Monday, 28 August 2017

Animate the Inanimate

We all had to choose an inanimate object to write about, or as if we were that object speaking. The challenge was to find the personality of that object. Some are obvious and others you have to guess what they are!


I like to stretch
And reach for the sky,
Never quite getting there
But oh how I try.

I'm made of wood
Or metal too,
Anything that's strong enough
To hold you.

There are many new versions
Multiple uses for all,
But always the main aim
Is to be long and tall.

These humans, they think
They are the bee's knees,
But they'll never reach the top
Without at least one of me!

- Christine


Four cups on a table
When all else fails, have a
cup of tea, said Mum.
This is grief.

- Robert


Words of history
Words of prophets
Words of the holy and unholy
Though inanimate
People say I have a living spirit
Uttering words from above
Sin crucified on cross
Stories of people
Saints and sinners
Prostitutes and prophets
Whores and history
I tell also of future
Not the price of gold
Not the winning race horse
But how God wins in the end
And how we all reap paradise

- Phillip Porteous


One day the iron got tired
of steaming and pressing
and grew arms and legs
it jumped off the ironing board
and ran down the street trailing its cord
until all its water
had sloshed down the drain
its iron stomach
expanded in the freezing cold
and it grew hungry
for electrical ions whirling
and so it returned
to where it was from
meekly it served out the rest of its days 
putting creases where it was told
but now and then in protest
it overheated
and melted nylon petticoats

- Helen

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Toitu Museum visit

We took a trip to Toitu Otago Settlers Museum to get some inspiration. One of the challenges we put to ourselves was to find an object that we liked and write something about it without letting on what it was. The other challenge was to write something from the perspective of one of the many Scottish settlers in the Smith Gallery.

HOME (from bagpipes, treadle sewing machine and horseshoe)

The heat of the fire 
burns the red mark on the side of her face.
The treadle sewing machine keeps her in place,
trapped in the task of sewing a new apron
to protect her husband out in the smithy's barn.
She thinks of his muscled arms
working the horseshoes,
their embrace reassuring and loving
in this hell-hole of a settlement.
The rhythm of the machine pulls her back,
taking her home
to her beloved Scotland
and the sound of the bagpipes
floating in the air.

- George 


Conceivably I could
live in the same house as you
sleep in the same bed
work in the same building
worship at the same church
and eat the same meals as you.
At a fancy dress party
I could even wear your clothes
I may be your descendant 
but still a chasm divides us
I cannot get inside your skin
Less than 200 years separate us
but our thinking
our way of talking and acting
the mores of society
are so different
it's as if you belonged to a different race
What can I learn from you
and the familiar but alien world in which you lived?
I can learn to take risks
abandoning all in the hope of a better future
I can learn dauntlessness
persevering in the face of insurmountable problems
Can these things be useful
in light of nuclear weapons and environmental disaster?

- Helen


Claw feet
Flat deck
A long handle.
In another age
You were pressed into service
But here you are still
A witness to the story
Of settlers
A Sermon From the Dead
An instrument of peace.

- Robert 

Today we feature one of our regular writers who has diligently written up the poems she has developed at the Artsenta Writer's Group ove...