Monday, 11 March 2019

Creative Insights

How does being creative help you? Have you noticed how it can help others? Have you experienced a creative insight or moment of truth? We all have those 'aha' moments when we 'get' something. Sometimes they can be profound and sometimes they can be about everyday things. Either way insights and creativity were a source of inspiration for our writing today.


How can it not help?
Finding me
Tapping into
That something
That nothing
That endless letting oneself
Fall into one`s own

- Pauline


A sinking in
A connection
An Aha! moment
A fitting of the key
Into the lock
Opening out into
A still pool of

- Pauline


As a person who had no work ethic 
I found myself making an effort
Following on from my old English teacher 
Was this simple formula:
           One hours work out of class for one hour in class

I was balancing housework with school work
And I found myself amazed 
By the things I could accomplish
I know now that even with an illness
I can put the effort in
To have the ability to match people who are 'normal'

I will no longer define myself with a label
I will be me, despite people reacting 
With ignorance and fear
Every person on the planet is a human being
With good and bad traits
I will respect others and if they don’t respect me
I will say my goodbyes

We are all together as a species 
Bonded by love and concern
I will love myself in spite of what others say
And I will continue to do my own thing 
Regardless of what other people think.

- M.F.


To write myself right
I sometimes have to be wrong

To be wrong and be saved by a song
To sing is the best of all things

Sometimes I just tune in
And hope I’ve got the frequency right

Sometimes, within the static of someone I’ve wronged
I find my own music

Sometimes the melody of the static song
Is all I have to cling onto

A drowning girl clutches at a musical note
Note to self - adjust the tuning before I turn on my own voice

- M.F.


I make something out of nothing
Take a break from my thinking
Produce something original
Maybe even useful!

It doesn't have to be beautiful
Sometimes I'm not even careful
Other times, pedantic
Those times I'm not so quick.

Sometimes with clay
I will play
Other times cotton or wool
Wrapped around a spool.

Or popsicle sticks
(not ones that I've licked)
Cut and shaped and glued together
Maybe with a piece of leather.

Looking at my finished piece
Will not cause me to cease
Onto the next one and the one after that
There's always something more to have a go at.

Then to exhibit
Hoping others like it
Maybe even sell!
A bit of a head swell.

So nice to think I can make something good
Something that a stranger would
See from afar and want to buy
Gets me on a massive high!

- Christine.


As I learn more about my parents
And their childhood
I learn more about myself
And my childhood.

I can understand their actions
And their words
I can understand my actions
And my words.

It helps make sense of so many things
But it also causes frustration
When I keep acting and thinking the same way
And getting myself to the same place
Over and over and over again.

- Christine


The idol lit up
An erogenous area untouched
That had been tapped
An ego deflated
A part of me
I failed to see
I see now

And I celebrate it

- Dylan Anderson


A pit opened up
My stomach hung
My soul drooped to the carpet
I heard a resonance, a feeling in my heart
Words I threw up
Were heard
And written
A feeling of purgation
My mind
An Ouroboros completed
In negation

- Dylan Anderson


A feeling
Of creation
And is suddenly
With the
All water goes down
As does meaning.

- Dylan Anderson


A feeling
Of creation
And is suddenly
With the
All water goes down
As does meaning.

- Dylan Anderson

Monday, 11 February 2019

Writing Prompts

In today's session we used writing prompts inspired by recent events - the introduction of Lime scooters to Dunedin and the publishing of a compilation of poetry by Artsenta artists. Called 'A Scattering of Words', the book includes 15 writers, many from our creative writing group which has been running now for almost two years! The prompts were:
  1. Lime rhyme
  2. I write therefore I am
  3. As a published writer...


They say it's time
To bring in the Lime
I say 'No way'
Are they here to stay!

What's wrong with legs?
Are they just pegs?
Footpaths should be just that
For humans, dogs and the cat

I say, bring in Lime paths
All separate-like
Then the Lime will skim by
Just like a bike

No bumps and no bruises
To suffer for those
Who just want to live
And use God-given toes!

- Pauline


wind in your hair
no helmet, where
smoothly gliding
black wheels riding
breathless without exercise
light glinting in your eyes
heart pounding
horns sounding
your single light beams
from these green machines

oh the places you can go
balance the only skill to know
extraordinary sights
not our ordinary days & nights
speed with freedom long unfound
no helmet, no pads, pavement sound
on the road, on the path
up the hill, down as well
take your time, enjoy the heat

grooving to the green lime beat

- Karen


It's Lime time
Unlock your inner child
Let our a whoop
Go wild!

