Saturday, 6 February 2016

Broken promises I never made.

One month down.
I am Knackered, and yes, I think it does deserve a capital K!
Last night, despite my efforts, Lady Sleep sank her claws into my soul and dragged me under. (I was in bed by 8pm. Could not keep my eyes open.)
Who cares?
Well I had intended to go to an amazing open mic poetry night at the Black Swan  but I didn't.  But that is not my first broken promise.
Work got me!
Drained and disconbobbulated.
Despondent and depleted.

And not just me, everyone for at least two weeks wondered what on earth was happening. All staff became a cost, not a person. Just a number on a sheet, in a column somewhere, that some bean counter was invited to manipulate in order to save money for shareholders dividends. Someone who had no idea how many humans it took to make and serve a cup of coffee, or prepare a sandwich, or order produce and take care of it. For him (or her I add because there is no difference in stupidity or lack on common sense in the sexes) it was just a matter of money = time . Less time = less cost to the business.
Well I say to that person who manipulated a computer model for a fairies promise of profit, less cost = closed, and reduced opening hours = less money = more costs = no staff!
Thank you for stressing us all out!

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest!
(Yes there is a poem in there somewhere but I am back to waiting when I get home, just waiting unable to get going with anything fun, or creative that isn't work!)
And that is what I hate.
I am not only full of nothing from work, I am full of worry for my friends whom I work with, and I feel their stress too. This is just the way I am built. I don't always pick up on it, but when I do, it plays on my mind and I just want to cry and eat chocolate (or drink beer!)

OK no more. It's over. It's done. A more practical soul has decided that although staff are a cost, they are a necessary one and needed to keep making the money they so desire.

Stop it Joanne. Now!

Yes, there are positives.
I have been writing, posting more photos on facebook with half poems or prose. And I am trying to keep up with just one story. Thinking, long-hand, typing and some editing all on one tale. It isn't the one I decided on, but I shall keep going, and remembering. There is a lot going on in my head which is not down on paper yet. But it will be!

February is a busy month, And not just because it is the shortest.
Open mics, poetry slams, creative witting, and Chinese new year, along this pancake day! (Why don't I eat pancakes more than once a year?)
That is a lot to look forward to!

And getting this grumble written down is good. I might not be blogging the most creative things at the moment, but its a record, and who knows what weird characterisation my brain will invent when I reread it in a different frame of mind!

Thank you for putting up with my shit!

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Goodbye 2015

What a year.
I started with a rant at myself along with some vague promises, and ended with, well you can decide what I ended with. I shall most likely spend the next year trying to work out what it was!

I didn't manage to write a poem a month for Napowrimo (maybe this year!) but I did manage to write a half decent poem and read it out on stage, in front of an audience who did not run away!
I cannot decide if that was my proudest moment or the fact I am finally published!
You heard right.
In this...
It is an amazing collection of talented spoken wordsmiths and I feel privileged to be in among the same pages that they inhabit. Not really sure I should be in there but as I am I feel no guilt in suggesting that, if you are unable to make it to Say Owt Slam at York for any reason, you should buy this instead.
 And then make plans to come to the next Say Owt slam!
Yes, but its my blog so I can. And I must say thank you to Henry Raby and Stu Freestone for encouraging me to stand up and try!
My greatest achievement, so far.
I have poemed and storied my way through this year, crocheted and performed, and I have enjoyed it. I don't think I should have worried about not making plans (at my age I think I have to be realistic. I have never managed to organise myself up to now so I don't think it's going to happen any time in the future however hard I sit and think about it)
OK start Christmas crochet presents earlier but apart from that... just let the next year unfold, and stop spending time waiting for things to happen. I have spent far too much time sitting around waiting, sometimes simply waiting to go to bed.
As an attempt at a new years resolution its not a bad one, stop procrastinating to myself!
Yeah, right and what is a blog but a procrastination to the world (well those who read it anyway)
But it's good to write something every day so every writers guide to writing will tell you and that habit I should encourage!
What else?
I cannot end this blog without mentioning the floods in York. proper floods, devastating floods to those who got caught up in them. And I took a couple of photos...a couple, more like an album of them. A new direction for me, photojournalism, or is it disaster voyeurism I can never decide. But they are a record of the state of the River Ouse in all its violent majesty at Christmas 2015.

