Try Writing a Limerick ….Read More
I realise that all my efforts have gone into realeasing Spaghetti Head into the world, and I have somewhat neglected future planning! I think this is because for years I have had two book titles swimming around my mind, and it's just that Spaghetti Head shouted the loudest and so was written first. Now that it's been published, and all I have to do is fifteen hours of self-promotion and social media every day (!) I feel it's time for the second title to come to life. To bring it to life I am going to go and sit under an Oak tree in South Somerset with my notepad and pen and see what happens. Three trees will definitely play an important role in the book. This poem is getting my creative juices flowing - I wrote it in Mali in 1997:
In a village in the middle of nowhere
sit twenty-five African men and me.
Surrounded by chickens and sand,
we discuss what their women's future will be.
But there's no women around -
they've no choice,
and they've no voice
in what passes in the shade of this tree.
I looked out of so many bus, train and car windows during my travelling years, getting all my inspiration for poetry and stories. There were sights, colours, smells and feelings that I'd never experienced before. Many of my poems will appear in blogs on here. They all told a story about where I was and what I was seeing - words flowed effortlessly out of me onto the page.
But after I'd hung up my skin-coloured money belt and settled a while, life started to become very 'normal', and poetry became harder to write.
Oh poetry, poetry, where have you gone?
You've abandoned me, deserted, moved on.
Two lines and it's finished,
my inspiration diminished,
words once flowing, have now flowed on along.
Bumble - my mini, Tracey and I, set off on our big french adventure, with a tape player/radio on the dashboard: a tent, which, we discovered at 11pm one evening in the middle of nowhere, had no pegs: a bottle of cider, and not a lot else. We sang Lilac Wine by Elkie Brooks into the antenna of the radio, and braved narrow mountain passes that terrified both of us.
We were nineteen, it was our first adventure together, and it was when my mind started to really thrive on the inflow of sights, sounds and smells. Somehow I needed to capture all of it - and so my usual diary-writing routine moved up a gear, and I added poetry into the mix. We started our trip grape-picking in the Loire, and this is a poem I wrote whilst there:
Little green ones,
little red ones.
Big green ones,
big red ones.
Mouldy green ones,
mouldy red ones,
all for me to pick
and cut my bloody finger
and get bloody back ache
and bloody dirty hands.
But, oh, how I love you, Grapes.