Mini Workshop: Writing Poems

As promised, a few days ago, this is my poetry blog with a slant on facilitating communication aid users to explore writing poems. Unlike writing stories you don’t have to create a character, if you don’t want to, but if you want to you can use the dialogue in the poetry for some characters if you wish.
First let’s do a clean. A clean is when you write for 5-10 minutes about anything and everything that is in your mind. Just dump your mind on paper. For communication aid users you might want a bit longer than that. I would advise somewhere around 15 minutes for eye gaze and communication aid users to off load as many words as possible. Then have a break, especially when you’re using eye gaze.
Here’s my example –
break bread. peach. hungry. drink. milkshake. chocolate strawberry. banana. apple crumble. rocks. stones. melt. hot cold chill ice. white. ghost. emergency. emery. magazine. paper. news . stories. events. places. space. moon sun. stars. gold diamond silver bronze. medal money. cash slash. splash. out swim physical. run. wheel propel. drive. car van. so on. now it is break. chill out.
Take a break now, Dave, and come back and read me.
Hello, welcome back. Did you enjoy your break?
When you come back after getting your tea, coffee or hot chocolate, pick a word out of your offload, the word that stands out most to you. Start to explore this word. Let it take you on a journey. Let that word trigger memories, dreams and sentences. Let yourself go on a journey with the starting point being that word, and write a paragraph from that word.
My word is chill. I have picked that word because it stood out to me. Just start writing and exploring that word. Here’s my example –

chill out. there is no need to trill every time. news is breaking all the time. but just chill. everything is fine. what about what about what about. well death is devastating. we will cry for them. they will stop this murder. it is dangerous but I know we will be safe at home. doesn’t your friend Fred have it. yes but they will be alright. they are strong. don’t read now well only once a day. it is time to shut up and go to another world. some how I feel more connected than ever. messages doesn’t stop. business is as perfect as it will be. it is time to chill. stay safe. follow the government and the world. you do you at home. family time will will this war for us. but just wash hands and don’t do unnecessary stress. just be you on a winters day. I know the sun is shining and coming stronger. don’t go out. open windows and doors. still have walks. only do what we need. the levels of life don’t need to confuse us. they are all gone now. just walk. do something to keep busy. read write do a puzzle. work from home. God I can actually see blue sky . I can’t smell smog. is this a way of life that is friendlier? will it stay. just chill and we will defeat it.

You should now have a monologue straight from your beautiful and delightful mind. You can leave it there if you want. Especially if this is for a monologue in a play, but if you want to you can rework it and rewrite it, and turn it into a poem. How to do that is write it again with the last sentence as the first sentence and see what you create in between.
Here’s my example –
just chill and we will defeat it. the news will chill us with the latest about this murder. we will cry about the lives lost. we can be heroes to the doctors. they will be heroes to us. how? just chill. read a book. relaxed. work in your pyjamas. video call and talk. message. you will be isolated but we don’t need to loose connections. play words with friends with me. like we do with grandpa and ma. keep busy. loo rolls we have plenty to go around. stop panic attacks. there is enough. food. buy what you need. sharing is the stars that you can light up smiles. be kind. just chill. we can defeat it. those are the weapons that we need. just chill and we will defeat it.
Now rewrite it again but rework a snappy line in every few lines. You could aim to repeat that line every four or five lines, but it’s up to you. It could be every other line if you like, but for my poem I went for four/five. There’s no reason why it should be, my natural beat was just that. Always go with your natural flow whilst writing, even if you just write I am writing I am writing when you can’t think of anything.
When you’re happy with it, go back and tidy it up, look at the capital letters and punctuation, line breaks and all the stuff that doesn’t matter while you’re being creative, or you could even ask someone to do it for you.
Here’s my example –
Just chill. We will defeat it.
The murder and the latest news is worth crying about. This is a virus, an unexpected force. We can all be heroes to our heroes. We can save each other. Just chill.
Play words with friends. Talk with your grandma and grandpa. Read a book. Even write a poem, play or your own book. Be connected. You’re not really isolated. Just a click or a tap. Just chill.
There’s plenty to go around. Panic buying is the enemy that could lose us this fight. So don’t fight. Don’t fight. Just chill.
Family nights. Even video call people across the world. Send smiles, jokes and laugh. Play films and games. Even a spot of dancing. Just chill.
Just chill. We will defeat it.
Do you see the difference? If you rework and rewrite it you can turn it into something else. Just to recap – pour out, pick a word, let the word be your beginning, then write it, rewrite it, rework it, and you have a poem.
So there’s your poetry tool bag. Get writing. Yes you will cut some great lines, but sometimes a great line isn’t the punch your poem needs.
Join me on this blog next week for more creative tips. Even comment what you want my next blog to be. Stay safe. Just chill.

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