 York is used to getting flooded, but not quite like this!
So onwards to 2016.
Tonight is a night when a million blogs will get written, a million hopes will blossom, a million resolutions will be made and the majority broken. I can almost hear the crack of over optimism as it smashes against the rock of a greying dawn.
But we are human, and its what we do, hope for the future.
Well more modest claims for me, read more, write more, open mic and perform more, crochet more and worry about work less. If I worry less I will have more time to do more of my more list!
As I said, I'm optimistic!
So, good bye 2015, and welcome to the future. Welcome to a new now when we can start again.
Thank you to all my friends, family and folks I haven't met yet, and thank you to my readers of this blog.
Have a Good 2016!
And thank you for reading. xx

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Sleep, Say Owt Slam 6 and Monkey Poet

It has been a while.
Too long actually. I should post more.
But I have done more, just not on my blog.
So it is high time to update it, yes?
Well, I am doing it anyway. Bugger what others think.
What I want to say is important to me!

OK, guilty rant over, last night I performed in my very first poetry slam.
I am still reeling from the after affects of Say Owt Slam #6.
The poets were amazing, my fellow slammers had lots of talent, with the words they wrote and then performed to almost riotous applause.
A heartfelt well done to the winner, Lily Luty and to Stephen Quinlan who was a worthy runner up. And to the lad I was sat next to but I have failed to remember his name, He decided to show his skills for the first time at a slam! I have great admiration for you mate. Other great poets who's names I do remember were Rose Drew, and Bob Horton, ace performances every one!
I have to give a great big thank you to Monkey Poet, who talked to me over my own performance before I quite recognised who he was, and gave me hope that my attempt was not quite as bad, or my subject matter a bit too ordinary for a slam.
Ok, the fact most of my score were quite solid 8s should have been a clue but it could have been an alcoholic fuelled fluke? No, well I have never been good with honest praise from other people. Call it an adorable character flaw!
I also have to thank Monkey Poet for this!
I have already read half of it, and am quite glad no one else is about to listen to my attempt to read aloud, or listen to my laughter. So much to say, and said well. A proper collection. And well worth a read if you cannot get to see this guy in the flesh.

Thanks also go to Stu Freestone and Henry Raby for organising a wonderful night, and of course starting Say Owt Slam in York to give poets a chance to do and experience something different with the spoken word.
How long will this feeling of elation stay? I have already gone back to mundaneity, doing the washing, and drinking tea, but every time I think about last night, a grin appears on my face and my chest feels tight. And I can't stop rhyming. This isn't meant to be a rhyme. Just a marvellous thank you for such an amazing time!
No, It wasn't a poem, it was meant to be a sentence, although I imagine there are some out there who could point out why it wouldn't be a sentence either.
This is my blog and I'll write it how I like, thank you!

Well all I have to do now is tell you my poem. It is titled Sleep and was written over a fortnight of bad nights when I couldn't. Did the poem stop me sleeping? or did my sleeplessness inspire the poem? Might as well ask what is consciousness? The answer would be the same.

I am cursed.
As many are, with that hated four letter word.
And sleep,
Although an enjoyment, an indulgence, nay a requirement
As I lay me down.
Pillow seal-soft beneath my work-weary brow,
Body heavy with lethargic desire
Mouth a-yawning.
Eyelids pulled and tugged by insistent gravity
So, so heavy
Until the light goes off.
I sigh,
As the suddenly endless night stretches to the dawn.
My mind awake once more.

Tick as time ambles forward.
But I will not look.
I will not!
I will not look at my phone
Will not look to check the time again!
Oh shit, its 1am.
Tick goes my insidious brain
Entwined with who knows what again.
Oh sleep, please come.
See, all my caffeinated blood is gone.
Hear, the silence is all but complete.
Feel, the bed is warm and comfortably neat.
It presses against my legs and chest,
Teasing me with its gentle touch.
Throat vibrates with deepening snore
And yawn.
Yawns as great as a walrus in majestic lethargy,
Mouth so wide,
Like a whale that gulps and strains the sea for sustenance.
So I do seek for sleep.
But it does not come for me.

