Category: Poems

Pan Dumb Moan I Am (by )

This year has not been what I thought it would be - that is often the case but this year more so than normal and this time not just for me. Global events have shaken all our lives to a greater or lesser extent. This upheaval has cost many their lives and upended others, I myself ended up very sick and having a nice trip to hospital in an Ambulance whilst wondering if I was ever going to see my family again.

The pandemic of covid-19 has stirred up feeling in society I had hoped were extinguished with the libration of the concentration camps at the end of the second world war but if I am honest I already know that the festering puss of eugenics was always in a shallow grave and just waiting to pop back to the surface. I am seeing the disabled and chronically ill being side lined and even told to just get on and die by those who are supposed to be our friends and protectors, authorities and work colleagues alike. I am also seeing people going out of their way to help regardless of their own hardships and that is something else - the flip side - an amazing.

Lock down has been hard on people especially mothers who have had their support networks basically made illegal whilst meeting and laughing in a pub by mostly men is absolutely fine. This stark contrasts and contradictions plus back peddling and muddled thinking define the crises here in the UK, especially as the year has drawn on and floods and storms have added to the stresses. Unemployment and employment shifts have abounded with backs fluctuating between being magnanimous and strike you whilst you are down.

Erosions of human rights especially LBGTQ+ community have begun with barely a whimper from anyone outside of the community thanks to the manufactured war between the different types of feminism and rainbows. It is a mess and a wedge driven too deep by those that once added balm to the cuts and bruises of the general bigotry of life. Allies now fight.

Many of us have lost our jobs, or in my case my entire industry - it is not a good time to work in events.

And in all of this pain and stress and confusion people were sharing memes about how Shakespeare and other such artistic heroes created and made master pieces whilst in quarantine so that's obviously what we should have all been doing - and they meant it well and mainly it was them kicking themselves up the back side but others were seeing it as duty to create and record the goings on and were telling others off for not doing so. But people where (and are) dying and we couldn't even attend the funerals except by weblink and it stank and hurt and was not... just not something that was conductive to creation for many.

I have written very little this year - I have started to loose count of the people I have lost, I keep forgetting people are now dead and that is horrendous. I missed a funeral because I couldn't get zoom to work - it is laughable and I did laugh until I cried and then I laughed and then was in a weird sob-laugh state.

And that's another thing - I was asked to perform and take part in the fantastic online array of performances and events but... I have little to no voice, I am horse - I can not sing or read out loud to the kids even so there is no performing for me - no live streams or recording my poetry for youtube. Nope - just lots of sipping various beverages and brews in the hope that they might in some way help. Add to that that I just did not have good enough tech until the middle of last month for the preferred ZOOM to work for me :/

The virus affects eyesight as well - as does the extra autoimmune system disease it has left me with so I have had to learn to adapt to even worse eye sight than I had previously - my glasses can no longer correct everything and I risk further damage before this is over. I have premature ageing of the eyes and a host of other issues. But my new glasses have made it so that I can sit at my computer again and work.... half a year into the illness.

And tentatively I have started to create again but I am not looking at producing more than normal.... oh no I keep having bouts of being poorly again or having to home school the kids due to them having a temperature and waiting for tests or isolations/lockdowns happening and I have my elderly mother to look after - no I am facing the fact that I missed a lot of the writing challenges - I started and aborted them and yet I feel I want to at least revisit those as they are normally important project drivers for me.

As such I have lists of things I can dip in and out of but I do not need to complete anything.

Fevers and Graves Disease have made my normally vivid dreamscape into living visions or hallucinations with beautiful landscapes and narratives that would make epic films. I have begun trying to record them but only have vague notes from the worst of it as I wasn't entirely conscious when they were really bad. Also until this month I had written a few poems this year - as in under ten and generally composed on twitter or facebook as they had just started as comments on the political situation.

I have been tagging the art and poems with ArtFromMyCovidBed and yes I am still spending a lot of time there and I hate it, I want to be up and running but getting up the stairs leaves me panting and coughing and gasping for breath and it is ridiculous.

My mantra is this is a pandemic and the only thing you have to do in quarantine is SURVIVE.