It's Lime time
Don't worry it's all on tick
Forget about the corporates
'Get a life' you old stick

It's Lime time
I'm free as a bird
Off to the beach
'Look out' there's a dog turd

It's Lime time
Head over heals I go
Over a bonnet
And hitting the road

It's Lime time
A lime and water sip
From my hospital bed
Slow and steady on a drip

It's Lime time
Doctor's on the way
Comes liming up the corridor
Limes are here to stay.

- Paul


There was a young girl from Dunedin
Who thought she had found a new Eden
Lime scooters are in
So she took one for a spin
And now is in ED a'bleedin'.

- Christine Philp


Gleaming shine reflected from the sun-strike
The wheels turning leaving trails
Lit up as the first kid standing upright
Lime scooter rider memories of a fast time
Dressed quite impeccably
As a hipster expectedly living lavishly 
Leaving lime rhyme rhythms this half of the century

Birds lay crawling from the humble men

Lads that ride lime scooters the world for you
That’s now just leaving is beginning just for them

- Dylan Anderson


I write to express my inner self
As the neurons fire to make words
So does my pen move and transfer words
To symbols on paper

Sometimes I write to get across my thoughts
Sometimes I write to disguise them
To make myself perfect
And perfectly understood

All the bigotry and hatred I feel
Is politely pushed aside
While my humanitarian voice
Is made louder

I wish to take the perfect version of myself
Float onto the characters on paper
And save myself
From drowning

- M.F.


HERE is a gap in existence
a time / place / settledness to…

NOW can take whatever word
and sling it together with vision
    or sound, to establish IT
to paint with pen, to record

and trust whatever IT becomes

- Karen


they ask for more from me
what do I have left?
what can I see with older eyes
       low energy
that is worth the words,
       the word
that first one,
               lost one
                   in the middle
                                   to start

- Karen


Words that leave a spine
Dripping through a sieve
Because I am
Making things that live
Ignoring facts yet rational
Laying out the supernatural
Right now as I live
To consider it
Another wrapped up gift
Because in doing that
I can chart the life I live.

- Dylan Anderson


In the mirror
I see words
Representing me
And sentiments unheard

Seeing words inside the mirror
Words that I see
That when I leave
I shiver

Looking back at you because
A word
Is a


- Dylan Anderson

Monday, 7 January 2019

Random Word Poems

Our first session for 2019 involved some random words turned into poems. We each chose a book from our library, opened it at random and selected a word. We then passed the books along and selected another word until we had five words. The task was to use all the words in a poem. This process was suggested by an Artsenta writer who doesn't attend our writing group and resulted in some quite fun and inspiring works!


It was a sunny day
Outside in the garden
Walking along a rocky path
To a pool where the water is bright
Seeing an old lady looking exhausted
Heading towards you
You stop her in her tracks
And give her some water
She thanks you for being kind
And you carry on down the rocky path
To enjoy the bright and sunny day

- Julia Godfrey


Beautiful floating
                   while sleeping
                   on a bed.

The anaesthetic
                  for the surgeon.

- Phillip Porteous


The puffin rides on the carpet
of my childhood dreams.

It soars above Europe
and sings its little heart out.

The carpet is very colourful.
How do I know?

Well it's my dream, my puffin
and my carpet.

The example I have in my mind
is the freedom of dreams.

- Gail Palmer


There was a huge risk
coming this way,
against the arrows,
travelling the opposite way
to everyone else.

But she had never followed rules,
never done things in the correct order.
Hell, she even put her shoes on
before her pants!

- Christine Philp

Monday, 19 November 2018

Playful Poems

Julia led our creative writing group today, focussing on her favourite poet - AA Milne - famous of course for his Winnie the Poo series, but we learnt a bit more about him and his writing. What Julia loves is his playful, fun take on poems. Poems like 'Binker' where he wrote about his imaginary friend as a child, and 'Sand Between the Toes' where he remembers being at the beach. These poems and his playful style were our inspiration for the day.


Where did you come from?
Where have you gone?
You were there for awhile
But not for long

You were there when I needed
Some comfort and warmth
Someone to be with me
When I was forlornth

Mum often busy
And preoccupied
But you always free
And came to my side

To brothers and sister
A nuisance I was
But you always present
And no reason, just coz!

Thank you for seeing
How much I needed you!
And now you have gone
Left me feeling blue!

It must be
That I don`t need you now
But you will remain with me
And not lose your power.

- Pauline


By the radio I sat
My own programme at nine
How important I felt
It was just sublime!

