Tag: writing

Finding Poems in Unexpected Places – A Prisoner’s Shirt

Sometimes we have to go searching for ideas when we are writing. Sometimes they just drop into our laps, falling from unexpected places. Like this one – In WW2, Private Stan Herron (1914 – 1967) was captured by the Japanese, and sent to work with other prisoners on the Burmese railway. Prisoners were issued an…

Six Months in Aarhus

This time last year, you wore thin bladesscrewed to the sole of white leather bootsand wobbled close to snow-clad skirtsof a frozen lake. Your tongue still spilled English words skatesicecold The lake remained solid for weeks long after you coaxed your borrowed skates into swooping curves and spiralsto explore further from shore and your tongue…

Finding Your Way through Writer’s Block

Feijoa season is finished for the year in my garden. I’ve pruned the trees now the fruit are finished, snipping off the branches growing too close together, making sure there was space for birds to fly through. The sun was hot for late May, more like a spring day in the northern hemisphere than an…

Shoelaces – a short story

My shoelaces are missing again. My running shoes lie strewn on the floor, pointing in opposite directions. A ladder of darker grooves imprints the white leather tongues. The first time, we have this conversation. – Have you seen my shoelaces? – What do you want laces for? – I want to go for a run.…

Writing from Memory and Life

Memory and experience are fertile places for writers. I always think the stories and poems we react most strongly to are the ones that strike a chord of empathy or understanding, because we have experienced similar things or thoughts ourselves. One of my favourite poems is Originally, by Carol Ann Duffy and One Art, by…

At Midnight

The clock has struck midnight and all is quiet in our neck of the woods. But there was a time, a few years back, a certain small girl (she knows who she is) thought midnight was not a time for sleeping, but singing. It’s actually more like a quarter of a century back, and now…

Getting Mail

An envelope fluttered into my mailbox yesterday. When I was a kid, getting post was one of the most exciting things ever. That sense of wonder and anticipation fizzing when you saw your own name on the front of the envelope. Inside was always something worth the fizz – if it wasn’t birthday or Christmas…