Poetry Practice: Day Eleven

My eleventh day of poetry practice, somewhat delayed after first having site issues, and then computer ones to boot. I’m not giving up, and I do have a back log of poetry to post, however I’m at work, so figured I’d write a quick one, and prove I’m still alive.

Disaster of a Dream

Soaring high above the world,
Glorious hue of unadultered blue,
Wisps of clouds stretching far beneath,
Breaks of green, and brown, and blue,
I am free, nothing can ever get to me here.

Feeling secure here, I swirled,
Blinded by beauty, I never had a clue,
My flight is at an end, I fall towards heath,
Panic flairs, my joy now seesm untrue,
I am trapped, falling to my death in fear.

Without warning, I am curled,
My workplace, twisted and strange,
An assault of vaunted ceilings, and a scary bar,
Signs of the office I know in the range,
I flee, this new world is out to get me.

The scene to Birmingham I’m hurled,
All about me recognised in change,
I bump into a scarey person with a scar,
He grabs me, we fall down a derange,
I hold on, he continues to fall free.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2009

Now just a bit about this poem : Continue reading

Where’s the Inspiration?

A man walks onto the scene, he strolls with forced assuredness, yet you can read in his body language he’s not as confident as he’d like to be, he eyes the megaphone in his hand cautiously, before coming to a step. He lifts the megaphone up, taps the small end, then raises it to his mouth, before clearing his throat, “Ahem!”, then he queries, “Is this thing on?”, his words boom out of the megaphone’s big end. He laughs nervously in response to the annoyed stairs he receives.

The man stands there a few moments before finally seeming to get the confidence to raise the microphone to his mouth again, as he megaphone reaches position this time his cheeks take on a bit of velour, and his eyes seem ablaze, he takes a deep meaningful breath, and speaks into the megaphone,

“Right, listen up,” now all eyes are on him, only they’re attentive rather than annoyed, “I demand to know where my inspiration is! I think it’s wholly unfair that you’ve abandoned me right now. I need you, I can’t write without you. Without you these pages are blank, and what words come are empty.
“Inspiration I’ve never needed you so bad, I’ve got all these things to do, and you’ve abandoned me, given up the fight, and now I stand alone against the tide of battle.
“I beg you return to me your charm, your talent. Words are meaningless without you!”

The audience looks rapt, his words have moved them, they feel his desperation, and they ponder borrowing the megaphone.

The man looks down upon his audience, upon their swept up faces, he watches the emotions play across their faces. Then a thought dawns in his mind, a realisation, maybe even epiphany.

What the man realised was this – inspiration is hard to achieve, but it can hit at the strangest moments, and all you can do is find the nearest waiting apparatus and take advantage.

Everyone has different things that inspires them to write, and inspires what to write. For myself these are most often two different events, for others they might be most often the same.

There is also another possibility one without the other, which can either be liberating or frustrating, for example:

  • I may have a brilliant idea what to write, but no inspiration (will) to write it – so it all plays out in my head because try as I might I can’t convert it into words. Obviously a form of writers block.
  • Something may give me inspiration (the will) to write, but without any inspiration. Here my mind, and the paper is ab empty canvas, and I can just let my thoughts flow freely. Probably doesn’t make for great reading, but it’s fun and liberating for me.

Everybody is different when it comes to inspiration, I know all too well what holds true for me, is complete gibberish to another. In broad strokes, I have probably captured the general forms of inspiration.

In terms of what inspires me to write (gives me the will), it falls down to three categories: the outdoors (nature, weather, scenery, architecture, etc…), other people’s creativity (a book, a film, a piece of music, also biographical information about a creative person, or someone who’s faced adversity in their life), and challenges (nothing gets my creative juices better than a bit of competition).

Sadly these things aren’t guaranteed to get me writing, but most often once I start writing it’s because I was inspired to by one of the above.

In terms of my inspiration what to write, it’s usually something close to hand, something I’ve imagined happening, my emotional state (yes, I can be a bit emo in my poetry), or a need to impress others so I can belong, and validate myself.

I’ve written about many things, from religion to coke cans, from fantasyic tales to mundane moments of life, and from historical events to nature.

