a poem a day and posting my hesitant drafts here. Here is attempt number one: 

Poem #1

How everything starts –

The rain is spitting, still unsure of if it will pour tonight.
These will probably all turn into conversations we’ve had,  
or moments where words curled up under rocks too large for me to move –
the printer is jammed, there is no post on bank holidays, the signal is bad in this house.

Still, my mouth will not stop trying to find yours –
pouring empty vowels into an emptier vessel.
Everything stems from knowing you need to get somewhere other than you are now.

The tubes aren’t running today,
so I am walking to yours in platform shoes,
listening to singers prove love only ever amounts to a series of notes in a minor key.

You’d love this song, I’ll let you listen when I get there. 



In Uncategorized on April 1, 2013 at 6:04 pm

As an artist, do you have a right to talk about somebody else’s truth?

As a writer, I think honesty and truth are central to any piece of work I create, but if this truth intrudes upon someone else’s experience – is it your right to discuss it, no matter how much of an effect it had upon you? 

Maybe it’s a matter of time, space and distance – if enough time has elapsed since the event, maybe it won’t cause as much pain or animosity if you choose to write about it. If a resolution has been made, or if unfortunately the person you are writing about is no longer around, maybe it becomes easier to write about that experience.