Friday 9 November 2012

First Year Creative Writing Work


My bladder is a box of dreams
You see this hand, it’s seen strange things
My bladder dreamt of festering guilt
Without my hand it would have spilt
A gush of sea-salt
High tide waves
White horses swimming to early graves

My throat is the end of all good hope
Your hand went down there once to grope
And grapple-
A rope.
I used that once to hang myself
Now it hangs on trophy’s shelf

My breasts are little milky mounds
I gasp for air now I’m upside down.


It was smoking cigarettes in the blue back yard

It was those fleeting hours way past our bedtime- clung unto through sleep

It was pints in hand, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, talking in sips

It was sleep on the beach- dream-haze of heat

It was sitting on the sofa, bare skin on leather

It was board games and paper games and silent secret games

It was a luscious fruit that blossomed and bloomed

It was kiss kiss grab and senses battered

It is a memory fluttering in the corner of our eyes

It is an autumn tree losing all its leaves- but how pretty the leaves fly


Memory Exercise:

(Remember a scene from childhood, but reverse your gender)

I stare at the slugs, except they don’t really look like slugs any more, they are something mysterious that appeared overnight, they must be magic. These inch long creatures have somehow formed a big ‘S’ shape and my sleepy eyes gasp in amazement. An ‘S’ for Samuel- but how did they know! I’m old enough to know they’re slugs but right now they’re statue still, they could be lots of things. A message from the woodland elves, maybe. This excites me. I imagine them sneaking in through little cracks and turning round to each other and saying ‘Shhh!’ whilst tip toeing past my snoring head. They must have used some kind of rope, probably bracken, to climb that high. I wonder if the slugs mind. They must be bored staying that still, in such a wiggly shape all night. I marvel at the tidiness of it, I couldn’t even write that neatly.

The sluggy ‘S’ clings on to the fabric wall just above the entrance, which is, in this case, a flap which has been pegged closed. The canvas material seems like a good place for them to stick on to, their slime must be like glue. They look silky and black, which contrasts against the patchy white walls, made even more bright by the sun filtering through. If I look really closely I’m sure I could spot other insects like woodlice or spiders but I’d rather not.

I’ve just woken up in my dad’s tipi and this is the first thing I see. It smells of damp, heavy, musty damp, and slightly of woodsmoke. Probably from the fire we used to cook dinner last night. This smell, although not the nicest, is comforting to me, it means Daddy Chris, it means outside in the woods. It’s so bright in here, the morning’s come after a long night trying to get warm. I’m wrapped up in layers of sleeping bag and blanket but still my nose is numb. I’m always glad when morning comes, although I’m always tired, the sun wakes up much earlier than what I’m used to. I yawn and blink. It’s cosy in here because it’s small. I like that it has a tall roof which stretches for miles up above me, held up by the long metal pole in the middle. Because it’s a tipi, the room is round, it’s nice not to have corners for a change. On the ground, on top of a blue plastic sheet, lies a bric-a-brac of textures. There are woven rugs made of thick wool, battered pots and pans, rain coats and waterproof trousers, and my weekend bag which is a blue rucksack with Thomas the Tank on it. It looks chaotic but everything is still. Birdsong twinkles in my ears but so softly it’s barely there. Mostly I hear silence and a slight breeze that makes the surrounding trees whisper. I try to sit up, the sides of the tipi feel wet from the dew. 

‘Sammy, are you awake?’

My dad pops his head into the tipi and the sun slices its way in.

‘Yeah’, I say with a croak in my throat.

‘Shall I make you some porridge?’

‘Ughh, porridge?’ I wrinkle my nose and stick out my tongue. ‘Why do we always have to have porridge?’

‘Because it’s good for you, it will make you big and strong, and give you lots of energy. You know all the woodland elves eat porridge every morning, don’t you? They make bowls out of acorn cups.’

I ponder this a second, and my eyebrows twitch upwards. 

‘Do they really?’
‘Yes they do, so you better too! Come on, put on your jumper and come outside, it’s a beautiful morning.’, and with that, his head disappears.

I make my way out of my nest of warmth and find my biggest, itchiest woolly jumper. I crawl towards the entrance and peek out. Right in front is the circle of stones used for the fire, which is lit now, heating up a saucepan of bubbling porridge. It smells so familiar, boring and bland. I want sugary cereals like I can have back at home. It is a beautiful morning though, my dad was right. Everything is green, with patches of moss lit up gold by the sunlight. We’re pitched up on top of a slope, in a clearing protected by oak trees. To the left of us, down the hill, is a river which I figure out is the sound of silence I heard earlier.

I watch my dad as he stirs the porridge. He crouches, knees bent and spread out either side of him, like a frog waiting to jump. He’s wearing his old scruffy long johns and a thick blue fleece, which is zipped up right to the top. His feet are bare, they always are, and they look cold wiggling there in the wet grass. My dad is a friendly giant to me. He’s a grown up but he’s fun too. He looks over to me and gives me a long, thin smile which spreads all across his face and makes his eyes shrink. He does everything so slowly and calmly, he takes his time with everything. Pick up the saucepan, pour it into bowls (the small plastic one for me, the big metal one for him), give the spoons a wipe, and there’s breakfast. 

We sit there for a while chewing and mulling. I take the time to look at my dad as he stares off into the distance in that special way of his. He has an angular face, and a nose that points out confidently. His hair is bushy and wavy, a bit like mine, although mine is darker. I’ve got my mum’s hair, but I like to think there’s some of my dad’s there too. After porridge, which I finish reluctantly, I go and explore the garden, which luckily for me is the whole forest. My dad tells me not to go far, but that’s OK because I always head to the same spot. It’s down towards the river and it’s where the woodland elves live. I half skip half run down the hill until I reach a dead tree that lies on its side. The bark is all shredded and is so light that it breaks off in your hand. I climb over it and there it is, the magic rock, covered in furry moss and tiny flowers and broken leaves. This is elf city. I pick up some wood sorrel that grows around its edges and chew on it, it tastes sharp and delicious. The sound of the river is overpowering but I feel at home. I bend down to the rock and whisper,

‘It’s Sammy here, thanks for the slugs!’