Sometimes my indpirations puts me on the path to something specific, sometimes it’s just the starting point, or catalyst for a cascade of ideas.

I will say this, whatever the idea, I do love it when it happens, it’s a veritable joy to let poetry over take me, a joy and love that only falls short of sex.

As I’m getting older, inspiration is getting harder – dry spells last longer, but when the floodgates open, I feel sure the joy is deeper, as I come to appreciate it more.

Still I would live in those moments more if I were able to, giving myself over to the wild abandon of inspiration.

So I feel abandoned when inspiration doesn’t come, and call to it from my megaphone, hoping to attract it back. For me my megaphone is going to beautiful places, reading and listening to music, and entering challenges – hoping beyond hope, inspiration heads my call and answers.

That’s what inspiration is to me.

Poetry Practice: Day Ten

My tenth day of writing practice poems to get myself fit for competition.

Today we have one about the weather, which bears no relation to the weather experienced this weekend funnily enough.

Atmosphere Alight
Furous titans battle at the edge,
Tempestuous gods push back,
Might against might
The battle of nature rages.

Hurricanes battle warm fronts,
Thunder and lightening attack,
Atmosphere alight,
Man measures its puny gauges.

Rivers swell breaking banks,
Weather defences seem to lack,
Dangerous sight,
The battle for nature through ages.

Evolution of a Writer

Charmander - beause everyone should be a Pokémon - or something like that

Charmander - beause everyone should be a Pokémon - or something like that

So Charmander gets in a fight, it’s against a more powerful Pokémon, though his trainer is sure his Pokémon can handle it.

The battle rages, and indeed in a last ditch effort, Charmander gets the win. The crowds go wild, it’s the little pocket monster that could.

Wait, but what’s happening now? Why Charmander is glowing, what’s going on? Suddenly the glowing shape of a small odd looking lizard is replaced with a larger odd looking glowing lizard, and as the glow fades, Charizard is stood there looking thoroughly chuffed with himself. He’s evolved, become a better Pokémon, bigger, stronger, and smarter. Everyone is shocked into a stunned silence. His trainer starts clapping, and soon the auditorium goes nuts.

What’s this got to with anything? Well after a fashion I think writers evolution is similar. Certainly my own is, I get stronger very gradually, but every so often I tackle something big – and win. The gradual improvement, the many small lessons learnt, and the sudden influx of effort and challenges pushes me to a new level.

I’ll admit, it may be a confidence thing – I’m not a biased judge of my own ability, in the absence of Mr Horobin and Mr Barrand (my English teachers in high school), I can only presume to rate myself.

Every piece I write I get a little better, every review and edit nets me a few more lessons to avoid problems in the future, but every major trial tests everything I’ve learned, and gives me so many new lessons.

In terms of talent and experience, I evolve into a whole new monster, with new lessons to learn and embrace. I find the end of a piece of work, or project, the most exciting time, and I need to focus on that when the challenge seems too daunting, or I lose the inspiration (will), I have reasons to carry on.

It’s true of most things in my life, I’m a far better analyst now than I was four years ago, there are periods of gradual improvement, and those moments where I’ve jumped to a whole new level.

Now I’ve turned myself into a fictional firey Japanese lizard, I think the job is done for this post.

P.S. I don’t know Pokémon that well, if I’ve got the evolution wrong, aplogies to the diehard Pokemon fans out there.

Poetry Practice: Day nine

Well today is day nine, I’m starting to feel good about writing poetry, well I always did, but having been away for nearly a year, I felt anxious about writing. I’m not a confident person, I’m honest, hard working, and caring – all great qualities but I lack confidence. Writing today’s poem, I felt confident about writing poetry, and that is a fantastic feeling.

Anyway, here’s today’s poem:

Trumble

Trumble trumble
The train is speeding along the tracks,
Like the cliche it goes on and on,
It doesn’t care how many poets pay tribute,
How could it? It’s a train, it suffers no dispute,
Like the cliche it goes on and on,
Until age, fault, or accident attacks,
Trumble trumble.