By the radio it seemed
It was just for me
All else faded away
As I listened with glee!

By the radio there was
My own little world
And I soaked it up
Like a frond unfurled

By the radio most days
I puffed up my chest
Proud of the fact
I was my own special guest!

- Pauline


Toaster was cool
He could do cool stuff
Like ride a motorbike
And race it super fast

He could jump the fence
The car or a truck and trailor
A house would be no trouble
There was no chance of failure

He could fly too of course
A fighter jet or old bi-planes
He'd do the loop-de-loop
Just for a laugh and some fun and games

Now that I'm older
I don't see Toaster so much
We'll always be friends
And I'll try to stay in touch

But he has other kids
Who need him more than me
Kids who need a super duper friend
To set their imagination free

- Paul


We were stuck on a branch, my friend Bandy and me
We couldn't get down from that fairly tall tree
"Let's slide down the leaves and roll onto the grass"
Called Bandy
We did and I landed quite hard on my bottom.

We wandered inside, to where Mum was baking
But I couldn't sit 'cos my bottom was aching
"lie down on the windowsill, look at the view"
so we did, as we ate a biscuit or two

With Bandy I trekked on down to the stream
We poked into corners, where fishes were seen
Bandy jumped rocks, and fell right in the pool
and came up spluttering; silly wet fool

The long meadow waved to us, Bandy & I
the summer was long, and the sun in the sky
We rolled down the bank, leaving tracks all the way
Now summer is ended, Bandy has less to say.

- Karen


"Caravaning" down the Coast
Mum, Dad, Aunty, Uncle, Joy
And me
Waves, Togs, barbeque
More family visiting still
Tree climbing
Riding the branch like it's a horse
Apple pie served
Singing and Ukulele strumming
"Caravaning" down the Coast
Sun shining relentlessly and strong
"Caravaning" down the Coast
Togs under my zip-up dress
Running back to the caravan awning
To have a break
Mum and Dad resting, now, there
In two matching deck chairs
Sun shining relentlessly and strong
Smiles greeting
"Why don't you take your dress off?"
Mum saying
I can't say I feel fat and awkward
"Caravaning" in holidays
"Caravaning" some holidays
"Caravaning" will be gone
Yet to know this
It's tea in a while

- Natasha

Thursday, 1 November 2018


What would it be like to be a statue? Today we find out! The challenge was to imagine you are a statue such as Robbie Burns or Queen Victoria and to write a poem from their point of view - what they see, feel or think. We then went one step further and imagined we were the harbour molars, the controversial teeth sculpture on Portsmouth Drive. An interesting session ensued!


Encased in stillness
Larger than life
Quill in hand
I know I'm in strife
There's so much to see
With my unseeing eyes
Overwhelmed by events
And the seagull's cries.
Surrounded by theatres
So much going on
A church, some cafes
I would die for a scone!

- Pauline


Sitting so regal and tall
I watch my subjects pass me by
Are they listening to me?
Are they watching me?
How I act, what I say?

I was a Queen for 63 years
I also was a woman, a mother, a wife, a friend
Where are all those people now?
I remember, they are up in heaven with me.

- Gail


Blustery today,
Sea spray all over me,
I am cold and wet.

At least the sea spray washes away the smoke
from the cars that roar past me.
I have a grand view, 360 degrees, although only
half of me can see at a time.

The sea is blue and choppy and I can see some
small boats bobbing up and down on the water.
Hills surround me at a distance, green with trees
and houses dotted on them.

Sometimes I feel cracked and blue, rough to touch.
Why am I here?

Do children look at me and vow to brush their teeth?
So they don't have teeth like mine - big, full of holes
and rough on their tongues!

I hope they take notice
It's too late for me.
I am here for eternity.

- Gail


They think they know me
standing here.

But do they really?
As they whiz by in their cars?

I've seen people walk by
and stop to look.

Those on horses and in cars
rarely do.

Why did they put me here?
I'm not even facing the Gardens
named after me.

I'm facing the toilets!
What an unsavoury position for a Queen!!

- Christine


Her majesty
uses the royal 'we'.
I am a statue
Attracting bird poo.
Ruler of the world
In a grassy field.

Who said there was a glass ceiling?
It is to a woman you're kneeling.
The sun never sets
on my empire.
Only by death will I retire.
By statue, immortalised
Forever, in stone attire.

