Poetry Please?

I don’t read poetry often. Is that a shocking admission for someone who writes poetry and has an English Lit degree? I don’t call myself a poet but still, maybe I should be reading it more? Certainly anyone who wants to improve at writing poetry needs to read it and see it performed.

Just in case it’s passed you by, it’s National Poetry Day and in the interest of spreading the poetry related joy about I’ve gathered together a few links:

Carol Rumens has a Poem of the Week feature on the Guardian website. She was one of my creative writing lecturers at uni (I was a lucky sod).

Poetry Foundation has a database of poems to peruse.

The Poetry Society is a charity promoting poetry.

Matthew Plumb is a poet and tree surgeon who I saw performing at a Pagan storytelling event and he was amazing. A great performer with that genuine love of words which gives poetry a rich lustre.

Robin Herne is a friend of mine, an author and storyteller. His book ‘Bard Song’ is a collection of poetry and a how-to guide for creating sacred Pagan poetry. Given his approach it would be useful for anyone wanting to explore a variety of poetic forms. He has made Youtube videos of some of his storytelling and poetry.

Does anyone have any useful resources or amazing poets to add?

 

Cool

I will never

be cool

I will never

be funny clever forward enough

I will never have the right thing to say

on the tip

of my tongue

I will never be bright enough

I will never be the social shooting star

the one

the core

I would not want to be

in the middle

I would shrink shirk hide

I will never be cool

have it

be happening

or whatever the fuck the word for it is now

I will always be peering through the glass

glad to be on the dark side of the glass

but wistful

about the ease style smooth

of the people in the light

 

© Elizabeth Cutts 2014

 

***

This poem wrote itself in a few minutes flat, I think I’ll need some distance before I can evaluate it honestly. The total lack of punctuation makes me a bit nervous (see – not cool).

The Hardest Word

No.

 

To say it to you

To deny your request

Is like cutting my own flesh.

 

My gut swoops and hangs

My sweat stinks my fear

My head swings in an arc

And my voice will not sound.

 

To be silent now

To deny my own wish

Is like fastening my own chains.

 

My throat closes fast

My ears hum and buzz

My breath hangs in my mouth

And my voice will not sound.

 

***

Copyright © 2014 Elizabeth Cutts

***

Today I Dismembered You, Old Friend

Today I dismembered you, old friend.

 

I took your sinewy strips of red bark

and narrow, crackling fingers

and put them on a bonfire.

 

I sliced your white fibrous limbs

into fat chunks for later.

 

It is a violation, a betrayal, a chore.

Can it be an honouring?

 

The incense scent of your sap

and the green grit of your lichens

are smeared across my skin.

 

I will miss you.

 

***

Copyright © 2013 Elizabeth Cutts

 

This is a quick’n’slapdash poem written because today my favourite tree came down in a storm. I originally posted it on my gardening blog but decided I would also post it here.

 

 

 

It’s Nothing

He stares up at the night sky
and sees no stars
just blank distance between them.
 

All the hope light life givers are
extinguished
Driven out with more nothing.
 

The sparkling things have been redacted
One by one
until all that is left is gulf.

 

***
Copyright © 2012 Elizabeth Cutts