Trumble trumble,
It might carry passengers or sacks,
Train doesn’t care, just goes it’s way,
For cheap fast long distance it suffers no substitute,
It’s masters do, they’re not nearly as astute,
They only care about getting more pay,
Preventing the goofd things train lacks,
Humble grumble.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2009

Well we’re back to political rantscommentary as poetry, throw in a bit of business, but mostly it’s politically motivated. The train may not care about the state of British railways, but I do – between Labour and Conservatives, the railways have been turned into a wasteful, inefficient, unenjoyable, expensive and ill-fated form of travel. Why ill fated? Well if enough train companie go under, the rail network would grind to a halt – either someone wealthy would get wealthier running a shadow of the service, or it simply stops. The rail network, and it’s subsidies, have been so artificially raised up, no government could take it back – though they’d happily pay as much to the wealthy hero to take over.

I’m grouchy – I love public transport, or loved is more accurate. Have such fantastic memories, and feelings of trains of old. By old I mean my relatively recent childhood – big black and white Intercity’s with their golden stripe were always a mystery. I never got to go on one before they became GNER, then National Express trains. The design, and routes may not have changed, these cheap rip-offs, the amateur replacements are no match in my mind for the glorious behemoths of memories.

I remember going to the National Railway Museum in York as a child with my grandparents – if I loved the idea of the Intercities, this was where I was blown away. Amazing contraptions everywhich way, Mallards, and Stephenson’s Rocket, walk through 30’s 1st class carriages, and even take a short ride along the tracks, steam billowing from the front, distinctive whistles blaring.

I’m on a train now, a Pandolino (on mobile so not easy to check spelling), it doesn’t compare, and though I have somewhere good to go, the journey isn’t the same.

I should probably have written a second poem, this post deserved it, as did my memories. Maybe another time I’ll revisit that passion.

Poetry Practice: Day Eight

So my poetry practice continues, where now into the second week, and still I hope to continue upon this path. I am going to start introducing mandatory elements into my daily practice poems, just to liven it up, and stretch myself technically, and emotively. I will cover these in more details in a post later, laying out what I intend on doing.

That being said, it is possibly that I won’t be posting for a few days as I go away, however I will try to avoid this, as I really like keeping to a poem a day, and will be writing them, so it is only a minor hassle to fathom a way to post them.

Anyway, onto today’s poem – as I write this, I haven’t started writing the poem, this is coming straight out of my head and into the pages of this blog. No preparation, or hesitation.


The Gifts of Poets Gone

As I lay here, on the backs of giants,
Poetry forebearers that carried the skill into art,
Whose tireless efforts, and many a sacrifice,
Have given me today,
The bed upon which I lay.

By which I mean the literary warrants,
The rules, tempers, and heritages they impart,
For which I am able to add my words, spice,
And never say nay,
The words my mind may.

As I lay here dwelling in fragments,
Of poetry past and present, musing my part,
I have yet to play, indulging my vice,
I suffer no defray,
It will be words day.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2009

I think this poem is relatively clear, and it’s source easy to identify (see my last blog post), it is also something I genuinely believe and hold dear. Though I am a pale imitation of their art, their skill, and their lives, I am no less beholden to them for the gifts they have given that have led me to where I am.

Where I imitate there style, where I borrow from their prose, I hope they would be flattered, and hope they would appreciate my gratitude.

Poetry Practice: Day Seven

Well I’m now upto a week of writing daily poetry, it’s going pretty well, I even managed an extra one on Monday – however it was so bad, I dare not let the rest of the world see it.

Today’s poetry practice is brought to you by 12Seconds, the short video blogging site to which I just signed up. No idea what I’m going to do with a 12 seconds account, I’m not exactly photogenic, and my voice isn’t great – but for 12 seconds, who cares? It’s a bit of fun. Anyway, it’s the inspiration for today’s poem, and I’ve even done a 12 second version for 12Second, which will add after the poem itself.

12 Seconds…
“12 seconds you’re on Mister Legend”,
“Who me? I’m just well me”,
“It’s your 12 seconds Mister”,
“Erm, what do I say?”
That woman with the camera,
She looked at me funny,
And then just laughed,
“You’re 12 seconds is up Mister Legend,”
She said, with an impish giggle,
Indeed they were,
12 seconds flies by,
My 12 seconds of fame,
Good bye.

©, Jonathan Lawrence 2009

[12svideo id=”167600″]

Video of me doing a 12 second version of this poem.