Jonny by Ben Hughes
And what a day it was. Something clicked in the workshops and I emerged with enough material for several new poems. I had a lovely lunch with Pameli Benham and the afternoon reading was convivial. As for the evening, it ran beautifully smoothly to a packed Elwin Room in the BRLSI. Such a privilege for my words to share a space with such talented artists and poets.
MJ by Malcolm Ashman
It's a funny thing responding to a portrait of a person you've never met. It feels very intrusive to imagine a whole new life for them. Take, for instance, the two depictions of a student by R Scott Fraser. As the eye focusses first on the earring(s), so did my poem. I imagined it a family heirloom, which led to the family being in exile from a distant hot homeland. So I had to laugh when I mentioned the earring to Scott and he replied 'Oh, that was just cheap rubbish. I had to work really hard to make it look that good.' Then the coup de grâce. 'She's just a girl working down the pub, you know.'
Portrait in Spring by R Scott Fraser
Of course, no one's ever 'just a girl working down a pub', but I take his point. Hooray for art, beauty and the imagination.