I recently facilitated a creative practice session for the GameShift community, titled The Art of Poetry : For Better or Verse. Most of my creative practice is visual and I thought it might be fun to gently challenge myself and the community to play with something I know little about. We had about 90 minutes together, and I had nothing more than the vaguest idea of how the session might take shape. My vague idea was shaped and refined through discussion with my colleagues, and we talked, drew, and composed – building poems by first making lists and doodles. I may write up the whole experience as it offered lots of learning and laughter and more. For now though, here’s my poem, written with my colleagues, and tweaked in the studio after we finished the session.
Walking to Work
A farthing’s charm Recently rubbed bright and gleaming Over days, months, weeks, years Time patinates everything
The well-worn tracks Telegraph the sound of seasons The chiffchaff and dunnock Chatter as they fly
Over farmland, parkland, woodland Approaching the studio door Behind the flaky paint To the work beyond To the work beyond
Doug Shaw 2021
A charm is the collective noun for a group of goldfinches. I nearly always see a charm on my walk to work, and I often hear the wren calling too.
One of the tracks I walk along to get to work is named Telegraph Track.
Thinking, thinking, overthinking
What if? what next?
Fear of the unexpected
Thinking through the worse case
Hoping for the best case
It doesn’t help
But it keeps me busy
Worrying and worrying
Great stuff! I love the poem and I’m left wanting to know what happened next…?
I thought I would reply, and here’s what I sent back to Zoe.
The idea is a spark
The conversation oxygen
Action is the flame
Light a fire in your life
There was a positive reaction to both pieces of verse on Twitter, and I thought I’d share them with you here today. If you fancy adding a poetic contribution in the comments – it would be lovely to hear from you.
On arrival at Facilitation Jam last Friday, Flora shared with us a few words first spoken by Johan Wolfgang von Goethe:
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
And so began one of the deepest, most powerful experiences it has been my privilege to attend and share in. The time we spent together was fun, challenging, educational, observational and much more. We laughed, cried, walked, talked, dined and learned with and from each other, and we were bold beyond my high expectations.
I wrote this poem on Sunday as I reflected on my experience. I hope you like it.
Sincere thanks to David, Flora, Jools, Kev, Martin, Meg and Tash.