Category: Writing

Things We Are Up Too :) (by )

Sun 20th of Jan - Waterstones Presents Villanelles with the Gloucester Poetry Society 2-4 pm in the cafe Waterstones Gloucester free entry

Thurs 31st of Jan - an evening with Holly McNish and fellow poets at Blackfriars Gloucester (sold out)

February World Poetry Writing Month - or WoPo - a writing drive I have been running for nearly a decade now, it runs through out Feb and I pop up writing exercises and various inspirational bits including guest bloggers and I have some fantastically talented people lined up as guest posters this year 🙂 There is also a Facebook group and page and posts will appear on TheMonsterBlogs twitter and the Pinterest board.

Thurs 7th Feb - First Thursday The Enduring Eye at the Wilson Museum and Art Gallery Cheltenham Sarah will be presenting a poetic response to the polar exploration exhibition, free event and part of regular series: On the first Thursday of the month a cultural hub of food, music, performance, art and retail – all within walking distance and outside of traditional working hours – will come together along Clarence Street, Royal Well Road, St George’s Place and Church Street. First Thursdays is a public event and free to attend. The cultural quarter stays open until 9pm or later on the first Thursday of every month

Mon 11th of Feb - Cheltenham Poetry Festival Slam Qualifier 7:30 pm Playhouse Theatre Cheltenham, £5 tix

Sun 17th of Feb - Waterstones Presents Villanelles with the Gloucester/shire Poetry Society 2-4 pm free event - this event is now on the third Thursday of each month bar April as it clashes with Easter Sunday.

Sat 23rd of Feb - Folk Craft and Story Telling at the Folk Museum Gloucester (also known as the Life Museum) this is a free event as part of the Folk Trail during the Gloucester Folk Festival. Based in the Dairy and Victorian School Room out the back of the museum - sadly due to structural work the actual museum will be closed but the diary, cider press room and garden will be open. We will be running Rag Rug and Barge Painting workshops in the Dairy and story telling (including Aethelflead the puppet) in the Victorian School Room!

Shooting Stars (by )

Last night I watched the Geminid Meteor Shower - my great Aunt died the morning before and I feel isolated and cut off from the family that surrounded me as a child - she was the last link I had to that really - to that older generation - we all knew she was ill and in her 80's but somehow it still sliced as a knife and I cried and I wasn't sure weather I was crying for her or crying for my nan or the child that was or something else but I just remember all her jewellery and sitting around the kitchen table and darting between hers and my nana house - they were in the council houses at the base of the tower blocks and my great gran was just over the road in the old peoples home and sometimes we'd all go and see her and take her food.

This year has had death and life in it sometimes that spell in-between did not even get to birth. And I am dwelling, the sorrows piling up and threatening to drown me and an apathy is calling as I see the pain once more of those who chose to leave transferred and intensified in those who they have left behind.

So many things to worry about and I can't seem to help stem the tied of hurt and pain and death, I am still trying but the trying is getting harder.

I made mulled cider, hot apples and chocolate milks of varying temperatures and invited people round - they were already invited but I enhanced and kept it that way so as not to disappear into a ball of misery. I had canceled the plans of the previous day as a void yearned and pulled at me and the tears poured from my eyes with both intensity and numbness and there was just me in a pool of warmth that I know was my husbands arms but I did not really see him.

And so I had to make sure we still did something so we watched the stars, my little ice gems of twinkling sky that I know are hotter than fire and ring like bells and the shooting stars are rocks that I love the crystal patterns of and the ripples of cold melt that coat their surface once they have - if they ever do - reach the ground.

When I came to try and write all of this, to share with others what the night of light smudged night was like, it came as a poem.

I watched the shooting stars with my family and friends, there were a few around at in the early evening though the youngest grew bored. The meteors were glorious later on - everyone else had buggered off including my family to great Morpheus or sleep or a warm bed at least - so it was just me and bits of burning rock from space and the mortality pain hit - all of this wonderfulness often over ridden by pain and anguish and all that getting to know the world and just as life fits like a well fitting shoe no long giving blisters - whoompf you are gone to goodness knows where - maybe riding the back of those steaks of light or sitting with the sky daddy, or to be cradled by the arms of Gaia or just a nothing.

I watched the shooting stars remembering that like me they too were star dust and named them after the loved until I ran out of names and then I beheld the others as the lost ones I could not or did not want to know, held them as the sorrowful lonely deaths because though we all ultimately face death alone some of us have to face life on our own in desolation and that is a bone chill blood curdle of a thing that slices at the very humanity of us.

