TheFED Writing Festival
Saturday 24th October 2015
Faraday House, Old Gloucester Street,
Holborn, London, WC1N 3AE
Were You There?
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(Taken by Tony May, a member of GROW)
Recorded by Ashley Jordan (a member of GROW)
A Strange Place
Come up with a group of people who have all just woke up to find themselves in a strange place, completely unfamiliar to them.
It consider be a house or mansion or forest.
Imagine they find each other and wonder where they are, only to be found by someone or something else soon after.
What would they see? What would they say?
From the second workshop
There's is something developing.
I wore my hairclip.
I am stand on the green head. I am stand on hill top.
I wore a dress. I wore a ring and we were.
You go out in a rain. Were Class.
My gran did not want me be I marrying Jim in the Registry Office.
The hair clip on cardboard.
DURANTY (after Edgar Degas, 1879)
Not what I was
Promised: M. Degas
Will never eat lunch in Paris
INTERIOR AT PADDINGTON (after Lucian Freud, 1951)
My friend Harry poses as if in a dream,
would not be happy in the nightmares
my good friend Mr Bacon indulges in.
This is Paddington, not Knightsbridge,
the young man staring up at this window
is not my intimate friend from last night.
I often talk to Yucca trees, they whisper
to me in Spanish of the light in New Mexico,
and yes, I know what Grandad would think.
Why do you think patients lay on that couch
draped with kilims & flanked by Juju masks?
Whose dream world was that? Personally
I’ve always preferred Melanie Klein’s work;
I never saw the Old Man at work, and as for
Herr Professor Jung, he is simply cuckoo.
Francis Bacon has that side of the street
well under control; he is not the Irish wild
man you imagine; he is gentle & kind,
and we respect each other’s work. Really.
I never go to the Colony Club & if we meet
in a restaurant, let our acolytes duke it out.
Harry is not about to punch this Yucca or hurl
through the window in a display of artistic
temperament, I will not invite the young man
up for lunch or to be my model. He is not my type,
nor will the light flatter him. The light says
Take your coat off & get to work.
OASIS IN THE BAD LANDS (after Edward S. Curtis, 1900)
I tell you;
in time to come
someone will remember us. (Sappho, Fragment 6)
I will enjoy
this water while
it and we are here.
My good friend
Chief Red Hawk,
doesn’t know it yet
but his day
is done; his rifle
made by Speaks With Forked Tongue
is useless here.
He is brave,
& fearless, and the last free
He looks out
on his ancestors’ homeland.
he looks into
the future; it is his past.
will arrive from
places he cannot imagine.
They are hard,
they are cold,
will not respect his claims.
I fell off a shirt or Laura Ashley dress,
lost or abandoned, left under the bed.
I hope I am not forgotten
or replaced by another button
that does not match the rest
or maybe the buttonhole was left
lonely and the garment never fitted
properly again, got too tight
or frayed in a noticeable spot
then donated to Cancer Research
or cut up and used as dusters,
or relegated to gardening togs.
I do not approve of wearers
who live carelessly or change
their clothes without thinking
of the seamstress in Bangladesh
or China who transmits their skill
and maybe their love & hopes
for a different life, maybe moving
to Lahore, London or Shanghai
living that life of disposable income.
Anything is possible with the right disguise.
You think I am identical
to every black button ever made,
but I am not, we are not all
the same, if you don’t see the
subtleties, just pick a few of us
up next time you have lost one.
Sort through the box carefully,
pick us up, hold us to the light,
one by one till you find the right
one to do the job & make your shirt
dress or coat presentable again;
do it right and no-one except
your spouse, partner or mother
will notice and approve.
Putting the right button on the wrong
garment might affect peoples’ opinion.
I was custom made for one particular
shirt, and resent being transferred
to an inferior garment. I am not out
of place, but my new home will attract
the wrong sort of attention from people
who could not afford the original.
In my world, my real world,
not the one you imagine I inhabit,
I know my heritage & history,
which does not include being
sewn onto a shirt as if I was
that shirts property, to be fingered,
rubbed against cloth or other
garments, noticed, if at all,
as a minor part of that shirt,
to be replaced as necessary.
You do not even know my name,
or imagine a future that does not
include you or your wardrobe
but I know what holds my future,
and what my next life will be,
not as a small button on a human’s
shirt, but as something or maybe
someone superior, a pattern
my Creator has designed for me.
I will be perfect and perfectly
situated in my next life; not on
this miserable little world.
A Salute from The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective to TheFED and Fedfest 2015
Warmest greetings to the power of poetry
manifest in world solidarity
A salute to consciousness transcontinental
from The Bread is Rising Poetry Collective
in our 20th anniversary year
spreading poetic truth
with strong allies
The Time Table