- Phillip Porteous


Ivory bone
For all to see
By harbour and sea
Naturally decaying
Watching kids playing
Picnicers and birds
Avian turds
Green grass and cars
Teeth from Mars?
Now on Earth
Giving people mirth
The plaque
Leaves its mark.

- Phillip Porteous

Monday, 1 October 2018

Helen's lost clothing

Helen suggested we write about clothes - then didn't turn up for the writing - but we wrote about clothes anyway! Firstly 'lost' clothing, then a 'significant item' of clothing, something with special meaning, and finally an occasion when we 'dressed to impress'. It is interesting to hear the stories and the feelings that can be found in clothing unfold in these poems which are imbued with the lives of those around us. Here is a sampling of our writing on clothes.

"Fabulous!" I dryly think, after looking at myself in the bedroom's wall hung mirror. The gut's sticking out. "Jelly wobbles and the t-shirt only slightly hides it!" And my mind flies back to another time, when I was a student and it was "year two" of studying "Law" (which I changed out of the next year); and I bought a top, that mysteriously disappeared, after I'd tried it on, to see how it "fits". It had several buttons, strapless and black, stiff cotton. I didn't try it before I bought it. I bought it second hand. It just disappeared, and I don't know how - I now can't remember where I bought it from! It did fit. Who would think so now! I lived in "Thames Street" then. A "magical' place where ornaments and little art pieces (that I bought - second hand - again) often disappeared. But the place won't win - I believe. Still - those things are liked and I "try" on! "Do you remember to eat Jelly?" Someone says - as I linger over tea sipping. "Jelly witch will get you!" "We'll see."

- nbvg


I bought it in the Department Store
in Glasgow, passing through
a sturdy scarf of soft lambswool
woven in tartan blue.
It's heritage I did not care
it was the one I wanted
and so I wore it year by year
warm in our Southern Winter.

I washed it not, I did not want
to spoil the gentle fibres
and took good care to take it home
when out in Winter's gales.

It is no more within my house,
lost, I know not where;
on visit to another place
it fell from off a chair,
or in a car or on the road,
I sadly, did not note it
'til Winter's fingers
grab and chill
Tell me, Go on, wear it!

                           - Karen


Coloured in browned mustard it held to the rack at the Rock and Pillar shop.  I had thought to find something for myself but it shouted "Dad" at me when I spotted it.

      heavy canvas
      zip front
      raised collar
      internal and external pockets
      fleece lining
      domed cuffs
      ...   Huge price!
            ...   Lifetime Guarantee!

He wore it as he took the Walkie Talkies around Christchurch;
loving the preparation, searching books and internet for details of the buildings they passed.
The earthquakes took those buildings,  and he wore the jacket less as his steps faltered into much older age.
At his end I took the jacket - Lifetime Guarantee -
 the only fault now, two threads loose at the cuffs.

                              - Karen


In the land of lost socks
Was a cardboard box
Full of odd foot garments
With lots of fluff and lint
I have looked for this land
But only found garments for hands
Though its socks I love
The garments all be gloves

- Phillip Porteous


The grey suit made of wool
The tie too, please don't pull
Gold cuff-links
Sunglasses with tints
At a friend's band
A free ticket and
Clothes from an op-shop
A stylish tie with colour pop
Then a photo op
To post on Facebook
Everyone liked the look

- Phillip Porteous


Oh hell, where is it?
It's not on my wrist
I know it should be
The bracelet Dad bought me
The only jewellery he ever bought me
My link to him
Walking round the flat crying
I know I haven't gone outside, so it must be here
Through the bed
Through my clothes
Empty the rubbish bag out...
Oh thank God
Tears of joy now

- Christine Philp


You'll rarely see me without it
Hanging round my neck
Given to me by Nana.
Not valued for many years
Boring, when  there was such a range I could wear.
Now, essential
Worn every day.
My niece played with it so much
She stretched the catch
Oh the anxiety when I left it at the jeweller's
Questioning their security.
Disappointed at no photos inside
She drew her own
And they're still there
More than 10 years later
Two very important people
On a chain around my neck.

- Christine Philp

Monday, 24 September 2018


Well wordarama is something we just made up. It's a bit like scrabble and a bit like bananagrams. Essentially we had a whole pile of word magnets, some of which we shared out. Then, we all turned them over and started making a poem using the letters we had - not easy! Once we had used most of our letters we could get some more but in the end we found less is more. That is, doing a smaller poem was a bit more effective than trying to make it too long. Not all of it makes sense but there are some great one liners!

Creative Insights

How does being creative help you? Have you noticed how it can help others? Have you experienced a creative insight or moment of truth? We al...