Re Issue - Peter Pan Loses his Ability to Fly

Peter Pan Loses his Ability to Fly

My parents left me to defend myself with only sticks

and a few bad words. I open my milk-tooth mouth,

I've not even the jaw to bite. The inside of me is dust.

I want good fortune to stroke me

with a mother's bed-time touch.

I keep waiting.

My dreams are full of ghouls, angry fang-tooth dogs,

and dark corridors lit by just one flame.

If only I knew good things then my cottoned feet would lift

from the rubble of the earth, the split and splintered timber.

If I was happy, and not scared

I would rise like a bird

the island below my kingdom

and me, king for a day.

The Rain Room

In a moment of utter madness I tweeted that I would write a poem on any subject given to me - it being National Poetry Day. My friend Claire suggested I write about "Your subject: Scandinavian witches who'd sell wind to sailors. Artists make indoor rain room." This is for her and it's a freewrite.

The Rain Room

Singing about always taking the weather with you is all good but what about those

of us who travel light. No umbrellas, nothing as considered as walking shoes

and even our swimwear will dissolve in the sea. Instead we look to our elders.

Women who carried nothing more than a spell or two under their hats,

whose idea of magic was escaping rain even when it fell through the ceiling.

Storms mean nothing to witches who can sing their way to a brighter day.

The Inheritance

Another 5 minute freewrite but this time in response to my friend Musa Okwonga's poem 'Mortal'. I read it this morning and was struck by the lines There is nothing worse/ Than to be an ambition who has lost its thirst. I knew I had to put something down. Musa is a man rich in talent and this is my way of thanking him for all that he gives to the world. My piece below is very much about my dad who, like Musa, was never short of a word or two.

The Inheritance

He left me his books, the weight of the universe and so many unread words that I struggled to hold all of them - ignored, forgotten, featureless.

Instead I carried his name. Some places I travelled to it meant something, transformed me from anonymous in to a named being. And, for moments, I even felt a fleeting sense of love.

Now their spines shuffle together on a high shelf, fidgeting in their jackets. Their glorious moment passed and all I have left is the recollection of the day he handed them on to me. And his name. I carry that mouthing it in to the speechless dark waiting for an echo that never comes.

A Necessary Season

I am a big fan of impulsive acts of creativity. The poem below is a freewrite. I set the timer to 5 minutes and just sat there and allowed the words to spill on to the page. It's a thank you poem to my flatmate and reading it you will probably gather why. It's so easy to get overtaken with ideas of perfection and what a finished piece of work looks like. I think it's a good idea to stray away from that occasionally and, like the juice in the piece below, acquaint ourselves with the raw.

A Necessary Season

Is it a cliche to talk about how this autumn wind makes the leaves and branches dance ?

I watch the seduction, and see them swoon when being kissed so gently.

It's the time of year for the yellowing of leaves, for falling down. I remember last night's silver handshake moon - a harvest.

At the kitchen table we drank carrot and sweet potato juice warmed with root ginger and cardamon. You looked at me in that practiced way of yours, as I took another sip of September and tasted how not quite sweet it was.

We'd finally cracked a perfect taste. I smiled. But your mind was on other things. 'Let's face it - you know when someone loves you.' Earlier you had held me so close I no longer needed to cry for help.

But even this is a fiction. You told me the story of love long before my tears and we drank our juice some time between my guttural release and you holding me.

The order does not matter. What I tasted was the beginnings of a friendship and how the trees need a little push to nudge them from summer and in to this necessary season.

Picture This – Naomi Woddis ‘How Light Falls’

Many superlative writers responded to a portfolio of my photography for a project called Picture This. I also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images. Below is my contribution. At first I was reluctant to write a poem and, to be honest, the poem came before the photograph but I hope that the glaring sky with its scudding clouds is an apt partnering for my words.

How Light Falls

In between the spaces, more spaces. How light falls here. But not here. And how shadows have their own words for things even time cannot explain -

Here it ends. Here it begins again. Here it ends. And so on.

We can learn a lot from the language of light. Or those so ill they cannot recall anything other than this, and what breath and blinking means to those who cannot even carry air in their palms.

