Brazen Waves

My first offering – a poem I wrote some time ago about something that plays a hugely significant role in my life – the ocean. As a teenager, I always dreamed of living somewhere where I had the ocean right on my doorstep – one of my dreams that I eventually did make a reality.

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Brazen Waves

I love it when it’s stormy

And the sea vomits on the shore,

Touting all its treasures

Like a kleptomaniac whore:

A mermaid’s purse,

A gentleman’s shoe,

The crumbs of a ship

And splinters of the crew.

A life rinsed away,

A heartbreak on a wave,

An ocean so brazen,

One to brave and never save.

(c) All words and images belong to the original artist and may not be reproduced without permission

Share and Share Alike

Aviary Photo_130551804147695193So, on Thursday it was my birthday and I celebrated with a share-out-loud picnic. It was one of my friends’ ideas. Or rather they had suggested that we have the picnic and that I entertain people with my poetry. That seemed a little too ‘me, me, me’ for my liking and so I altered the plan slightly so that others were invited to share something of their own – a poem, a story, a joke – anything, just so long as it could be ‘shared out loud.’ I’m so glad I did for as well as finding the confidence to share some of my own creations and getting some lovely support and appreciation there, I was also fascinated by what everyone else had to share, particularly those who had shared their own work. It seemed that there were more people in exactly my situation – people who wrote and wrote furiously and copiously … and then didn’t quite know what to do about it.

The gentle invitation to share something that ‘could be a piece of your own writing’ but didn’t have to be, seemed to allow people that freedom to do so and really, what was unearthed was an absolute treasure trove. Among the offerings one friend had even written some poems especially for the occasion and revealed that behind claims not to be much of a writer there lurked a humour, a warmth, an unmistakable style. Another friend offered a synopsis of not one but two plays she had written. There were poems that revealed the rough edges of smooth characters, that shouted loud the quiet whisperings of their soul and as the evening drew to a close, I was left wondering not what on earth had made me do it, as I had feared might be the case but what on earth had taken me so long. For my part I shared three poems – chosen at random and in the moment:

1) Flame – about how an ex lover can mellow into a calming presence as you both mature

2) Not the Messiah – an angry rant about someone with delusions of grandeur who clearly thinks they are

3) Mourning Wood – a surreal and satirical ditty about a man consumed with lust induced by funerals and the paraphernalia of grief

I feel that in those few hours on the beach with the backdrop of a stunning sunset and the embers of a burning Harvest Moon, we truly had created a circle of trust. I feel buoyed by the experience, keen to share more and to hear more and to read and discuss and fall in love with whatever people are kind enough to share of their own.

It was a privilege. The perfect birthday gift.

I have mooted the idea of a repeat performance some time in the not-too-distant future for interested parties – an idea that has been met with enthusiasm. At least part of my puzzle of when to share my work, with whom and how has been solved and I feel like this is just the beginning.


I’m still locked in a dilemma around when and how and with whom exactly I should share my writing. It seems to me it is quickly becoming a bizarre paradox. It is through my poetry that I find it easiest to express my true, authentic voice and yet I don’t know that I want it to be heard by anyone. Or at least not anyone who could see the mouth from which the voice emerged. I think my anonymity around my poetry is important, still, at this stage. It gives me the freedom and licence to be truly authentic and expressive and not worry who I might hurt, or disgust, or offend, or any of the other things I fear they might do. However, I think to start sharing them in that anonymous context would be useful and timely now, so they get an airing at least.

I lost my voice this week you see. My real voice, I mean. It was a few days after returning from Wales, when I hadn’t had cause to speak to anyone much, if at all. It occurred to me in an irrational moment that that could well have been the cause of it – that I was living testament to the truth behind ‘use it or lose it.’ I’m still not convinced that’s such a ridiculous idea. I have at least started some solitary vocal exercises, mainly focused around verbalising a bizarre one-person progress check:

‘Have I still lost my voice today?’ I might enquire, politely of myself.

‘Why, yes, but it’s a little better than yesterday, don’t you think?’ I might reply.

It seems ludicrous because that’s not what a voice is for, is it? Talking to yourself? It’s for communicating with others. I think my poems have been talking to themselves long enough and if I don’t start to use this voice I’m on the journey of discovering, in the presence of others, then who knows? Perhaps I will lose it too.