Originally Blogging the Artist's Way. Thoughts, musings, experience of the 12-week course, January to March 2006. And after that?.... Life, creativity, writing. Where does it all meet? Here, perhaps.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Wings


Damp, sticky, fragile, as I try to unfold them. Untried, and with no quality-control stamp to say ‘Yes, they will hold you’, I still have no option once I’ve shed my cocoon, once I’ve struggled free of the hard binding in which I have rested, no option but to shake those wings, shake them and allow them to be caught by the air; shake them, allow the breeze to catch them, to catch me, and to fly.

These wings are the object of the struggle, the object of the time within, the goal towards which I have been striving, for which I have yearned. With them, I have become at last the Me I was destined to become – a creature of wild nature, unbound and free. My pleasure is in the sighs that people pass as I flit by. ‘Butterfly’, they might say, ‘the first of the year’. I know there are people whose souls lift at the sight of me. That is why I take such joy in my dance. That is part of why I allow a rising draft to carry me in a spiral of delight. My wings give wings to others. My beauty is not something I can see, but it is given to me in the shining eyes of those who watch me. My wings are my delight, as much as they are yours.


More 'wings' will be found at Sunday Scribblings

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The March of the Guerrilla Poet

Did I do it? Yes. I did. I began right here, in the town where I live. I had a few errands to run before I left on Friday, so, when passing a bookshop, I nipped in, and deposited a poem in a copy of one of the secondary (high-school) poetry textbooks. My photo is of the exterior of the shop, but you can take my word for it that a Denise Levertov section also contains a copy of my poem, "Why I Love Poetry"

Then, I moved to the post office, to send off a package to my son, and left a poem on the counter. Here, I got braver, and actually took my camera out to capture the deposit:

Having completed my errands, it was time to begin the 200+ mile drive to visit my family. There were a few stops: At a petrol-station for a loo-break:

At the tea-rooms just by the churchyard where WB Yeats is buried (I left a poem on a table in the tea-rooms... couldn't bring myself to leave one at his grave)

In my home-town, shopping in a health-food store for some nice relaxing music, I found a magazine for sustainable-living, and tucked in a poem there:

And, on the return journey today, at the ladies' room in a pub called 'The Yeats Tavern':

What I've realised: I can do these things. It's taking the photographs that pose the most challenge for me, and, if I was disseminating someone else's poems rather than my own, I'd be much braver. Anyone want to do a swap?

Am I proud of myself? Yes, I am.

Will I do it again? Yes, Yes, Yes.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Now Look What You've Done!!!!!

Inspired by the adventurous, the brave, the clever, the poetic participants of Poetry thursday, I've decided to strike out, to make a mark on behalf of poetry, and participate in guerrilla warfare of the gentlest kind: to deposit word-bombs in a number of locations down the length of the country as I drive south to visit family tomorrow (thereby avoiding the dreaded "local poet" scenario alluded to in My earlier post). Photos and full report will be posted on Tuesday/Wednesday (unless I'm languishing in a prison-cell, awaiting some kind person who will bail me out).

Am I serious? Am I really going to do it?



I am.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guerrilla Poetry - Poetry Thursday

Life is busy, and I wasn't going to post anything for Poetry Thursday today, and then I realised it's been two weeks already, and the next few weeks will be even busier ones for me, so I thought, OK, let's look again at what the prompt is.

Uh-uh. It's that Guerrilla Poetry thing. Oh. Now what? Here's my tuppence worth:

Why I am not (yet) a guerrilla poet

Because there is an image in my mind
of standing before the supermarket-manager’s desk,
and his finger pointing at the CCTV monitor,
and his shaking voice saying “We have the evidence.
We know you contaminated the frozen food section.
Don’t deny it!”

Because I can see the headline:
Local Poet fined €400 for wanton
littering at bus station.

Because I have a picture of the notice
that will appear on the library notice-board:
Before returning books, please check that you have removed
ALL bookmarks, etc. Library staff’s time is precious!

Because I am a scaredy-cat.
Because I am a big scaredy-cat.
Because I am a big, big scaredy-cat.
Just Because.

