Wednesday, 29 August 2018

I am made of stone/I am water

The poem below is the result of an exercise rather boldly called 'coupling' in poetry workshopping circles!
I have taken a poem, which is one of my favourites written by my Rockhopper poetry performance colleague Mel Perry, and I have used it to create a new piece of work.
Mel's poem 'I am made of stone', which appears in her collection Rum Dark Nights, always makes the hairs on my neck stand to attention when I read it, especially so when I read it aloud.
When The Poetry School suggested 'coupling' as an exercise as part of this year's Write a Poem a Day for a Month project,  #NaPoWriMo, I chose 'I am Made of Stone' as my starting point.
You take a favourite piece of work -- poetry or prose -- and intertwine it with new lines of your own to make a new poem.
More info about this technique can be found in
 the links below.
Here's the result of that first experiment:

I am made of stone/I am water

A coupling after ‘I am made of stone’, by Mel Perry (from Rum Dark Nights)

I am made of stone.
                I am water.
Blue dolerite with feldspar
                aquamarine with hammered pewter
shards from Pembrokeshire hills,
                rushing from Plynlimon
indigo slate from Conwy quarries,
                streaming shingle in Cilgerran gorge
black anthracite, hand-hewn.
                coursing over granite in Cwm Gwesyn

I am made of stone.
                I am water.
Burren limestone, its grikes
                holding drops of rain
harbouring jewel plants,
                magnified in pools
letting water seep, cry
                weeping from the inner core
tears through fissures
                squeezing through fractures
that drip, drip, stalactiting
                forming bead by bead
down, catching minerals
                in moisture of air
like letters, that flavour
                fluid carvings
words on the page
                reflected on rock
colour poems in the dark.

                I am water.
I am made of stone.
                flowing, fluent
Not to be rolled, not cold
                not to be impeded
part of the Fennoscandian shield
                perpetual, unbroken
crystalline, metamorphosed.
©Mel Perry and Jackie Biggs 2018

Rum Dark Nights, by Mel Perry, is published by Three Throated Press:
The original prompt for this piece of work came from the Poetry School’s 2018 #NaPoWriMo prompts:
... which referenced this helpful article:

 Photos: ©JackieBiggs2018

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Gone swimmin'

Penbryn beach
 Another look at my relationship with water.

How she calls

She thirsts for me
and she calls,

whispers my name -
                come dance,

sometimes loud -
                come dive,

sometimes soft -
                come breathe.

Lapping with little slappings
to suggest, persuade,

she draws the undertow
so I feel the overthrow

arriving and departing
leaving and returning,

spreading her susurration
far away and close by

turn by turn
tide by tide

surge and suck,
pull in, come swim,

                dance in me,
so calls mother sea.

This poem was first published (Oct 2017) here:

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

I am water

Wild swimming... aaaaah!

I am water

When the sun is harsh
in the afternoon,
I kneel
to scoop cool water.
How fresh it is
and full in my throat,
going down. I pull it in,
feel the cleanness, the greenness
fill all my cells.

And so this lake reaches for me,
laps me, sucks me,
clasps me into itself,
folds my heart in its currents,
where somehow I will breathe,
move freely, and wonder

Where I come from,
where I will go.

I swim wild in peace,
allow the lake to swallow me.
Tiny fish flicker
around my naked flesh
as water murmurs to me its secret stories,
makes music flow over my body
and into me.

This is my beginning and ending,
my place of depart and return,
the to and fro
lapping the shore,
sipping me,
wanting me more.

            Where I come from,
            where I will go.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Joy in the beck

I've dug up an old poem that maybe says something about the joy of wild swimming, although it's about other stuff too!

Joy in the beck                            

                Over tough rock and through soft earth
                                the river creates her own course
as she runs and rests by turns
                                                from her tiny bubbling source.

                Where the pool of ideas whirls
we are suspended in her being
                                feeling only the bliss of the swim,
                we twist and spin without seeing.

Know the thrill of the stream in flood
 --  deep, dark and endless.
                                Hold faith in her safety as
she falls and bends,  grows careless.

Feel the water-silk embrace,
                                the power of the raging torrent
                                                The river is the breath we seek
as we run in the race of the current.

                                To dive, to swim
                                                to dance in her flow
                 is to trust all the dreams
                                                                we ever seek to know.