What was that noise?
Heartbeat racing, thumping against tightened ribs
Feet gone cold in breathless fear.
It is nothing.
I know its nothing.
Body heavy, clumsy, slow
But that ominous creak.
That door slam in someone else's home.
I am listening now.
And sleep is gone.

A tangled web,
Bejewelled with frost laden mists of night
Glistening in the bloated orange dawn.
So obviously avoided by the fly
Is sleep, that will not come.
A poor courtier I
with no relaxing lullaby
With which to entice it into my over active mind
When the hours of darkness arrive.
Yet finally.
When alarm screeches incessantly into my ear
And I crawl from vile bed,
Snoozing seconds held to my breast so dear
As I fight for those last moments of rest.
Duvet tangled around sweaty feet.
Eyes, hot aching piss-holes in my head.
I am obliged to drag night heavy limbs through knee-high,
mud-thick mist,
To work.
Too early for the birds.
4 am.
5, or 6.
Far to early to cope with shit.
Far to tired to think of owt but sleep.

But without this nightly battle, my poem would not be complete!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I hope you are enjoying my poetry journey as much as I am.

Thank you for reading.
Joanne xx

Saturday, 4 April 2015

napowrimo 4

The universe is.
I am.
You are.
Thank you.
It is more than enough just to be, if you exist.

A poem about love without love mentioned, I am really this year.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Not the Best Fourteen in the World

This is a hard one. A poem with fourteen syllables in each line. And I am finding it harder than I thought I would. But I have half an attempt here.
Not good, but its made me think... quite hard!

Fourteens a number I have come to hate with a cold heart.
Just thinking what to write today is making me just barf.
All the brainache it produces, its driving me insane.
How I wish to write in fifteens but the rhythm ain't the same.

Thank you for reading, l think.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

a mustard scarf.

A mustard scarf.

There are no stars tonight.
'Though the moon slowly grows,
And glows through mist laden clouds
That casts a circular rainbow.
A watercolour, bleeding in the rain.
And I am cold.
Oh how I ache for the lost warmth of a mustard scarf.
So long, I could wrap it
Thrice around my neck.
So thick, it muffled against my ears
And swung comfortingly against my chest
In bright, custard yellow swags of joy.
But it is gone.
Left behind.
Unseen but remembered.
Like the stars.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Am I A Poet?

Am I a poet?
I ask myself.
As words from my pen, vomit upon a crisp, white page.
Like pigeons flocking for crumbs
amongst the cracked paving slabs.
So i search for hidden meanings
In those words.
And find,
Only wonder.
And doubt.
Am I a poet?
The question presumes I know one important thing.
That I know what a poet is.
What a poet does.
What a poet is for.
My pen stumbles through brambles that catch,
and tear the meaning apart.
Leaving strands of tattered thought behind them,
wisps of coloured wool.
Snapping in a flickering wind.
Leaving only this moment to fall,
forlornly on the page.
The rest:
Washed away, and dissolved in the humdrum of the every day.
Am I a poet?
But this is not the question that needs an answer.
Is this, a poem?
And that is not for me to decide.
Is it?


Say Owt Slam 4 is back on 19th May and I have agreed to give it a go. So as well as trying to write a poem a day, I have to find something to say for then.
But really, I am wetting myself just thinking about standing up and having others score my attempts, and I have too much time to think it over. I am always better doing things off the cuff.

And sat owt slam 3 was beyond amazing. So many talented folk to tickle my mind with thoughtful insightful and funny prose and poems, I know I have a lot to live up to.

Ok, OK it is only my own expectations that make my heart thump madly, when ever I think about strutting my stuff on a stage, my voice echoing oddly in my ears as lights blind my already watering eyes but I am looking forward to it.

At least I think so.

Thank you for reading. xx