Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Callander Collage

When people were reading at Callander Poetry Festival 

6-8, 2013) I occasionally jotted down some phrases or words that 

struck me, though often enough I was so caught up in listening that 

I forgot about my notebook or camera. Thinking of writing 

something about the Festival today, I opened my notebook and was 

confronted with a surreal mixture of unrelated words.

A few years ago I took part in the sculpture sur prose  event 

organized by the poetry magazine La Traductière.  Writers took a 

couple of pages of a written text of their choice and created a poem 

from selected words from this text, with acknowledgement of 

course, to the original. So I thought I would do a variant of this for 

the Callander Festival, with the words in my notebook. At first I 

intended only using the words of other people, then found I had to 

add some of my own, to give it some kind of narrative and sense, 

however bizarre! I've chopped and changed some of the quotations, 

I've omitted and added and ascribed lines to different speakers 

(Disclaimer: although none of my characters represent any living 

person, still, there may be some similarities among the caricatures 

and embellishment!).

This is intended as hommage and thanks – to all the people at 

Callander Festival who shared their work and their company and 

most of all to our hosts Sally and Ian who arranged the entire event 

and gave us lodging food and wine.

Particular thanks to those whose words I have used, rearranged, 

twisted, chopped and mangled – Edwin Stockdale, Larry Butler, 

Fiona Croeser, David Costello, Kemal Houghton, Elspeth Brown, 

Kevin Cadwallender, Juliana Geer, Lucinda Carey, Deborah Tyler-

Bennett, Anne Connolly, Andy Jackson, Sally Evans, Alan Gay

Poetic Appeal - Robin Cairns

Poets on Pilgrimage – A Metaphorical Journey

Outside, there is hoar frost on the garden, and the eucalyptus swaying.

The Mushroom Picker says – I remember –

oh, the black slug before me, the return of the black slug

and the eating of the black slug

in the forests of the Groot river in the Eastern Cape.

And how the trees twisted guiltily afterwards.

The Colourfully Clad One consoles him, saying, not to regret the slug,

for poetry is like worms, you chop one in half and, hey presto! You have two!

And besides, I washed the feet of death today – well – the statue anyway.

The Mushroom Man is cheery now, he sings as we walk on –

this is a happy song, we dare to eat, be it peaches, be it slugs,

we wave and do not drown, thank you he sings,

for willow-herb, sweet peas and buddleia.

The Jester's on Sabbatical, though still wears his Jester's hat.

He gnaws his finger nail and says he doesn't sleep so well –

as we follow the desire lines, ways of foxes, ways of mice,

towards the habitations, hoping for a refuge for the night,

and the Jester's heard to mutter – I wish I'd taken the other road,

I wish I'd taken the other road –

You'd think we were about to meet Vlad the Impaler

says Lucia the luscious costermonger.

But he was adept at acupuncture! howls the Jester.

Roads to hell are always slip-shod, says the comforting Lucia

and the dance springs high when talk of peace begins.

Oh no, I'm OK, shouts the Jester,

I will write a tome entitled Poetry for Dummies!

Look, we have a harp! calls out our Leader, velvet clad and blithe,

and we hear the sounds of rippling music –

the door is open, we are welcome in.

But the costermonger frowns now, as we enter the lit dwelling,

promising us food and shelter for the night.

Where are the apples? I peeled them! she protests.

The thin man in black, who hasn't spoken much,

sidles up to her and murmurs

love is just lust in sensible shoes,

but she finds her apples, laughs him off,

and sounds of saxophone and singing,

clarinet and harp waft from the building as we enter in.

We will save Humpty Dumpty! shouts the Captain of the ship,

while the Scholar tucks his book into his pocket and asks,

where's the wine?


The Solitary Walker said...

This is pure Bob Dylan from his mid-1960s period!

You were going fine
Until the line
'Where's the wine?'
which makes total sense to me...

dritanje said...

What better way
to end the day
let the images and characters just melt away,
and have a glass of wine?

Quite something to be compared to Dylan - thanks!

Forest Dream Weaver said...

Thank you Morelle,you have a wonderful way with words!

Happy weekend,

dritanje said...

Thanks Ruby, glad you liked it!