National Poetry Day
Fear, Sea and Me
My first memory of the ocean
was being swallowed by a wave.
Just as Jonah was by the whale.
Trapped in the underbelly of the swell,
it was a dark place.
I gulped down mouthfuls of salty water
My chest started burning from
choking and swallowing at the same time.
trying to cough
every drop up.
It was over in seconds
but the fear
has lasted a lifetime.
It was lovely to be at the launch this evening at the NEW library in the City. It was a wonderful evening and I enjoyed great performances by the former Poet Laureate – Stephen Morrison-Burke.
This year congratulations go to Jo Skelt, who also treated us to some of her poems!
After which I spent an hour or so visiting the new library, taking photos and working on my National Poetry Day Water poem!
Happy National Poetry Day – this year’s theme is water, inspired by Coleridge’s mariner’s famous cry: “Water, water, everywhere”. This year, bringing liquid refreshment to all parts of the UK, there will be poetry readings, launches, prizes, performances and happenings.
Jo Bell is a local poet, known as the canal poet. I chose her poem ‘Lifted’ as it was filmed on the canal in Stone, where I used to live. That was the last point in my life that I wrote and the year I moved away was the last year I was published. (Then came the break from writing.)
Jo Bell who was also appointed Canal Laureate for the duration of 2013, chose Stone in Staffordshire as the location for her piece.
Since 1994 National Poetry Day has engaged millions of people with poetry through a range of live events and web-based activities for people young and old throughout the country. Each year the day has a new theme.
Enjoy and celebrate National Poetry Day with us!
A link to my water based poem written today to celebrate National Poetry Day – Fear, Sea and Me
I also went to a Book Festival Launch to celebrate and hear more poetry from the former Poet Laureate and the new one announced this evening.
The baton was passed by Stephen Morrison-Burke to Jo Skelt. I saw both of them in action with their words!
© N. Lewis 2007