I watched the shooting stars and they reflected in my tears for the losses of this and all years and tears of gratitude at the wonders and spectacles and love that those same years have also brung. I watched the sky rocks blaze. And then folded strips of paper to glow in the dark as wishes, they were of course what we have decided is a star shape though it is pointy and not spherical. Tonight again I will watch the shooting stars.

National Poetry Day UK 2018 (by )

Today is National Poetry Day - so I shall be spending the day on various social media sites and blogs sharing all the stuff from the archives - namely the writing exercises and write ups on interesting writers.

Where you can find me:

Saffy
TheMonsterBlogs
Sarah Snell-Pym Writer and Artist
Pinterest Wopo Inspired
Google+

Where you can read my poetry:

Turquoise Monster
Snell-Pym Poetry
Orange Monster
Magenta Monster

Where you can find writing exercises:

World Poetry Writing Month
Magenta Monster

Poetry is a pretty big thing for me - I never thought it was going to be, I kind of thought the whole thing wasn't for me. I like what I like and that has little to do with the academic studies of the poetic form. I like poems in different styles from different times and cultures and so on. I find people being elitist and pretentious about it all... annoying and ignorant.

That is one of the reasons that I have backed the local poetry festivals the way I have - they offered spaces for voices that were rarely heard and the internet also helped.

This month I am lucky in that I am hosting events at the Gloucester Poetry Society and I am taking part in a Slam over in Cheltenham (still not sure about the competition part of the slam culture but I like the events over all and the people I see there - they are fun and diverse).

I've been going through my poetry and trying to decide how best to move forward with it all - I have singularly failed to actually submit work once again but thanks to people chasing me I am in a couple of pamphlets which are to be release later this month I believe.

I have several collections that were stalled with head injury and what not which I should really revisit and sort out and I have a few more zines that are pretty much ready to go!

But I also want to produce more books with other people - I liked WigglyPet Press's involvement with last years poetry anthology but it has now been out for a year so I feel that it is time for me to publish something new!

At the moment I am thinking of something themed around space, the cosmos, exploration and the unknown but I have not decided on the format yet!

October Events and Stuff! (by )

Lace Skull candle

September was frantic and wonderful - the Gloucester History Festival was amazing and has started me down the paths of several new and exciting things for the future! And I have a lot of events photos and sketchtember pictures to share with you all.

But for now it is October the 1st 2018 and this new month hold even more in it that September did! Namely The Cheltenham Literature Festival, Gloucester Poetry Festival and Frightmare Halloween Festival! I am involved in parts of all three of these over lapping festivals - wish me luck!

And then as my fun/de-stress there is Inktober - a drawing challenge that was one of the major factors in me actually producing the art work for Love: A Stranger Dream.

And then there is GothNoWriMo which is a writing challenge and shall see me writing yet more of the Punk Universe (which I will be releasing parts of properly next year!).

So here are the current confirmed dates!

Sat 6th Oct 7 pm Frightmare Preview Night at Overfarm Gloucester - ticketed event (prices vary)

Tues 9th Oct 7pm Operation Beehive in Swindon part of the Gloucester Poetry Festival and a Gloucester take over of the regular Ooh Beehive Night

Thurs 11th Oct 7:30 pm - Hammer and Tongues All Star Poetry Slam in Cheltenham, part of the Cheltenham Literary Festival at The Bottle of Sauce tickets are free and can be booked here

Fri 12th - Sat 13th Oct Young Gods showcase at Elmbridge Primary School 6:30 pm Jean and Mary's Drama group

Young Gods Showcase

Fri 12th - Sat 13th Oct Frightmare Scare Attraction Over Farm Gloucester from 7 pm

Sun 14th Oct 2-4 pm Poetry hosted by Sarah at the Gloucester Waterstones part of the Gloucester Poetry Festival - free event including goody bags as part of Books Are My Bag

Poetry in Waterstones Gloucester

Tues 16th Oct 2-4 Book Wyrms at Gloucester Library a poetry event with guest poets hosted by Sarah - part of the Gloucester Poetry Society and free event

Book Worms Gloucester Library

Fri 19th - Sat 21st Oct Frightmare

Sun 21st 2-4 pm Poetry at Gloucester Waterstones as part of the Gloucester Poetry Society hosted by Sarah

Wed 24th Oct 2-4pm Book Wyrms free poetry event at Gloucester Library part of the Gloucester Poetry Festival hosted by Sarah

Wed 24th - Sat 31st Oct Frightmare Halloween Festival at OverFarm Gloucester

A Canal Walk and Whole Ears (by )

Yesterday me and Jean went to get her ears pierced at a friends house - I don't have pierced ears - family members range from multiple piercings dripping silver and charms to no body ornamentation what so ever. Jean has been nagging me since she was 7 but I wanted her to be been grown up enough that I felt she could make an informed decision on the subject. She saved her money and it was time.

