Poem: That Damn Green Light

That Damn Green Light

by Beth Fisher

I’ve wrote this stupid poem too many times,

But love, pain and sorrow won’t fit into rhymes,

Syntax and iambic meter; I’m sorry it isn’t all neater,

You can’t fit with the times; it isn’t always so sublime,

 

But we do our best and that’s quite alright, right?

 

I drink tea at 03:25, with a passion in my heart struck alive,

And sometimes I wish I could shut it all down, if only just to survive,

I wish I could be a fighter, I will be, just let me be something lighter,

Sometimes you can’t jump and dive; you just have to escape the hive,

 

But you do your best and that’s quite alright, right?

 

I question heaven at 03:27, with a heart that’s hardly beaten,

And sometimes I wish I could shut it all down, if only just to cease the sounds,

I wish I could be so much lighter, I will be, just let me be something stronger,

Sometimes you can’t be the siren; making everyone else around you listen,

 

You do your best and that’s quite alright, so right-

 

Don’t dwell on the before at 03:34; focus on the future (that’ll last),

Let your worries be no more; left at the door, raise your flags and mast,

Go and let yourself explore; don’t hide away like the times before,

Everything will be okay, have hope and someday you will find the shore,

 

We’ll do our best and no one can ask for more than that.

 

Here we are, together and apart, in a world born of a different heart,

We shy away as we loathe to restart; we prefer to hide in the dark,

And sometimes you don’t quite fit the part, but would it really tear you apart-

Just to look up at the dying stars; how wonder and life can journey that far,

 

I’m doing my best and, no one can deny, that’s sure a start.

 

We’re in a world where blue is black and white is orange,

Where waters are darker than the blazing sky, things are deranged,

We’re surviving but none of us really know how or why,

I’m sorry that it doesn’t make much sense, but beauty is strange,

 

We’re doing our best and, no one can fault, we are as strong as rain.

 

I’m coming to the end of overthinking whilst before I was sinking,

Drowning in thoughts and screaming, but here I am blinking,

I am waking from a sleep I didn’t realise I was sleeping, seeping

Into my bones, I can feel an awakening; a new formation that’s linking,

 

Beautiful day, beautiful people, beautiful everything; I am floating.

 

To those who are lost and unknowing, stars are always born, then glowing,

Evolution is about change and knowing, that plays are deeper than showing,

And people are stranger than you could know; better if you stay for the show,

Life can be a boat against the hitting tide, and the secret is to keep on rowing,

 

We do our best and that’s quite alright; we find more highs than we do lows.

Beth Fisher is a First Year Creative and Professional Writing student.

 

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Anatomy / A Scene / Limbo

‘Anatomy’

The anatomy of the boy. His skin is soft and off-white like almond milk, the tips of his fingers blistered and the nail bludgeoned, plump and fluid-filled because he punched his bedroom wall too hard. His legs are thin and gangly like his arms, too long for the torso, still, he is growing, and he stares without attachment, the eyes muddy like his father’s and doe-like his mother’s – speckled browns of emotional poverty, a lack of nurturing, stunted. He has her lips, the family’s brow. The snarl of a beast in the throat of a child.

‘A scene’

A biker jacket swung over an armchair.
A birthday cake with a slice cut out.
An ashtray filled with cigarette butts.
A sheet of wrapping paper peeking out from under the sofa.
A fuzzy television screen.
An empty wine glass with a stained red rim.

‘Limbo’

Limbo is standing at a bus stop for more than fifteen minutes and feeling a certain dread that your bus is never going to come.

Three pieces of flash fiction/poetry/you decide by 1st Year Creative Writing student Sophie RA Duggan.

Voice and Style 

By Jamie L. Cruise

In my writing adventures, learning and demonstrating new knowledge in practice, I have been educated in several important elements and have become aware of their universal applications, the key two being ‘voice’ and ‘style’. By the latter, I mean how a tool or mechanism in writing fiction or poetry can be used in the same ways in non-fiction writing, whether essays or otherwise. Some of these are more subtle than others, going largely unnoticed but still appreciated by the reader (and sometimes, perhaps, the writer), whereas others are obvious and aid us to appreciate a passage of text as fluid, coherent and embodying a core purpose.

