I put to the group my new poem: Aries. It’s a piece about the zodiac star sign of Aries inspired from the modern surrealist Dutch Master, Johfra. In the early 70’s, Johfra was commissioned to paint 12 posters – one for each star sign of the zodiac. My poem was 72 lines long – which is the number corresponding to the years in a galactic day. This number has numerous mystical and religious associations and connotations.
Here’s the first verse of my poem:
The blue-eyed ram charged across
the crumbling precinct of Chronos.
He was perhaps, the most mystical
of all beasts – Ovis Aries
sparkled with the night-stars woven
into his glowing fleece - golden flecks
twinkled upon his back and on his flanks
skeins of light were swiveled into his wool.
Eluned’s contribution to the group was a prose poem called: The Tide. In this piece, a conversation takes place between the protagonist and the sea about life and children.
In Men and Boats, Tina describes affluent holidaymakers enjoying large yachts with helicopter pads and jet skis. She mentions the Esmeralda – a glass bottomed boat, wrecked by a ‘party trip’ [and] ‘an explosion of paint bombs and vomit.’
Gordon brought in – London Town – an uncomfortable poem about dances and courtship in the early 60’s with an interesting rhythm. Here’s a small example from the first quatrain and the last couplet:
know, I know she came to save you,
But she knocked my drink over too.
And I know, I know that she wants you,
She looks at you the way that I do…
And how’s it now, how’s it now, how’s it back in London town
Where you let me down.
Nigel contributed a poem about First World War soldiers warming themselves around a fire:
‘freeing up knuckles over
a brazier’s easy flames…'
Nigel said he wasn’t sure whether he would stay with the original title – Afterglow, or go with the more descriptive title – Before the battle.
I particularly liked:
‘threads of silent heat
pull them together.’
A premonition of impending slaughter and doom pervades the
text – the final stanza describes a man at Passchendaele stirring
the fire with a stick, looking gloomily into the
before they go out.’
Marc’s poem ‘Arriving at the departure lounge’ continues upon some of the themes he has recently been exploring. The text he workshopped this week was inspired by his work with the elderly and the dying. This poem is about aging and is presented in the form of an obituary looking backwards over a man’s life. Ultimately, the ‘book’ of life terminates at the ‘fetal apostrophe.’ I love this image – it’s wonderful, very, very clever!
…hear her howls calling
to awaken the souls of the dead