Having said that I am now just beginning to create again and I have lots of ideas that have been brewing in the nightsweat insomnia that plagues me and there are now a number of political and pandemic based poems. These I hope to weave into a few related collections mixed in with some of the art and stories spun from the fever dreams. They may just be chapters of a larger work or collections in their own right. They are:

Pan Dumb Moan Am I

Pan Ick

Pan Damned It

These will be specifically themed on the pandemic and on going crisis, where as Art From My Covid Bed is just any art I have produced during this recovery period.

I like these titles as there are rings and knots of meaning to them - but that will have to wait for another post.

To the world in general - Health, Hope and Happiness <3

(this piece was cross blogged from my poetry blog Turquoise Monster)

Moon Mega Make – Update! (by )

Creatives Sewing Celestial Montage

This week the Moon Mega Make community textiles project has been out twice in both Gloucester and Cheltenham πŸ™‚ Someone even started stitching the Sun which made me very happy!

Stitching the Sun

Part of the outings was also to put up posters and give out flyers and have further meetings about Moon Mania. This lot of flyers cover the Spoken Word and Creative Writing aspect of Moon Mania which currently comprises 4 events, the first of which also includes the Mega Make at the First Thursday in Cheltenham - an Arts Quarter event that happens once a month unsurprisingly on the First Thursday where the Wilson Museum and Art Gallery is open late and July's event is Moon Themed for the 50th anniversary of the first human on the moon!

There is lots of awesome moon themed stuff happening 6-9 pm πŸ™‚

Moon Mania Spoken Word and Creative Writing line up

Cookes Coffee and Curios is also supporting the Moon Mania Mega Make giving us a space for the Moon Meets and popping my posters and flyers up in their wonderful coffee shop! The photo below is of my mum stitching away over a coffee.

Mum stitching Celestial Montage in Cookes Coffee and Curios

And last but certainly not least - Gloucester City is having a wonderful Earth and Moon Festival opening with Gaia a giant inflatable Earth that is going into one of the loveliest historical landmarks around - Llantony Sucunda Priory. This amazing artwork is by Luke Jerram and is open to the public on the 28-30 of June 2019. Check out the Facebook event here. To my utter joy I get to take the Mega Make along to this event - extract timings for me are yet to be called but I am hoping to make an appearance on all three days so if you are local come along see the art and add a stitch!

Large Celestial Montage Banner

The Moon Mania Mega Make even ended up at the Gloucestershire Steam Punk Society's get together this month where there were cogs and moon chatting and much much more!

Mr Cogs

And last but certainly not least my prototype t-shirt has arrived - I don't like the black rectangle around the moon so am attempting to get rid of that in future prints but this one shall be mine for events to go along with the space dresses, moon skirts and leggings πŸ™‚ I am hoping to sell these to help fund some of the other Moon Mania events and I would like to be able to give these to all the poets and story writers who are providing works for the Moon Miscellany!

Moon Mania t-shirt

Haiku Poetry Day (by )

Moth guide bright, globe that glows -
through to slivered nothing,
Lunar is your name

The Young Adult Reading Group who meet in Waterstones Gloucester sometimes at the same time as my monthly poetry events asked me if I'd written poetry lately as it was Haiku Poetry Day - I hadn't because I have been too wrapped up in my emotions to write anything creative unless it is about my dad and then I tend to get over emotional and have been unable to finish a single piece.

But part of dad's legacy is my writing so I have been trying with novels and comic books and poetry but mainly just staring blankly.

I managed to write this - it is not a Haiku in the way Europeans understand Haikus and it certainly is not a Japanese Haiku but I love Japanese poetry and am obsessed with the moon at the moment so I tried to make something that bit into that essence of existence.

It is slightly different to the tweet version I sent were I wrote Lunars as I think it works better this way.

If you want to know more about the poetry form of Haiku I would suggest you start with wikipedia and then go on from there!

The date of the newly discovered (by me) poetry day is the 17th of April so I am hoping to catch it a little better and more prepared next year.

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 πŸ™‚ 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, Β£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.

WordPress Themes

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales