Awakening the Written Word

So, last Saturday, May 6th, 2017, we hosted a workshop to discuss and develop ideas seeking to enrich members’ writing specifically with a view to using said words in a public, performance role. Perhaps, also, to write prose that others can use in such situations.

Literature Wales, the national agency sponsoring such activities, provided a list of potential coordinators and I found Martin Daws, Performance Poet, to run the day of workshops and live performance session at the Station Hotel.

A morning session, in Colwyn Bay Library, Martin used as a theory session, during which we worked on spontaneous prose generation – through a game of literary Consequences – and editing – by splicing together hastily written works in pairs, each independently written about the same topic.

And we talked a lot!

After a speedy lunch break, part two, at the NWAMI building on Greenfield Road, we spent a couple of hours dealing with practical issues, like utilising a PA system to broadcast ones voice effectively. Being placed “on the spot” sure allows one to demonstrate ones inadequacies in this department. Still, this was exactly why we wanted to run this day, so the end result was great.

This was demonstrated later, down the pub! At the Station’s upstairs venue Martin gave us a half hour rendition of his new “set”, designed for an upcoming event. It was a powerful piece, utilising words as poems and the spoken word together with vocally experimental, tone utterance and near hypnotic repetition of such.
He sure could use his mike, as well!

For the rest of the evening many members of the group read out and performed a wide variety of their own prose. Much of it, indeed, by now wide awake and highly entertaining. A very enjoyable evening after an excellent day and, I’m sure, the first of many.

So far, my name for the series is:
“The Write Way”.

Well, it seems good to me……….

 

Chris Hemmings

11/5/2017

What a performance………

NWAMI,

The North Wales Association for Multicultural Integration

with the Colwyn Writers’ Circle

Present

“Awakening the Written Word”

A day of

Writers’ Workshops

on Saturday May 6th, 2017

led by

Mr Martin Daws,

Performance Poet

Morning session at

Colwyn Bay Library 11.00 – 12.30

Afternoon session at the

NWAMI Centre, Greenfield Rd, 1.00 – 3.00

Evening Performance Time at the Station Hotel, 5.00 til 7.00, maybe later, maybe with some performance comics………

PS – I find laptop word processor to WordPress plays hell with ones settings, so I played silly games with colouring, instead. Have pdf of original if anybody wants it …
crishtrees@gmail.com

I’ve been away for a few weeks and it was so good to be back at our meeting yesterday.  A great discussion on the topic of Translation with some interesting contributions.

Theme for next week: Bullying

Theme for the following week:  We are not alone.

I read a sonnet I’d written about a recent trip.

 

We’ve come to Stratford for a day or two

(by way of Chester’s nice Cathedral caff);

the Travelodge supplying bed and loo

and prebooked tickets saving us from faff.

 

We first see Aphra Benn’s The Rover.  GOD!!!

I love the woman! play and all.

Us older ones admire and clap and nod

but young things whoop with joy and feel lust’s call.

 

And so tonight: Two Noble Kindsmen.  Hmm

There’s gods and honour, battles, love and gore.

I like the words but miss the sense of them

and, at the end, polite applause – no more.

 

Hey ho, it’s over; time to leave this place.

We two are back to Rhos-On-Sea’s embrace.

Open Mic at Tape

Thank you Ewan, and see you in a couple of weeks.

The event went very well and was hugely enjoyable. Well done to Marc, Rob, David and Chris for your readings and to Rosa and Mike for your songs.

It was brilliant for us all to perform and visit Tape. There will be another event in a few months, so we all can all look forward to that. It will have been recorded by the staff at Tape – I will let you all know if I hear anything about a screening, etc. Meanwhile, enjoy writing, and see you all soon x Cath

Fish and Chips

I’ve drawn a blank

I’m caught

Hook, line and sinker.

Not even a single thought

No ideas, with which to tinker.

With this task I can take no trips

I’m truly lost – I’ve had my chips!

And I trawl down in all my deepest seams

The richest veins where choice nuggets will always gleam

And just find nish

And have to create a rhyme

For fish.

Evening gathering of the Writers’ Guild (Take a Pratchett reference….!)

Well I chatted with our Abdul and he’s happy for us all to have an evening’s merriment at his Venue @ The Clock House with buffet Indian foodstuffs available at around £12 per person. Not sure of a full program but if we can weave in a few games, like Mah Jongh, of which I have a wondrous set, and maybe even some prose and pomes.

Cath and I thought that next Thursday, the 19th, would work.

see you tomorrow for some retribution…..

