Week 11: 9-22 September

There’s no stopping them now. The momentum has built with each communal poem – they have sprouted an air of confidence. I rather like the tangents this week’s communal poem takes, albeit surprising (and still a little bumpy rhythmically). Again there’s a morbid fascination, and dark humour – possibly from the same coffee hound who contributed to last week’s effort? This time there were 10 different sets of handwriting.

***
Pretty Polly was a pest, she’d be a pain on purpose
but pretty Pam on the other hand was part of a travelling band.
Pretty Peter was a twit, social media was his thing
but little did he realise, his tweet had broke his wing!

Amongst the many other things he was still a dickie bird
just trying – oh was he ever trying! – to be heard.
Taking a step back and with a big breath
he jumped off a cliff to fly but instead fell to his death.

But just before he hit the ground, life flashed before his eyes
he was proud to be president of the Vic Bears…
    Yeah mate… WHO CARES!
***

Week 10: 2-8 September

They did it again! The caffeine fiends at The Bean Barn didn’t just follow the line I left on the residency whiteboard, they led it down some seedy lane ways and back alleys.

Nine different sets of handwriting appeared on the board over the week, with some truly alarming word selection and a bit of a racy sentiment (that’s a warning to the underage folk reading this). The rhyming scheme was was changed after the first stanza which shortened the rhythms and to my ear chopped it up somewhat.

**
Silly Sam moved to Sydney to see the lights and delights

He kept to himself through the days but found trouble in the nights
You see, the seedy side of Sydney caught his fancy by and by
and a ‘lady’ of the night entrapped him like a fly!

She delighted him like a jam fancy but unexpectedly her name was Clancy
She led him up the garden path and lay him on her hearth
She plied him with some grog for she was after more than a snog
However his endowment was not as foretold so she kicked him out into the cold!

This only made his problems worse – poor Sam fell asleep in a hearse.

**
Now I know it came down to a rhyming conundrum but really, did nothing other than ‘hearse’ come to mind at the end?! That’s just morbid, whoever wrote that line. Still, I enjoyed it for its silliness, and for the proof that communal poems are possible – unpredictable – but possible.

 

Weeks 5-7: 29 July-18 August

Poet on holiday. The words ‘poet’ and ‘holiday’ in the same sentence might be seen as a dubious proposition. A poet often doesn’t have two cents to rub together, let alone the capacity to save them up to any great effect. Harsh? I accept the likelihood that poetry will  never afford me holidays – that is what my ‘other’ job is for. I am a realist. (At least when not day-dreaming or writing poetry.)

the start of a communal poem. where will it go?

Anyhow. Before putting down the pen and swanning off to warmer climes, I set a new challenge to the coffee worshippers who frequent The Bean Barn: write a communal poem. I left a single line on the whiteboard in the cafe to start it off (without any idea of where it might go): ‘Your brittle edges…’ Then I invited the good folks of Ballarat to add one line each. That’s the only rule – one line. I thought it’d be interesting to see what came of those edges in three weeks’ time.

A quote for you, by Robert Graves:

“There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either.”