I had no time last week to write anything for this month’s Guardian Poetry Workshop. Until last night.
The idea was to pick a proverb, twist it, and write a poem incorporating both the twisted proverb and seven out of ten words provided by John Hartley Williams. I opened a can of Stella Artois and wrote a draft inside twenty minutes. The workshop instructions said I should “allow your work to cool off for a couple of days and take a fresh look at it.” So I watched a BBC TV drama with my wife over another can of Stella Artois and about 11pm went through to the computer again, gave the poem a stiff twenty-minute revision session, and posted it to the Guardian.
The poem is absurd. It revolves around a narrator who keeps moving a boundary mark to gain land for himself, despite his dead mother’s advice that this is wrong. His neighbour gets wise to him. However, the neighbour has no sense of direction and when he tries to move the boundary mark back, he often moves it the wrong way. Frustrated, he gets his brothers in to help, but they drop the boundary mark and it rolls down a hill. The narrator is pleased, as now the entire hill is his. The mother’s ghost isn’t happy, but that’s not going to bother this narrator!
So another barren month down at the Guardian for me, I think…