Participants on July’s Labyrinth writing workshop, led by Beth Soule of Suffolk Poetry Society, have kindly agreed to share their poems written on the day. Thank you to everyone who came on the workshop and Beth for her creative leadership.
We feature three of the poems below. Look out for more later in the summer.
Walking the Labyrinth
Walking the labyrinth with my fingers, sightless,
Years of use have battered the nerves,
worn down the skin, made fingertips clumsy.
I think of Africans who feel the path in the dark
with their feet
They do not need a torch
Their feet, bare and sensitive,
notice small differences in terrain.
Long years of wearing shoes
and walking hard pavements
have worn away this sensitivity
Long years of exposure to urban noise
deadens the ears to quiet sounds
of the night
Long years of street illumination
make people fearful of the dark
unable or unwilling to see their way
unlit after nightfall.
Not able to see, not able to feel the path,
Are we the losers?
© Rosemary Jones 2017
Mind hurries with scurrying insects
bends with wind-blown grass
weaves between leaf, stem, petal
stretches with reaching boughs
feet tread uneven ground
feel the shifting balance
sense the change from sun-crisped grass
to the soft crumbling of mole-earth
skin feels the brittle scratch of dried stems
the tickle and twitch of flying beasts
the easing heat of afternoon
the breeze breath
heart beats with the pace of walking
lifts with the wind
slows to the gentle hum of bees
opens to the bright of buttercup gold.
© Beth Soule 2017
The Labyrinth’s Question
What shall I do tomorrow?
Go home, little girl, at dawn,
with your shell and your flaxen hair.
Go home to your grandmother,
ask her. She knows, understands what it is you seek.
She knows your heart but does not bend with age.
This is the Wisdom of Hare.
Go home, do not stay away.
Do not stay away, with a shell in your hand,
a song in your heart – but no hearth.
Sit with her, hold her hand,
buy her milk and fill her days
with cake and laughter.
When it gets hard and your grandmother
shivers and moans, feel the shell
in your hand, remember
the days on the sea and
the hours on the beach, and do not call me
The hedgerow is not for you little girl
Go home and hug your grandmother.
© Sue Benbow – 2017