The Walking Show

Crosseyed at dawn; fences silhouetted, cows moo!

I avoid cow pats but the smell is thick in the air.

Filling my boots I run towards the group and the waiting mini-bus queue.

Warthogs are not from these parts or in my mind as we traverse

cattle grids and leave the wild hills behind.

What did that air imbue in mind body and sinew than thirty years after

the event I can recall it’s essence anew?

Was it the food or the friends or the country air or the mud or cows chewing

on the cud and the stories and campfires and treks through fields where Bulls roamed free?

Or was it the feeling of just being me? Alone in a crowd. Not imprisoned just allowed to be?

To peek here and there over the walls to look at the flowers and weeds, to breathe in something pretty?

It wasn’t about girls or having the best, of that I can put your mind to rest. Nothing of that kind existed yet. But the little bridge over the mountain river would bring my heart up into my mouth as we floated along like a procession of waterproof wearing ducks our footsteps resounding in my ears: a hollow sound but one I followed wishing I made the same sound but I never did I always thought my footsteps inferior to those gone before.

I accepted this on the basis that I had the wrong boots or the wrong walk and that I should watch my Dad the next time I saw him as I knew he had the right sound, the right walk an all and that it would as he promised of the future ‘would come to me’. So I didn’t worry at all.

That the future did come to me was prescient of he although he forgot to mention that the party might be gatecrashed. Accordingly, I left him out of my will and vowed that I would wring his wallet dry of beer money until we were even!

Still, the country has the same effect on me although these days I am usually too stressed to notice how my feet make the right sounds that I skilfully avoid cowpats and easily traverse stiles. But I am still scared of bulls. Don’t tell anybody!

Now I want to do poetry. And something has just occurred to me: A poet is not just a poet by name only but is someone who does poetry. Really? I shall have to wait and see if that definition helps me understand what it is to be a poet but the question is vexing me especially when I tell people that I have given up my studies to ‘commit’ to poetry. I feel so hollow when I say those words and my heart goes up into my mouth and I feel that my poetry is not as good as those who went before me or those coming up after me. Perhaps this is a game I don’t yet know the rules of and don’t understand or is it God’s cruel joke played on people across the land? And we are toy soldiers in his hand?

Well, I have written hundreds of little poems so far and can call them my own although I posted them online I only wrote them for me and there perhaps is one source of anxiety. As a poet, you write for people to read or it’s performed and its kind of a show is one version of how it goes.

Performance? Show? Ooooeeer! Saying that I have listened to Ted Hughes (the old Poet Laureate) and he doesn’t sound like he put on a performance just makes me sound ignorant (i think) so I will say that perhaps it is a skill that can be learned like any other skill in life.

There we go!

Crisis over. Phew!

So on with the show (!)

Ta, ta folks!

Home

Interesting, Studious, Cool
That’s how I roll
Lighting the spliff of life
I drawwwwwwww!

I drawwwwwwww!

I drawwwwwwwww!

Back to my pad, home.
Jump my bones baby
Rock’n’Roll

Stuck in a teenage nightmare or dream
Nothing is as it seems
Debt collectors at the door
and I’m not in debt no more
Or so I thought.
Rage
Hope
Fame
What more?

Three dimensions
organisation of a sort
something tasty on my tongue
the days and nights roll by

Back to my pad, home
Jump my bones baby
Rock’n’Roll

Artistic makes me drool
Shame can’t make it real
South Korea is our ally!
Jump in bed with me!

Interesting, Studious, Cool
That’s how I roll
Lighting the spliff of life
I drawwwwwwww!

