Grace Slick, “White Rabbit” and NaPoWriMo

Not a lot of writing around here for a while as I’ve been a bit preoccupied with writing elsewhere. Last time I posted something, it was about the Weekend Residential I had in Cromarty with my college classmates (link here). I had been a bit harsh about the regime (no alcohol allowed on the premises, lots of uber-healthy foodstuffs etc), but you know what, by the end of the weekend we had all really bonded and have been in constant touch ever since. I had written that post on the Saturday morning, but by Saturday evening I had kind of fallen in with the music-loving group of students who had brought guitars and fiddles. An impromptu jamming session began in the big kitchen on the ground floor. I was amazed at how many older songs these youngsters knew well, many of which have put in an appearance around here. One of our number was a young student with a fantastic voice, who could have given Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane a run for her money when performing her version of White Rabbit (the backstory to that song in a previous post, link here).

White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane:

I would never have known this had it not been for the course, but April is NaPoWriMo, otherwise known as National Poetry Writing Month. The challenge is to write 30 poems during the month, one every day. There is a closed group set up on Facebook for our class, and everyone is manfully posting their efforts on a daily basis. I’m in awe of the talent within our little group, and of course feel as if my own efforts fall short. They still don’t know about this place, and I’m going to keep it that way, which means I can anonymously share some of our efforts in honour of this fantastic creative project.

poets corner

Presumed Paris Syndrome

‘Creatures scratchin’….
A new moon, a sideways glance
A friend she ain’t made yet
Raising a feathered hand at the bar

She’s loose in the French Quarter
Allowed to dip her toe in
(Because even in her dreams she ain’t that golden)

Cloistered black magnolia shadows
Dripping deep ripples into purple pools

A whole city drenched in graveyards
Night-wakeful, and bloodshot
This; where the old gods came to die
or at least drink heavily
Before whispers sucked ’em down into molasses

She’s heard voices talking this city up for years
A long black coat hanging just inside the door
Crickets in his footsteps

When the city’s hot and sticky on your back
Like a drunk you had to come and carry home
Throttle of a motorcycle, opened up on a straight stretch
Out to the bayou where the gallow trees hang low at 3pm

She drinks burgundy here
And sleeps in the afternoon
Because the nights are incandescent.

A slither, aged shiver
Full of heavy mud, meconium
Passing like a paddle in the painted-silver night
Suzanne sits pitting pebbles
Orange seeds in clefs and trebles
Underneath a red Louisiana moon

From the other end of the spectrum…

Heilan’ Coo

I’ll write a haiku
aboot a big heilan’ coo
ginger, hairy, moo

And finally…

The “B” Word (A Brexit Acrostic)

Ballsed-up badly – It was supposed to be advisory
Rigidly stuck to her plan, didn’t make it revisory
Exiting Strangeways in a straightjacket, would have been easier
X marks the spot for those who peddle political amnesia
If democracy fails, will anarchy sweep the land?
Theresa of the Wheat Fields, it’s in the palm of your hand

I’ll leave it up to you to guess which of the above (first drafts) is mine, if any.

At this point I thought it would be great to share a clip of Saturday morning kid’s telly stalwarts Trev and Simon, performing something from Poetry Corner. Sadly my memory had let me down and it was Singing Corner they championed. Poetry Corner was a feature from Harry Hill’s Saturday night telly show. There are loads of examples, but these will give you the gist.

No lyrics this time as lots of poetry type stuff already included in this one.

In other news however, Theresa May has been From Paris to Berlin as she is still Looking For A Way Out. Yes, she has found herself in a bit of hole, but not as black as the one they’ve finally managed to take a picture of. Turns out the heart of the galaxy looks a bit like a Halloween pumpkin with one eye. Who knew?

BBVNQks.jpgUntil next time….

Postscript:

How bizarre. I woke up this morning to discover the new extension date for us leaving the EU is the 31st October, Halloween. I think a few heads had been turned yesterday by that photo of the black hole, and they too subliminally decided it looked like a giant pumpkin, so set the date accordingly. Lots more bats in the belfry before then no doubt.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

14 thoughts on “Grace Slick, “White Rabbit” and NaPoWriMo”

  1. I’m well impressed with all of those poetic efforts to be quite honest Alyson. I hope that you’ll share more of your own poetry in due course. Reading Heilan’ Coo reminded me of my own favourite Haiku, written by the great John Cooper Clarke:

    To convey one’s mood
    In seventeen syllables
    Is very diffic

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has been an unexpected pleasure reading everyone’s efforts and some are just so good. So many forms of poetry too, so lots of variety – There is the sonnet, limerick, haiku, villanelle, cinquain, clerihew, concrete poem, found poem, list poem, prose poem, sestina and tanka. Then they can either rhyme or not rhyme, be in iambic pentameter or trochaic tetrameter, and so on…. But hey, you knew all that, but as you can probably guess I’ve got quite into it all.

