On Friday I ran a writers’ workshop at the Portsmouth Museum. Participants were asked to pick an object from the exhibition ‘A Hard Choice’ that they would like to find themselves. They then wrote their fantasy journey to find this particular treasure. Some truly inspired adventures and wonderful imagery emerged over the course of the afternoon.
Here’s a poem I’ve written that hopefully captures some of the spirit of the wonderful writing that the participants produced –
Travelling with Bonnie Prince Charlie
through tartan glass, the fragments
of Chinese slippers, a hat
you can’t remember the name of
but still see on your great uncle
as he peers at you through his cracked monocle.
You are a collector of fine wine,
the wind that blows in the trees,
a doll that was broken
and could never be fixed.
You head out into the spring rain
with the taste of eels in your mouth,
slippery and unsure. The path
is strewn with active volcanoes,
ice storms, hot sand under your feet.
You celebrate nightfall
as a deep purple bruise.
You fly into the jungle,
no longer sure if your specimen jars
should hold Aboriginal stories
or if laughter can be posted home.