©2017 Andrew Watkins

 

Man and Girl

Willow Pond
The bed magazine ashtray can of pop, Coca-Cola curtains are drawn full bin that smells of apple cores magazine that is open to a page for men’s fragrance and behind the closed door and inviting well-lit hall with doors off it niggling doubt before floating view of other people doing the same walking destination prisoner absorbing images of self rooted to the spot the sky above the unknown behind you? blue car controls before you steering wheel on the wrong side makes you think of churches you have been to drinks and sandwiches on a day out Pikachu vicars and friends sons and lovers the magazine blue.
in shadow model in half light large letters blue bottle GIVENCHY in black 48 points high in the  bin that smell is nauseating so you have a pot of yoghurt the magazine glossy 300-400 grams golden haired beauty stares at you from every page film stars with designer stubble and dark suits full body shot expensive shoes glamourous blonde Australian actress, blue eyes, white teeth, gold earrings and Versace dress Nicole Kidman is her name chiselled jawed model wearing suit smiles at you big dialled watch gleams at you from the opposite page, the smell of the magazine tired behind your eyes double vision Neil Gaiman JK Rowling Blue.

© 2017 Andrew Watkins

Torch Lite

I have come up with a name for a blog -Antonym.

Also I have a torch: perpective and light.

Sometimes Godlike in its capabilities.

‘Move on’ is my new mantra.

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Pentecost is soon. Move On.

Some are coming, some are leaving; always making a noise.

As the Royal procession makes it way slowly, rats run from drain covers to hide in the crisp packet leaves.

Yellow sun. Blinding. To the corners of the earth.

Where even the meekest black cat hides in the shadows no more.

Transformer attack! No defence! Bright light beckons. Education!

More people coming or going. It’s the train Kevin Scam Michael Crowd.

 

Shouting mouse dog’s dinner

pundits talkshow mirror backwards

tiny voices building site tractors

overshadowed by the dark office buildings

little boy walking his dog reality shows up again.

 

Shadow. Station sign. 12 noon. 12:31 exactly. Blame soon. Innocent stares. Pyramid scams. Payout. Shadows and gloom, pints. 

Rune stones.

Goodbye!

eXPERIMENtal Beat

Gold bitch everlasting peace

 

Words come down see itself and began

to come again and again. Blow me

Blow me

back against the wall begging for relief.

Come down slowly in my arms and

swallow me whole. This snake is heading

This snake is heading

for its hole in the ground.

Bring me back and get some sleep. Begin again

Another cold week my soul eating

from a bowl in the cold. Weather down in the

heather with the birds and insects crawling

down my shirt and trousers, army issue sunglasses.

Dog tag dangling, Now

Peace.

Gold bitch everlasting peace.

Gold bitch everlasting peace.

Gold bitch everlasting peace.

by Andrew Watkins

A Handful of Soil – Poetry Exercise

I was talking about the possibility of teaching poetry to people of all ages as I am soon to be published  and this exercise came to me suddenly and out of the blue.

 

If I were to give you a handful of soil what would you do with it?

It seems to be ripe with possible meanings, the essence of poetry. These could be words, feelings, thoughts, ideas.

You could write it, say it, demonstrate it…..

If you find it useful then please let me know or just give it a go and tell your thought poem to a friend or family member.

It could go something like this

 

Give me a handful of soil

And I will say my goodbye

And plant in it a seed

that for future generations will grow.

 

A family member might never have known you had poetical leanings or aspirations in that area!

There are no rules that you have to follow but if you want a guide then try to keep your poem it under twenty lines, to begin with, and to ask why? when you try to rhyme. Show don’t tell. Relax, it’s not an exam!

You might find it easier if you make a space to work in where you will not be disturbed. If you are worried about turning off your phone for an extended period then give yourself ten minutes only when you divert your calls to voicemail and have pen and paper ready or alternatively use your computers notepad or word processor. When FIRST STARTING OUT I RECCOMEND USING PEN AND PAPER AND DON’T BE AFRAID OF SCRUBBING OUT.

When you have an idea write it down. It’s only for you . Try not to worry about what others would/might think. A poem might come in five/ten minutes or it might take longer. Don’t be disheartened. Take breaks. Read other people’s poetry.

Keep trying.

If you want to read poetry then you will find many poets of all shapes and sizes at Allpoetry.com

Unfortunately, I can’t be there when you have your poem and have something you want to show someone but you could try instead a trusted friend or someone you look up to or if you are feeling confident someone  at school or work. Chances are they won’t be an expert either.

And don’t worry if you are not writing like Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Maya Angelou or any of the greats to begin with. You have your whole life to improve and enjoy poetry.

So Good luck and have fun!

Andrew