But, but, but..... I really, really look forward to seeing what others have done, where they have deposited poems, and hope that maybe it will inspire me, en-courage me, make me a warrior in the path of poetry. Go Guerrilla Poets! Find them HERE

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Poetry Thursday. To The Poet's Wife

This week's suggestion at Poetry Thursday goes like this:

" This week’s idea has a two parts (which are both, of course, completely and totally optional):
Part I Write a poem to, for, or about a poet.
Part II Write a letter to a poet and then share it with the Poetry Thursday community on Thursday. "

When I saw the prompt, I thought "Great! I'm not going to have time to write a new poem, but at least I have something close to Part I. I have a poem to a poet's wife". I've long had a crush on Billy Collins. It's an open secret. Here's the poem:

To Mrs. Billy Collins

I hope you get his eggs just right
(I bet he likes them soft, doesn’t he?)
and his coffee – strong, dark, isn’t it?
I know he’s a modern man,
I know he’d fix his own breakfast
and I don’t expect you to do it.
But I would, if I were you.
I know I would.

While he’s working – sitting at a window,
looking out, wool-gathering, wondering –
do you watch him? I would, I’m sure.
I’d drive him mad, with watching him.

Does he – while you’re eating dinner, say –
does he pause between mouthfuls
and utter a phrase,
like another man might comment
on the rising (or falling)
of the Dow Jones index?
And are you accustomed to that?
Is it just a matter of course,
ordinary? Does he – when he sleeps at night,
tell me – does he snore?

And when he reads aloud,
a few lines,
testing them out,
does your heart lift,
the way mine does?

Part II of the exercise is to write a letter to a poet. I suppose it's only fair that I should complete it. Here goes....

Dear Billy,
I mean, Dear Mr. Collins,

Forgive my forwardness. Forgive the cheek of my poem. Forgive me for my besottedness. It's not you. It's your poetry. Maybe it is you, but I doubt it. It's not that you're unattractive, but I know (and hope you won't be offended when I say this), that if I passed you on the street, and didn't know who you were, well, I would just pass you. I wouldn't particularly notice you. Maybe. And then, maybe I would. Because you have a way of pausing, there's a look in your eye when you're just about to say something, and if I passed just as you were giving the world that look, I might catch it.

Oh... This is not where this letter was meant to go. I meant to tell you about the poems that make me catch my breath. The poems I have to share with people. "The Dead" - I force people to read that, and the one about Angels. I meant to say what it meant to me to hear you read; how I count myself as lucky, lucky, lucky to have had that chance, not just once, but twice.

My friends tease me. I have been seen to blush when your name is spoken. I know... ridiculous. You're not a pop-star. You're not Robert Redford. But you are a man who has a soul, a living, active, real, soul that shows itself in poetry, and my soul comes to life when I read your words.

Thank you for them. Thanks to Mrs. Collins for looking after you.

Your Number One Fan.

OK. My big secret's out. You can read about other poets over at Poetry Thursday.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Now it's Monday

I didn't write for Sunday Scribblings this week because my weekend was a busy one, and it strikes me that, not having done that, a space opens up where I might just write a post that's not tied into Sunday Scribblings or Poetry Thursday. (I didn't do anything for Poetry Thursday last week either). Life's been busy. I got a job, which I will be starting in a few weeks' time - and for which I have already begun a series of training-days. I'll be counselling in schools, and am really looking forward to starting. I'm still teaching my psychology class, which is taking a good deal of preparation work, and last weekend I facilitated my first public SoulCollage(R) workshop. That took a bit of preparation, and went very well. I enjoyed it, and had the company of a fellow blogger who travelled to be here for the workshop - Caroline of Caro's Lines came over from England and was great company and a fantastic support, too.

At the workshop, I watched 16 women, many of whom had never encountered the SoulCollage process, take it to themselves and immerse themselves in the business of finding images (or allowing the images to find them) which would express some part of their being. It was an honour to be present for that, and I really feel grateful that I have found this wonderful process at this time in my life. I didn't intend to work on cards, but found at one stage, a few images were in my hand, and just wanted to get glued down, so I made this card.

I call it my Dressmakers card, and it honours the women in my ancestry who all made their living as dressmakers. - My maternal grandmother, and many of my mother's sisters. Even those who didn't work as seamstresses had the skill, or knit instead. I don't sew, but I do some crafts, and feel that in a way, the SoulCollage process is one of my ways of expressing this aspect of my heritage.

The other card I made, oddly enough, echoes the theme that this week's Sunday Scribbling had. It was "Deepest, Darkest", and this card, which I call "Going into the Deep", says:

"I am one who goes into the deepest, darkest places; who is willing to descend. I am one who emerges transformed after the descent."

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