Tag Archives: poem

INKSPILL 2018 A Poem From Simon Armitage

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This Poem of the Week from The Guardian was published in May 2018. Click the read to read ‘The Straight and Narrow’ by Simon Armitage, the Poem of the Week includes an analysis.

The Straight and Narrow

folded newspapers

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The article includes links to the following interviews/ webpages. “Swimming through Bricks”: A Conversation with Simon Armitage by Rob Roensch and Quinn Carpenter Weedon and Magic Realism in Fiction.

 

The Royal Wedding

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The Royal Wedding

The Royal Wedding – The Tone is Set, a new poem as Worcestershire Poet Laureate.

Poet Laureate

Harry meghan

It is not every Laureate who gets a Royal Wedding during their tenure. As this website has a huge International reach and this is a momentous occasion, I decided it was only fitting to gift a poem. 

The Tone is Set

In one smile
she shows the world
her dreams have come true.

Gentle songs meander
towards strong speeches –
Fire and Love.

The Prince and nearly Princess
absorb their connection,
fingers entwined.

A mother sits alone,
closes her eyes in prayer
as the choir trills the space.

Bishop Michael invites
the congregation to think
of the shape of love.

‘Think about the time
you first fell in love
in any form.’

The smile widens
as tears are wiped from cheeks,
hats bowed in thought.

‘We were made
by the power of love.’

A moment of almost silent
sign language is shared,
as lovers do. Before ‘I do.’

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My Book is 1 Week Old TODAY!

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My book is now a week old and what a busy entry into the world it has had.

On Monday I was joined by the lovely poets; Roy McFarlane, Antony Owen and Claire Walker to launch Fragile Houses at Waterstones, Birmingham. It was a fabulous night that deserves a blog post of its own, (on the TO DO list).

On Tuesday it was treated to a night out at Stirchley Speaks, where I headlined alongside Lydia Scarlett, who stepped in to fill the mighty shoes of Carl Sealeaf.

On Wednesday I gave it a night off.

On Thursday it celebrated National Poetry Day in Worcester, sharing the space with new poems all about messages. ‘Linger’ is a poem about messages, so that made it to the set, but the rest of the book was available to buy.

Then… da, da, daaa… the book went to Poetry Swindon. Hilda Sheehan let it share tablespace with the big boys, which was generous as most of the writers/publishers represented on the book stall were also on the bill. It sold well. Having rested on the book table isn’t as exhausted as me.

I am hugely grateful to everyone for their support. If someone had told me 3 months ago I would launch a book at Waterstones and have a copy with Daljit Nagra and another copy in Palestine, Bethlehem I would not have believed it. The latter have happened through the generosity of two poets who probably want to remain nameless. Let me know if you don’t – as I will gladly sing your praises!

I have seen both Angela France and Jean Atkin in person and was able to thank them for endorsing my debut pamphlet.

And it has been made into a film… well, not quite. I made a poetry film with ‘Journey’, one of the poems in the pamphlet. Now hosted on my YouTube channel.

 

WHAT A WEEK IT HAS BEEN!

Buy your copy here £6.99 (including P&P) – UK

FRAGILE HOUSES

NaPoWriMo Day 2

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The beginning of today’s message (April 2nd) reminds us that NaPoWriMo is about experimentation rather than perfection. It is likely in 30 days of writing (or 12!) that some poems will ‘have legs’ as they say, it is important not to worry about the others.

NaPo is about the writing, the exercise of pen to paper and word flow. It is good not to put pressure on pleasure.

Our poet in translation for today is Indonesia’s Toeti Herati. Born in 1933, she started publishing in her early forties, and her work is known for its feminist bent, using irony to expose Indonesian culture’s double standards. Very little of her work is available in English, but the Poetry Translation Center has posted English versions of seven of her poems online, and also offers a dual-language chapbook featuring her work. © 2016 NaPoWriMo

Today’s prompt a poem that takes the form of a family portrait. I immediately look at the framed pictures of family in my room, nephews, brothers, grandma, weddings, birthdays, lazy mornings. I think about the black and white portraits in the family album beside the bookcase that I started to compile a decade ago, I notice dust where there shouldn’t be any and try to think about poetry instead. I have had a work call and now have less time to write, I know I won’t catch up today and I need to filter everything else to write about family. My manuscript covers a lot of memory and family work so it is a subject I am familiar with, but know that I can’t pop this poem out, like I did for the Lune challenge this morning.

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Pondering time…

an excerpt from Family Portrait Challenge Day 2.

‘moments no longer printed on paper

pixel memories trapped inside our screens.’

 

INKSPILL Guest Writer Heather Wastie – Poetry – Spaghetti hoops

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Spaghetti hoops

 

Seven tins of spaghetti hoops

left behind to taunt me;

a stubborn reminder

of happiness shared.

 

 

Innocent on soggy toast,

scooped on a fork,

wriggling in the corner

of a child’s crumb-encrusted mouth.

 

 

I struggle with her

half-remembered recipe for marriage,

without the crucial ingredient.

And yet,

 

 

sharing in desertion,

they are a comfort –

permanent,

steady as rocks.

 

 

Shopping for one,

the urge is irresistible –

better get another can,

for the weekend.

 

 

On Saturday

the kitchen cupboard smiles

with the laughter of children,

borrowed like cruets

 

 

from another man’s table.

Open the lid.

Another tin of spaghetti hoops

finds a way into their hearts.

 

 

© Heather Wastie

June 1994 / October 2010

 

INKSPILL Guest Writer Heather Wastie – Histrionic Water

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Histrionic water

In Wolverhampton,

fish take me by surprise.

 

Looking down from Broad Street Bridge,

then from the towpath edge

 

I need an explanation

for such unexpected clarity,

 

a long exposure of minnows,

lush reeds and sulky sediment.

