I celebrated Solstice by scribbling possible titles for a new poem in a beautiful suede notebook which was a retirement present from one of my supervisees. Then I decided to hop on the bus into Manchester City Centre to buy a special 30th Birthday present for my niece in Holland. Wow! There were two men dressed up as Father Christmas singing karaoke Christmas favourites. They said it was their ninth day and all to collect money for the local children’s hospital. It was cheerful, people smiled and donated money into their bucket.
That new poem was written 10 days ago on the Poetry Carousel, up in Grange-over-Sands, Cumbria. I think it’s a great format: four two-hour workshops (Friday afternoon up to and including Monday morning) where you stay in your small group of eight and move along the carousel. It was organised by Kim Moore who also ran one of the workshops on “veiled” narrative. The other poets were Steve Ely (workshop on speaking with the dead), Hilda Sheehan (workshop on surreal/absurdist poetry), and David Morley who presented on the links between nature and poetry. Afternoons were free and the tutors and four guest poets read in the evenings. Mealtimes were an chance to catch up with people in other groups. I met some old poet friends and made new ones. It’s no surprise that the next event (Cornwall spring 2018) is already sold out.
Season’s Greetings to you all. I’m signing off with a seasonal haiku, written during the Carousel:
old snow behind the bench rustling birds