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Today, with some trepidation, I skulked into a poetry writing workshop I’d signed up for… not sure what I’d find… fearful I’d be completely out of my depth.  During the subsequent two hours we learnt to write a Renga (akin to a series of Japanese haiku) and together wrote a communal Renga taking turns to come up with a verse each.  Whilst driving home, I pulled over in the car, sat admidst the Cuillin mountains and with tears streaming, wrote another, my own Renga about my experience of the poetry workshop… I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

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Indoors despite the sunshine
A creative writing workshop
Poetry… a circle of poets… a communal poem

And me… here to learn
No relationship with writing, as such

From the warmth of the day
Cold dread of night, lacking moon
A verse to be read in my non-native, non-existent Gaelic

Hot blush, blurting out “I can’t”
Leaves falling as I cling to them

Committed to weather the winter
This journey from outwith my comfort zone,
my safety, far from the fire

The pain of shame, deep within
Not knowing, fear of being wrong

Shrinking from the intimacy of the group
Having a go… exposed
Wanting to hide, disappear, go

The voice within tormenting
Who are you? Why are you here?

It speaks so loudly. So harshly
Free from poetic beauty
Give up! It yells

I do, feeling my love of learning ebb
My wellspring flow from me

I notice a need to catch a wave
To return to shore
On a kindly word, validation

My distaste of this: my need for approval
Bitter, sour, vomit inducing

Nothing sweet about it
Heaviness in the pit of my stomach
Noticing a desire for sugar, to sweeten the feeling

Not feeding the want
Staying with the bile rising

Feeling into what is there
Ego sneers for my lack of culture
My ineloquence with language

Foolish… I play the jester
Joking with the others, hiding discomfort

Desperate for the hand of the clock to reach four
Tick tock, time creeps
My contribution again… I pass, inspiration blocked

Naked, unclothed, unrobed
My stupidity without disguise in this room of strangers

The end arrives, just one more chance to be brave
My turn to speak, to create, just two more lines…
Will they flower? Blossom?

I miss my chance, tears spring forth, not a wave,
But an ocean of waves, for me to ride… Home