So we dropped Mary off at another friends for an adventure day and walked with my shonky old phone deciding to be flakey were the navigation tools were concerned. We got there only half an hour late and mainly that was due to me stopping to take photos. We were passing a building site - and couldn't resist the rubble - sadly there were some shots I just couldn't get due to some pesky fencing.

We walked via the docks around to the canal by the building works and then back via the canal.

The Bones of the City

the cities bones jut

The bones of the city just through to a skyline grizzling with an autumn struggling to be born.

A remnant ghost of structure

Remnants of structures long abandoned and decaying in misuse give up their ghosts to the wind and rain.

Opened

Buildings from an age lost a century or more ago are slit open for us to fest upon the hidden spaces that crept from them in the twisted shadows of the city crawling towards progress.

chimney Gloucester

Lost last ones of this time, hover on the horizon watching as a new land and time arises around them.

what's beneath next to

Preparations are made to hide new sentinels within to keep us healthy to keep us safe from drowning within our own wastes and needs.

Work site

Cages and guards await next to the monsters that will make their new homes... beneath and beyond the sight so that they are not ugly, as if utility is something to be ashamed of.

Insectile machinery

Like megalithic bugs all legs and spindles of sensors they wait, dormant and filled with the potential to create or destroy, the construction of... something.

green tanks waiting

Waiting in the colours of the sea, waiting alien and surreal on a rubble field that no war has produced but the minds of those striving for a place to be, to grow.

tanks waiting to go into the ground

The inflows and outflows of change and all the could bes and should bes and moments when all hangs in the balance.

tap or valve opening

Waiting for that perfect fit.

Not a tank

Dormant sleep - this land is cocooned waiting.

Tower of an older age

Memories of what it had been when it had thrived with boats and industry and polluted skies and people becoming and learning and striving. Things were learned and some of the learning is forgotten but much is not and so the land remoulds itself at the hands of these apes that tell stories of their own existence.

Over seeing the rubble

Beyond the tower and scars of industry lays a hill side that is older than the city and the roads and the chained and kept waters of the canal and it reminds of natures way and of how time will claim all things... grinding us all back to... star dust.

The Ear Piercing

Jean's comments on me taking the photos and discussing with her the poem I was going to weave and create out of them: "it's the first thing about me people find out - I have a weird mother, sometimes it's a good thing and its good weird, sometimes its funny and everyone laughs and sometimes its narghahahahahah - so embarassing there aren't even any words for it."

Also she had some frustration that I was making us late but the truth is that I just can't walk very fast and taking photos helps me walk further as I rest a little whilst I am stationary.

We had tea and chat and stroking of cats and hugging of babies and looking at Warhammer and lego awesomeness and then it was ear piercing time. I held her hands but she didn't even wince!

short hair and ears pierced

pierced ears

We then walked into town taking vids for our summer vlog though Jean reckons no one is interested in me rabbiting on about various insects - other than people like me and there aren't many of them apparently!

We ate food and felt sorry for our serving staff who were having one hell of a day with dealing with complete SHITS of customers - starting with a vicious old lady and ending with the family who were insisting on free refills in new glasses aggressively after only taking a few sips from it >:(

Then it was on to the accessory shops to pick up the fluid for cleaning the piercings to reduce the chances of infection and a look in various gaming shops etc... I may have bought rainbow ear rings for both of us (mine are clip ons hers are spiked) and some Lord of the Rings colouring books that were reduced to two quid.

Then it was bubble shake and tea stop before the final push through to walk home - sadly I have to have regular long sit downs like this if I am going to do the walking but was desperate for an explore and outing. Jean drew an unflattering picture of me with facial hair and looking old, I drew her - she said its not fair because I made her look nice and we were supposed to be doing charactures. I think she looks scary grown up now and that she has stolen part of my teen age wardrobe in the form of my plaid shirts.

I will put the second part of the canal walk into a different post as it will be another Poetry Walk entry and likely be a little long!

So just to end with - I think it was a good outing - Jean says it was a father/mother-son/daughter outing.

p.s. the land around the canals that appeared to be wilderness like when we first moved here were actually brown sites - ie they had been built on in the past and were laying derelict - they had once been a thriving part of Englands transport network with goods yards and workers housing. So though I like the wilderness I will always be happy with brown sites being built on rather than green belt or agricultural land. The waterways have been being heavily restored and are a wonderful walk now in a way that really was just not possible before - and they are providing lots of bits for wildlife - I was however sad to see the amount of bottles and things thrown into the canal but that is part of an on going litter and refuse collection issue the city has rather than anything else - I think my one remaining concern is that the housing is all being built on areas which really are very likely to flood.

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