Rapunzel

The bottom step is a barrier

Her boundary with the outside world.

I watch her every day, she stops

On that last step

As one would were they leaving somewhere very dear to them.

 

She waits for around ten minutes

Before a screech emanates from inside the hotel

(Difficult to hear, unless you focus

On the panic that transforms her face

As she runs back up the steps.)

 

Today is summer, and the breeze blows, gently

Lifting the curtain at the window

And the edge of her dress,

it floats up to expose her knee.

Traffic – and life – goes on.

 

But each day I stop.

Observe. Take a second.

Look at the world the way

I think she does. The bright grey

Of the outside, ripe for exploration.

 

So entranced is she that I notice

A cat, black from nose tip to tail,

Slink past her, into the hotel.

I wish him luck, and that he may

Leave more freely than she.

Find a cosy room.

 

I see in her face – just for an instant –

A flash of uncertainty. Surely she sees

How easily she could step down

Off the step, past her boundary,

And join the rest of us here, in the ever moving present.

 

Just as she raises her toes, right on cue,

Comes the screech. I hear it through

The fear that spreads across her face as she turns,

Runs back up the steps, back inside,

Her dreams of rebellion put away again, left for another day.

 

A recent task in creative writing was to write a poem inspired by a painting by Edward Thomas, to demonstrate the ekphrasis that we were learning about in our poetry lectures in a more hands on way. I chose his painting Summertime. I was intrigued by the woman in the painting lingering where she did, and this is what came of that intrigue.

 

I would recommend trying to write a poem from this sort of inspiration, as it was really interesting to see how so many of us in the class interpreted the same painting in so many different ways, despite being asked the same questions.

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The Joys of People Watching

One of the most common pieces of advice given to writers is to people watch. People watching is one of the easiest and most beneficial things you can do, at least in my limited experience. Through people watching, you visually take in the mannerisms of people and the sort of things that you will describe when it comes to actually writing.

One of my favourite games as a child – a game I now still play when I have some time to kill in a public place – it to make up stories for people I see from a distance. You can take an aspect of them, for example a hole in their coat, and try and explain it in the most interesting way that you can think of. For example the hole was made as they tried to make a quick escape from a house that they were robbing when their coat caught on the fence. It’s amazing the things that you come up with, especially when you play with a friend. You can come up with all sorts of wacky backstories for people, and even start to bring in other strangers who are around to the initial person’s story. I once played it waiting at a train station with my friend on the way back from school, and we ended up bringing in six or seven different people on the platform opposite into an elaborate spy plot. It can be as silly as you like, but it really does get your creativity going.

So if you are looking for a creative source, give it a go. You never know where your next inspiration will come from.

Searching

Searching

Marbled notebook beside her

She types

The words falling

From her fingers.

Still her eyebrows furrow

As she strives to uncover

What makes her tick.

 

I have now started university and I am loving it! I’m still finding my stride, hence the lack of blog posts, so here is a poem I wrote for a recent creative writing exercise on people watching. I hope to start publishing more reviews and examples of my writing on here, so look forward to that!