 

It’s ironic, says the cut water,

I have been cleansed

 

by a vandal-induced stoppage.

Tearfully the water speaks:

 

It was you who saved me

from oil slick, effluent, blackened

 

polystyrene icebergs, mattress tangled

shopping trolleys, half inched bikes,

 

malicious metal spikes,

contents of living rooms tipped.

 

I was soap sud soup with beer bottle croutons,

peppered with cans and the odd chunk of meat.

 

You saved me from scum,

from smothering polythene,

 

wire running red, the callous garrottes

of those who would see me dead.

 

I fear the onset of duck weed.

You saved me to be stirred.

 

 

 

© Heather Wastie

July 2013

PUBLISHED!

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© 2014 Hark

hark HARK is a UK-based online magazine of poetry and short fiction.

I recently sent some poems to Hark Magazine, last night I discovered the email (on my phone – where there is offline access to my busy inbox) from Hark, I thought it was a speedy response and so had prepared myself for another rejection. Not only have they accepted my poem CLENCH for the July issue, they said there was fierce competition.

I am delighted and still dancing for joy!

This is the 6th poem to be published* this year, I hope to generate similar success over the next few months so that by the time I have my pamphlet ready (2015 I hope!) there will be a list of credits to stun /convince/ bribe (okay, maybe not bribe!) the editors with.

YES! YES! YES!

© 2014 Richard Skinner

© 2014 Richard Skinner

 

* 24 poems have been on display/used in Installation: DAN Arts Network Droitwich Library, MAC What’s the Agenda? Hayley Frances’s piece Hikkomori, Birmingham, Wenlock Poetry Trail/ Festival, Croft, Shropshire  and on the Poetry Fence, Jean Atkin at Acton Scott Farm, Shropshire.

TOP TIPS:

  • Persistence pays, just keep going.
  • Be aware that some magazines have different editors each issue, even if they don’t – DO NOT be afraid to submit again.
  • Be sure to read the magazine first and ask yourself how suitable your writing/style/subjects are for this press.
  • Support the magazine by subscribing to it.
  • If you are rejected be sure to read the next issue, look at what was chosen with a critical eye and compare it to the m/s you sent.
  • Never forget how good it feels to get accepted and printed!

Lest We Forget – Remembrance

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fs poppy

For all those who fell on blooded fields,

We remember.

 

For those lives given to save our own,

We remember.

 

For the boys who return men,

We remember.

 

For those who fought for our freedom,

We remember.

 

In stone,

In petals,

In prayer.

We remember.

poppy 2 REMEMBRANCE DAY 2013

2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge

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I have just discovered another November challenge – there are so many out there as alternatives to National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) which I have already committed to. However, I do need to write as many poems as I can this month as I have several readings and like to do different sets as some of the audience are the same and I like them to have new material to listen to. I also have a workshop and a Stanza meeting I need to write new material for.

So with some thought I have decided to complete the 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge on

 this month too. Run by Robert Lee Brewer.

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community

Here’s some information about the challenge – in case you fancy participating too.

Full details can be found here; http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2013-november-pad-chapbook-challenge-guidelines

The November challenge. The guidelines in this post should help guide you through the month.

Here are the basics of the challenge:

  • Beginning on November 1 (Atlanta, Georgia time), I will share a prompt and poem each day of November on this blog.
  • Poets are then challenged to write a poem each day (no matter where you live on the planet) within 24 hours (or so) from when the prompt is posted. Don’t worry: If you fall behind or start late, you CAN play catch up.
  • Poets do NOT have to register anywhere to participate. In fact, poets don’t even need to post to this blog to be considered participants.
  • The Challenge will unofficially conclude around 24 hours after the final prompt is posted. That said…
  • This Challenge is unique, because I expect poets to take all the material they’ve written in November and create a chapbook manuscript during the month of December. (Yes, you can revise material, and yes, the chapbook should be composed mostly of poems written for the challenge–I’m using the honor system.)

Day 1 prompt:

Welcome to Day 1 of the 2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Let’s get some poeming done this month!

For today’s prompt, write an appearing poem. This could be a poem about something (or someone) appearing out of nowhere. Or it could be about appearances–appearing one way to some people; appearing another way to others. If you’re new to my prompts, let me share one thing: I’m totally fine with you stretching the prompt in any direction you need to write; in fact, I encourage it. Now get poeming!

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 My 1st PAD poem ‘Transformation’ is about the lifecycle of the caterpillar and was inspired by a YouTube time lapse video I watched.

My Second Stanza

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Thank you to Ian Glass for wonderful hosting this evening and Claire Walker for the lift, which meant I could enjoy a glass of wine with poetry. (Perfect combo!) My first meeting, last month, I read my poem last and sat with butterflies for almost the entire night. This time I got to go first. Which, as it turns out, is equally nerve wracking!

Both poems were chosen from Picture It and Write challenges and both poems were about ‘Stage shows’… if I am not careful I will become known as that poet who sets all her poems on a stage! (Now you know what Shakespeare meant…. all the world’s a stage…) This couldn’t be further from the truth of what my poetry is.

Still as I haven’t written a new poem for several weeks, these seemed like good choices. I am grateful for the supportive comments and criticism and now feel I can edit my writing into a better poem – before I perform it at Drummonds 42 in a fortnight for Halloween!

It was a great evening!

I am now working on finding material for Wednesday – I only need one poem and I have something in mind, I am going to Stratford-Upon-Avon to watch the The Mildly Erotic Poetry Tour from Emmapress, a book launch with a difference! Mildly-Erotic-Poetry-Tour Which includes some open mic spots, although by the sounds of the email there are many of us trying to clamber onto the stage, this does mean that we all only get to perform 1 poem – that’s fine by me!