Being naive and often flippant in my own writing across most mediums, I had not considered how the former, a writer’s ‘voice’, is present in their writing and across their works. I had gathered that a distinct ‘style’ of writing can be detected, regardless of whether the text is fiction or non-fiction, but had not considered that part of that style is the voice in which the reader hears when reading a body of work. Given that recently the majority of texts I have read have been of an analytic nature, I have learned that in many cases an author’s voice can be construed, in non-fiction just as well as fiction, regardless of the purpose of the text.

In my study of language, RL Trask (Language: The Basics) and Noam Chomsky (voicing opinion and theory in a range of linguistic and philosophical fields) have proven to be amusing – certainly not in the subject matter, but in the way they inform and elaborate on their subjects: their voice. Through their use of humour, relatable examples and rhetoric, information is absorbed by the reader that might otherwise be lost

Now, at what point does this get interesting to you – my reader? Well, the names I’ve dropped are of little significance here and are purely anecdotal. The point I’m seeking to make is that I have become aware of the presence of my own voice as a writer (title pending). Perhaps ‘existence’ is more appropriate than ‘presence’, as I am starting to wonder how much of a voice, and subsequently style, my existing publications (blog posts) emanate. In truth, I am confident it is present and growing in form (which is encouraging). However, in much the same way a writer is their own worst critic, I find myself comparing my own style to other authors who have already established themselves and I see striking difference in their delivery. While being different is far from a bad thing, one must consider how that voice will be heard and the style received.

For a practical example, let’s look at this blog entry. Sure, if my reader is an English or Creative Writing student, or perhaps someone with an interest in language study or a novice writer, then perhaps I have already captured their attention with some content – but what about those who do not fall into those categories (hereby referred to as the royal ‘They’)? Have I bored Them already? *close tab, continue scrolling social media*

If I haven’t (thank you for sticking with me!), then why are They still reading? Assuming that it isn’t through a prior established relation to me, or an inability to leave without completing what They have started, one would assume that the style in which I have composed the post in, and the voice I am conveying through particular lexical arrangements on the page or screen have been entertaining enough to warrant reading on. This, obviously, is a vital concept to consider when trying to make a career in writing, be it in journalism, fiction, non-fiction, historical reports, sales pitches, etc.

Taking a step back to look at my style and voice in a more general light, it’s hard for me to immediately ascertain what makes them what they are. I am not shy in admitting that I write reasonably freely, without much hesitation or editing beyond an occasional grammatical correction, and often inebriated to some degree (fun fact: not tonight). I feel, and have been told as much, that this gives a very personal touch to my work.

I imagine for those reading this who know me personally may hear my own voice when reading my words because of this (and if you weren’t, perhaps you will now).  My concern is that perhaps it is too personal to be interpreted as favourably by someone alien to me. Perhaps it goes so far as to be offensive or irritating to others. It makes little difference to me if it does, as I quite like the idea that I have a voice that can get under the skin of some and into the hearts of others. However, understanding one’s resources proves vital in using them most effectively.

Jamie L. Cruise is a first year English and Creative and Professional Writing student

Talking About London

Talking about London
by Stephanie Marquardt

“Talk about London.” What do you mean by that?
A man with a cane, Victorian coat and hat?
Or the Houses of Parliament making decisions,
Or problems with race and class divisions?

Do you mean
Talk about the Queen?
Red telephone boxes,
The population of foxes,
A Ripper with knives,
A King with six wives,
Dr Who and Amy Pond,
Sherlock Holmes, James Bond,
The chime of Big Ben,
Number Ten,
Or summers on Richmond Green?

So when you tell me to talk about London,
Please tell me, which one do you mean?

A poem by Second Year Creative and Professional Writing student Steph, written as part of the Writing London module. Steph said, about the inspiration for the poem:

Being a Londoner, I feel the place is so multi-faceted that it cannot be defined in a short sentence: it is a combination of people, events, objects and of course, the buildings and areas of the city.

As per to the actual writing of it, I had the last 2 lines in my head for a while, to do the rest (the ‘list’ part), I tried to write down every image I have when someone says “London.”

A lot of my friends are musicians and spoken word artists, they give me a lot of inspiration about how things should sound and flow. I wanted to have a smooth, bouncy rhythm to the poem that forces the reader to speak it faster as it goes on. This city does not have a slow rhythm.

I suppose the poem’s a love letter about home, really. I’m proud to have come from here.