I can’t remember when I last tried to write poetry but it was certainly over 20 years ago. It was a ‘Poetry Workshop’ at the Ayr Writers Club tonight and, well, I’ve paid my dues so I thought I might as well give it a go.
The workshop was excellent – lots of ‘free-writing‘ activities, and the read-around of members’ past poetry was interesting and (mainly) enjoyable.
For the last exercise we were set a ‘theme’. Normally, I avoid themes like the plague, finding them narrow and frustrating. The theme, topically, was ‘Wind’ and after a group discussion and another slightly more directional activity we had 5 mins of the evening left to whistle up an initial draft of ‘a poem wot i wrote about wind’ to be revisited in April.
Listening to fellow members’ wind stories (ranging from rescuing lambs in the dead of a Mongolian night only to realise in the morning there had been wolves roaming around, to being sent home early from work because the office roof threatened to blow completely off), I thought about my own experiences.
Once, cycling on Orkney, the wind was so strong my bike and I were blown uphill without pedalling, but boy did I have to work to force the bike back down the other side of the summit. I’ve encountered both the doldrums and howling gales sailing across the Atlantic. (Lucky, lucky me.)
But my most powerful memories of wind are of just being out in it, as a kid and older, loving being buffeted and burled about, laughing as the wind ballooned up my clothing and forced me to ‘eat hair, bitch!’
My attitude has to wind has changed. Walking down my street today there was still plenty of evidence of the recent gale-force winds. Meeting neighbours we congratulated ourselves that no-one had been hurt by a falling tile (or chimney for that matter). At the hurricane’s peak, the wind howling outside, I huddled with my children in the safest, most central room.
So, sorry if it’s crap - don’t know nowt bout poetry - but it’s heartfelt! Enjoy!
Er, the wind and me, or sommat
“Play!” cried the wind. “Shout and leap and spin!”
I leapt and I spun and I laughed until,
falling I lay outstretched on the grass.
“Dally?” asked the wind. “Dance with me.”
So I dallied and we danced until I stumbled
home, late and exhilarated.
“Come,” the wind commanded. “Dance with me.”
But I wrapped my children tight in my arms and
I would not dance.
“Dance!” roared the wind, “Live! Feel! Be!”
But we stayed huddled safe as the wind
smashed against our home in fury.
“Play!” calls the wind. “Shout and leap and spin!”
And I watch as my sons leap and spin
and fall, laughing to lie outstretched on the grass and
I wonder when I will dally with the wind again.