The cry of coupling foxes sounds worse to me than it does for them, or a cat wanting breakfast. Even the gulls cry is misleading.

Like all the photographs ever taken what looks like an edge, a beginning, a story is nothing more than a wish for something that has passed.

We cannot hold on to much anyway. I learnt this late on in the day.

What sounds like a shout could be a victory, the yell of defeat, or nothing at all.

Light falls here, and here. Darkness, shadow. Everything the air touches is right and true.

Picture This - Pauline Sewards 'Hinge'

Many superlative writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I've received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images. The original premise of this project was to look at both intimate detail and repetition. I must admit to being a little excited that today's photograph also inspired a poem earlier in the project. Pauline Sewards' piece marries with the image perfectly, even its structure mirrors the simple geometry of door, hinge, wood and brick.

Pauline lives and works in London.

hinge

eyes closed finger tips listen smooth caramel of old wood fine smoke splinter free a made world, measured lick of a sharp pencil tools fitted to curved palms ruminations of bees and thunder sharp light whistle of silence opening

Picture This - Donall Dempsey 'Ivy'

Many magnificent writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I've received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images. Dónall Dempsey is a marvellous writer and performer. He has that rare skill of summoning up deep feelings in his audience as well as injecting his work with much needed humour. His haiku below is a perfect match for the photo, I will never look at the ivy in my garden the same way again !

Ivy

Jailbreak! Ivy caught in the spotlight attempts to scale the wall.

Picture This - Dorothy Fryd 'Pots'

Many talented writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I've received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images. Dorothy Fryd's poetry is spectacular and original. She's the sort of writer that introduces me to seeing the world in a whole new way with every word she writes. Not least in the poem below which is rich with an alerting juxtaposition of images.

Dorothy works for the School of English at Kent University as a Creative Writing Lecturer. Her poetry and fiction has been published in Magazines, Anthologies and Competitions such as The Rialto, BRAND Literary Magazine, Forward Press, Momaya Press, Educating Kenyan Orphans, WordAid (Children in Need Anthology) and Spilling Ink Review.

Pots

For now they stay furled, unfixed. before blossom ready for tricky, unstable youth;

which axil, which bulb, which culture.

This is small reincarnation; young solicitors, young whorling snippings, weathered by recycled motes

flying off / falling in.

They sleep in their elders' beds; so long ago bloomed, like dead saints or dead planets,

whimpered out.

Picture This - Janice Windle 'Nail'

Some stunning writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I've received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images. Janice Windle's work as an artist floods through her poetry. Her poem below is a beautiful response to my photograph and captures much of what I was feeling when I took it.

Janice is a poet, painter and art teacher. She lives in Guildford, with her partner Dónall Dempsey. Janice has had poems published in several anthologies, most recently in “Cancan” by Wurm in Apfel and “Census 3” by Seven Towers.

Nail

Free falling caught in the act my sundial shadow at my feet I have suffered blows

my pirouetting days are behind me I bend my head towards earth where I came from

longing to swing up again to gaze at stars.

Picture This - Sarah Butler 'January Morning'

Some exceptional writers have responded to a portfolio of my recent photography for a project called Picture This. I am overwhelmed by the beautiful work I've received. I have also worked with photographer and film-maker Craig Thomas, on a short film entitled Still Life, containing a selection of these images. Sarh Butler's writing has an immediacy to it that works perfectly with photography. In the thoughtful piece below she captures the sense of isolation that was my impetus for taking the picture.

Sarah writes novels and short fiction, and has a particular interest in the relationship between writing and place. Her debut novel, Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love, will be published by Picador in February 2013.

January Morning

He might have opened the French doors for a breath of January air, to clear the room of last night’s red-wine-cigarette-fog, but she knew he’d gone. There was no point in following, but she stepped out, across the moss-stained patio, onto frosted-grass that gave up its sugar-coating to the warmth of her bare feet. The soil beneath though, that stayed hard and unforgiving. There was no point in looking, but she looked anyway, and when her feet were so cold she had to retreat, she sat by the window and watched the garden – splintered into pixels by her tears.