      Love that John Cooper Clark haiku – Going to share it with the group!

      As for my own poetry, after sharing the most personal details of my life over the last few years, I’ve suddenly got shy – Perhaps, maybe, possibly…

      Like

  2. The first one mentions moon so that may well be your offering Alyson
    As the Swede says all pretty good
    I do like the Heilan’ Coo haiku

    Like

    1. You might think that, I couldn’t possibly comment. Well yes I could, the moon one is not actually mine but was dashed off last weekend by one of the others. I really liked it though as it had a great atmosphere to it.

      Yep,
      I do
      like the Heilan’ Coo
      one too

      Another!

      Like

  3. I like them all – I think I could imagine you writing The “B” Word, maybe because we’ve mentioned it a few times on these and other pages? There is something particularly satisfying about a Haiku too, and now especially one written in a Scottish accent – so all power to the talented poets!
    I read a news article about the black hole and my brain promptly disappeared down one…. I just cannot get my head around all the space/universe/infinity stuff without getting that whoozy feeling when you want to cling onto the walls and force yourself to think about frozen peas or something equally mundane instead. It’s too big!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know me too well. Yes, I’m not very good at the haiku, but I suspect you would be, as it should have a seasonal quality and feature something from the natural world. My favourite of late was from the lyrics to the Moonlight In Vermont song by Willie Nelson:

      Pennies in a stream
      Falling leaves, a sycamore
      Moonlight in Vermont

      As for black holes, really tough to get your head round it all isn’t it. All these years I’ve thought a black hole was exactly what it said on the tin – a hole, full of nothing. Now it turns out it’s denser than the densest dense thing! Who knew?

      Like

  4. Liked all the poems, particularly The B Word. The Paris one had some truly mental imagery too, reminded me of a Jim Steinman song: high praise from me!

    Never really got
    the point of haikus though, they
    always seemed futile

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I loved the Paris poem because it had such a great atmosphere to it which I now realise is Jim Steinman-esque. The girl who wrote it was one of the guitar playing, music-loving students from the other weekend so maybe she’s a fan. She has just posted another poem, which as she says isn’t really a poem per se, but it’s one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages so going to share it too. Like your haiku by the way about not liking haikus.

      Why God Gave Owls Trousers

      ‘What the hell is this?’
      ‘You said you wanted a different kind of bird.’
      ‘This is a bean. With giant eyes.’
      ‘And a revolving neck joint’
      ‘The purpose of which is…’
      ‘Advantageous for spotting other predators’
      ‘…you did read the spec for this genus, right?’
      ‘Yeah’
      ‘So you know it’s awake primarily at night?’
      ‘Uh, yeah’
      ‘WHO THE FUCK’S CREEPING UP ON A BEAN WITH GIANT CLAWS, AT NIGHT??!’
      ‘He’s not a bean. He’s got legs’
      ‘WHERE?! [prods owl] He has trousers for some fucking reason.’
      ‘Yeah, it’s cold at night. Plus windchill’
      ‘WIND-chill? I haven’t got round to creating WIND yet…’
      ‘Well…I’d get on that.’
      [grimaces] ‘Can you just stop putting big eyes on shit? I’ve get a cloud ready to go down full of those other things you made last week…’
      ‘The Lemurs?’
      ‘Yeah, and they don’t blink, man. Need some eyelids’
      ‘Uh, I think I used them up on the amphibians’
      ‘Does this thing have eyelids?’
      ‘Yup’
      ‘Thank Christ. What’re you calling it?’
      ‘I was thinking of a Bootor, or a Crickhoot, or…’
      ‘How about an Oscillating WIndchill Lemur?’
      ‘Well, hey now. That’s catchy.’

      Like

      1. I like that one too. I used to be part of an online story-writing group. There were six of us and every Sunday one of us posted an image which the other five then had to write a story about. The order rotated, so you might have one day to write it (for Monday’s post) or five (for Friday’s). Saturday was the turn of the person who posted the image. We all experimented with a variety of genres, and dialogue stories such as this did feature from time to time.

        Like

        1. Ooh, I really like that idea but time-consuming I imagine. The owl poem was actually inspired by a really funny youtube clip of an owl running across the floor – the trousers were very much on show and it looked hilarious.

          I have only posted 10 poems on our group page so far so have fallen behind already. My first guests arrived yesterday however so been a bit busy preparing for that – So far so good although I have already encountered a slight pitfall in that they are French, and my French is rusty to put it mildly so doing everything in English. The mum of the family seems to understand me, but her husband has to have everything translated. My anecdotes I fear are lost in translation, but they seem happy as the weather is glorious and they went to the Isle of Skye today which would have looked lovely.

          Will have to cobble together something about all of that – A Farce Poem if such a thing exists.

          Like

I'd Love To Hear From You And I Always Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s