PLACEBO

         The placebo effect does not always work,

         as evidenced by the ‘Maji Maji’ revolt in   

         German East Africa (Tanganyika) in 1907.

 

‘Bullets will turn to water,

Machine guns will not kill’

This was the cry that echoed

From hill to sounding hill.

 

The tribesmen heard with wonder,

Each rushed to take his stand

To fight the dreaded Germans

And drive them from the land.

 

The lines of naked warriors

With assegai, bow or spear

Came from the fields and forests

To wash away their fear.

 

‘Itifishi’ was the name –

For witchcraft well renowned

Who had the magic water

With which they would be crowned.

 

Just water pure, that’s all it was,

With herbs and magic stone

Put in a pot and stirred around

With witchcraft’s magic bone.

 

‘This will protect you from their guns,’

The cunning doctor said;

Just wash in this, I promise you,

They cannot shoot you dead.’

 

The natives heard with wonder

And came with joy and glee

To bathe in magic water

And pay the doctor’s fee.

 

‘Bullets will turn to water,

Machine guns will not kill’

This was the cry that brought them

From hill to sounding hill.

 

The Germans heard with wonder

The stories natives told

Of magic water bathing

That made them all so bold.

 

They took their well-oiled rifles,

Machine gun chambers filled,

Stood by their stout defences,

And countless natives killed.

 

‘Bullets will turn to water,

Machine guns will not kill’

They pinned their faith in magic –

And charged the German hill.

 

Across the dusty landscape

The tribesmen charged their way;

‘Machine guns could not kill them’

They heard the doctor say.

 

The doctor stood and watched them

As thousands dropped down dead

His magic water useless

Against the power of lead.

 

The Germans watched with wonder

As wave by wave they came

Across the dusty landscape

To die in abject shame.

 

‘Bullets will turn to water,

Machine guns will not kill’

But ‘maji maji’ magic

Their wishes did not fill.

 

Their corpses lay there rotting,

Their widows left to cry

For maji maji magic

They were prepared to die.

 

      David Reed    Dec 2016

We finished the year yesterday with a great meeting.  This is such a friendly and supportive group.  Lots of discussion (over mulled wine and banana cake!) about our different contributions on the theme of Reconciliation. But the highlight had to be one of our members opening a parcel from America to reveal copies of two books that he has written on the subject of vaccination.  Wow!

We’re having a Christmas break but returning in the New Year with the theme: Sci-Fi.  Phasers set to stun, guys…

Meanwhile, here’s a little Christmas story.

Peace On Earth

“Whoo,” puffed Theresa, gathering her breath.  It had been a long climb up the stairs.

She looked down over the railing of the mall.  Eight floors of Christmas mayhem; swirling crowds, carols through the speakers, fake snow, children everywhere.  But she was about to bring peace to the chaos.

She clasped her hands together for a moment, closed her eyes, and murmured a few words.  Then  taking a plastic bottle from her pocket, she unscrewed the top, dipped in a clean watercolour brush and flicked some drops of the water into the vast space of the mall.  She took a few steps to the side and repeated the process.  Then again.  And again.

“Excuse me, miss.  Can I ask what you’re doing?”

Theresa turned.  It was a security guard.  She smiled.  “I’m blessing the mall.”

He looked at her suspiciously.  “What?”

“I’ve prayed for everyone in the mall and now I’m scattering holy water.”

He took a sharp intake of breath.   “Now hang on a moment, miss.  This is a secular space…”

There was a burst of laughter from behind them.  “This place – secular!?” said a young man.  “Look around you, mate.  Every shop in the mall is full of Christmas goods.”

“I’m sorry,” insisted the security guard.  “We can’t have holy water being scattered…”

“It’s not holy water,” interrupted a tall man, “it’s completely ordinary water.”

“If it’s been blessed by a priest then it’s holy water,” retorted a small woman laden down with bags.

A crowd was forming.  “Think of our Muslim friends,” someone called.

“I’m Muslim and I like Christmas,” responded someone else.

“Well water is not being scattered into the air in this mall,” stated the security guard.

“That’s ridiculous!  Every time we breathe, we scatter water into the air.”

The noise was rising.  Everyone was talking at once.  Then someone tripped and fell, pushing two others.  Tempers snapped, punches were thrown.  Within seconds, an affray had started and the security guard was desperately calling for back-up.

Meanwhile, eight floors below, Theresa was making her way out of the mall.  She checked her list.  Next she would be bringing some Christmas peace to the leisure centre.