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Archive for the ‘Creative writing by Ruth’ Category

When Friends was the theme for our poetry group I wrote a Fibonacci:

Friends

good
friends
are hard
to come by
need to be nurtured
cherished and appreciated
as we all grow older some die and some move elsewhere
look after the friends you now have
and stay open to
the chance of
making
new
ones

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This week our poetry group was asked to write about something that is selfish or selfless. I immediately thought of volunteers, who may be selfless, but also gain personal benefits from their work. My poem ended up being a pantoum, where lines are repeated.

the many folk who volunteer
give selflessly for common good
they help the needy with warm cheer
and tidy up the neighbourhood

give selflessly for common good
yet they too benefit each day
live in a tidy neighbourhood
they make good friends along the way

they also benefit each day
new skills are added to c.v.
with good friends made along the way
they use their time productively

new skills are added to c.v.
sometimes they need to mop a tear
they use their time productively
the many folk who volunteer

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What I Wear

When our group was asked to write a poem about fashion, I chose to create a Fibonacci:

some

folk

have a

passion for

the latest fashion

not me, my choice is comfort plus

I prefer elastic waists and plenty of pockets

natural fabrics I can wash

the colours I pick

tend to be

purple

and

pink

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Each
bloom
brightens
daily life
cycles continue
tulips in municipal beds
scents of sweet jasmine assail those who walk by my house
determined plants push through cracked paths
remind us we are
the garden
city
Christ
church

Assailing Jasmine

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Here’s another sonnet-writing effort:

Passing Pets

The class mouse came to our home for a stay
young daughter thought it didn’t look too posh
she got her flannel out and wiped away
the mouse expired consequent to the wash
the day a dog got into our hen coop
it killed two birds, we grieved at their demise
that evening there were tears within our group
as Simon and Garfunkle sang “Bright Eyes”
the goldfish turned its toes up and looked strange
my daughter said it must go to the vet
“it’s gone” the vet said “and that will not change”
as we walked home the daughters’ eyes were wet
dear Ziggy is our only pet these days
a cat content to sit and window-gaze

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The challenge for our poetry group this week was to write a sonnet about dogs. This is what I managed:

Doggonet

The Queen has died we trust she’s gone to heaven
and waiting with St Peter at the gate
there’ll be a pack of corgis, at least seven
who all a lengthy walk anticipate.
While driving past the mall called Colombo
a notice at the entrance caught my eye
it told about a new Dog Fashion Show
which made me wonder why, oh why, oh why?
With Hurricane Ian in Florida
the first responders used cadaver dogs
they dared not wade in where the waters are
cos alligators sometimes look like logs.
On beach I met a dog with shaggy hair
it seemed to me his perm was wash and wear

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This week we were asked to create a Found Poem. This could be one where you black out words on a text to form a new poem. Or you could cut a number of words from a text and re-arrange them to make something new. I found this a difficult challenge, and procrastinated by writing a rhyme.

When tasked to write a poem I’d found
it seemed my muse went underground
a blackout poem should not be hard
but every effort seemed ill-starred
take cut out words and re-arrange
just move them round and interchange
instructions seemed quite simple but
creative door was firmly shut
I guess that now is not the time
rather than Found, I wrote a rhyme

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Tea or Coffee was the theme for this week’s meeting of our poetry group. I’d just been reading about the British slave trade, and was inspired to write this fibonacci:

Tainted Tea

When
tea
was first
imported
to the British Isles
people’s teeth started to decay
because of the sugar they consumed to make tea sweet
sugar grown by slaves in the West Indies who were torn from their home and taken by sea
in appalling conditions where some did not survive
once landed they were made to work
on huge plantations
life for them
was not
so
sweet 

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Promoting Poetry

Blackout: an introduction to alternative poetry was the subject of a three hour workshop with Josiah Morgan at the W.E.A. Josiah is only 21 but has already published four books, and I saw him three weeks ago playing Helenus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There were just five of us in the workshop with ages ranging from 12 to 73.

A definition of poetry is that it’s any writing we create in response to a restriction, and we were introduced to a number of forms I hadn’t met before. One of these was Blackout writing, related to the Dada movement, where you choose some words from a printed piece, and delete the rest. The text we worked on was an excerpt from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and here is my effort:

staring, I couldn’t help wondering
a sweet dream wavered in the sun
and blew into my eyes
I couldn’t get out of my mind
carry around with me
how stupid I’d been
happily at the time of my life
wanted more company
couldn’t react
still, and moving

Blackout poem

I could see that this kind of exercise is an ideal way to get the creative juices flowing. Josiah gave encouraging feedback and good ‘provocations’ to each person in the class.

Later he talked about Oulipian poetry and we experimented with that. He also mentioned Snowball poetry which I’d met recently.

This was an excellent workshop with lots of opportunity to write, to share, and to ask questions. I hope the W.E.A. will offer more similar opportunities.

‘Twas good to try a Blackout poem
I might do this again at home

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This week’s theme for our poetry group was Matches.

This brought me no inspiration, so I settled for a quick rhyme:

Matchless?

I want to write a rhyming verse  
   but nothing seems to match
the words that I put down at first
   I later had to scratch
my muse has gone on holiday
   I’m in a barren patch
ideas fly by but they are all
   too slippery to catch
there are some tiny little seeds
   not ready yet to hatch
I long for just one good idea
   a line that I could catch
to send out on the interweb
   a lyrical dispatch

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