Monday, 16 December 2019

Miraculous Poetry

This week one we had a guest poet, Vanessa Paton-Myers, lead our group. She brought along two inspirational quotes to inspire us:

The future belongs to those who believe in their dreams

Miracles happen to those who believe in them.


In the everyday
And takes your breath away

A kind word
An act of grace
In time and space

- Pauline


This sense of doom
A fore-shortened future
A long shadow
Falling forward
The sun

I know
Deep down
I know
And dream
Of something

- Pauline


what are they?
Something to aspire to?
Or something that's pointless cos I'll never get there anyway?

I wish I could dream
And hope
And fantasise of a better future,
Of being able to walk along the beach
Of travelling the world
Of making and selling enough art to live comfortably
Of writing a book, having it published, and sold.

Or maybe there's the dream
of being content with myself
with how I am
with who I am
with maybe even believing
that I'm ok as I am
that I'm `gud enuf'
I guess that's my true dream.

- Christine Philp

Monday, 2 December 2019

Stories in Verse

After one of our group attended a play written in verse, we decided to give writing a story in verse a try - with rhymes optional extras depending on the person. We generally used a story that we already knew well. Despite that it was challenging to say the least. Still some great writing was done!


You live inside a world of the mind
In a fantasy world in which truth is pined

I wish that in your haunted wood
Everything would turn out good

Although I know that in summer there is no snow
Yet still I feel cold and slow

Your world is orbiting round and round
Although I stay here on the ground

Alas what will we ever do
To make this story rich and new

Your mind is a book
Within which we look

I will read your fancies free
And I will always wait to be

The object of your mind
To be truthful and kind.

- M.F.


You are going away
and I wish you would stay

Although there were no if's and buts
Into your brain they'll be making cuts

I do not know what to say
To keep the men of science away

I know that soon
All will be quiet in the room

In which you walk
We dare not talk

Standing there in the rain
Carrying just half a brain

Yes, a zombie made by men
Your true self immortalised by your pen

A writer yes, a writer good
You never did what you should

Through your brain they dragged a knife
And made you a zombie for the rest of your life.

- M.F.

(the above two poems are inspired by Janet Frame's 'Owls Do Cry')


They left Palmerston North Railway on train number 626
All were excited, as the day was on the eve of Christmas

They packed the carriages all full and loaded baggage too
And the logo it did strongly pull, train 626 on through

When Ruapehu came in sight, its beauty was admired
But all aboard then took full fright, as 10:21 expired

The rail bridge, as the lahar crashed, was broken and washed down
And the loco downwards fell and smashed and carriages, six, did drown

So many died that Christmas Eve, one-sixtyone we hear
And Christmas 1953 was spent in grief and despair.

The mountain warning is now in place to protect the downstream travelers
But we remember Tangiwai as each Christmas Day approaches.

- Kate Jenkins

Sunday, 1 December 2019

A narrowing field

What we write on can sometimes change what we write. At least that was the plan at today's writing session which involved decreasing widths of paper, forcing us to write in shorter sentences until we were writing only one or two per line. Each paper had a different topic. First was about Dunedin/Otepoti; second was about a character, person or statue; and third was about what made us feel good and gave us a sense of wellbeing. Big thanks to Karen for the concept!

Dunedin - Best Place to Live

I think of students down the north end.
Dunedin comes alive when they are here.
Quiet at Christmas holidays.
Then we get visitors who enjoy the beaches with the locals.
Depending on weather, sports teams play on Oval.
Scottish, Irish and English are Dunedin's heritage.
Now we have people living here
from all parts of the world.
Best place to live.


Feeling Good

Weather - seeing sun, smelling flowers.
View from top of hill anywhere,
Breathing fresh air.
Visiting with friends.
Animals love me no matter what I do.
Going to Artsenta.
Having an aqua jog at Moana Pool then hot shower.


I Feel Good



Peter Pan

Young boy stands proud in the gardens.
Children climb on him,
Birds sit on him.
Peter Pan
Friend to all
Story book friend
Saves Wendy from Captain Hook.
Looks after the lost boys,
Our hero.

The Unexpected

Life often throws up unexpected situations. A weather event, a trip, a gift or old friend. It can be positive or negative and sometimes what appears a negative at first can become a positive once we settle down to dealing with the situation. And so it turned out at Writer's Group, with the usual staff member away, the group turned to their own resources to keep the session going. Hence the theme for this session - the unexpected!


The unexpected
Takes you
By surprise
It turns around and
Spits directly 
In your eyes
It says ha ha!
I fooled you again!
Not once, but twice
See how you like that
It's not very nice!

The unexpected 
Seems to say
Not your will but mine
Will be done today!

The unexpected
Can leave you feeling
Lost, abandoned
And somewhat reeling

The unexpected
Leaves you knowing
Nothing is certain...

- Pauline


Colouring everything
Enemy of the moment
By the past
Ghosts of childhood 

- Pauline


I was going along nicely,
- Washing done
- Job application in
- Paper read
- Phone calls answered
All points bulleted and ticked off,

when the door bell rang
    Real estate agents?
    Fundraising school kids?
    ... family??

I open slowly the sticking door

  No one
    Nobody, nil, nada
      Nothing to see
 No one to talk to

- Kate Jenkins


I thought I had time planned
not Life itself, but bits and pieces
job, retirement, popping off
all bits of Being on life's horizon
but formatted, calculated, analysed
and endlessly (endlessly) thought about
pondered, cogitated, ruminated

So I'm told I over think things
that I should just jump in...
...but what if there's a hard landing?
a trip, a fall, a mental blip?
Should I take a leap of faith...
...but where did God go?
Should I float on a wind...
...that could become a gale?

I like the expected, it's warmth, comfort
with occasional planned excursions
Because every now and then I like to
ride the gale, commune with God
and follow a thought less spoken

- Kate Jenkins

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...