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More Connected!

Updated: Sep 2, 2019

Writing from workshops on the 2019 Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival theme CONNECTED.

These poems, by Laura , Frances and Matt, are inspired by Wendell Berry's wonderful short poem 'The Plan', the text of which is on the link below. (if you just scroll down over the image below, but don't click on it, you can read the poem.)

Here Laura uses Berry's three-line verse form, and the tone or atmosphere he creates , to produce her own detailed observation of a morning walk and encounter:

Under the morning fog

I slip out from home

and walk under damp sky

up the steep hill, passing

a lone walker on the way.

It is too early for most,

still sleepily rising from

their beds and eating a comforting

breakfast of porridge

and toast. As I get closer

and closer to the stop

I keep an eye out for

the blue and silver Airport

Express. The morning fog

disguises it, bright headlights

reduced to dim orbs.

I don't notice it until

it is only seconds away.

I hear the muted screech

of breaks, the doors open

and there stands:

my old friend

Matt used free verse to create his own version of dis/connectedness, interwoven with a natural background / setting:

We may never get round to it

only flail amongst the packages of time

turn invitation to excuse

excuse to false promise.

Promises strewn and left behind.

Under the morning fog we watch grey wraithes swaying in the wind.

We make a pact that cannot be kept

all the while smiling widely.

Waves break and crash as yet unseen.

I want to promise.

I want to stay.

See the darkness burn away

under golden rays.

Watch the lies curl up and die.

Frances took Berry's line 'in honour of friendship' as her starting point:

In Honour of Friendship

Friendship needs love, trust and loyalty to grow like a fresh watered garden.

Fruits of pleasant memories and places.

Friendships take time to cultivate, in your giving, listening and participating together.

A shoulder in times of need.

Open and honest.

Writing Prompt

Read the Wendell Berry poem 'The Plan' (Google it if the link above isn't working) and write your own response - you could use the same poetic form (3 line stanzas), or take a line or phrase you particularly like as your starting point. Try using Berry's final line, 'under the morning fog', as your opening . . . or write something inspired by Laura's or Matt's words (please acknowledge this if you do so).

Or you could find your own way of writing about a relationship (doesn't have to be in verse - try prose too: write a short story). Who are the people involved? What is the nature of their connection or disconnection? How could you write about it?

How can you best use setting / location, using close observation of place, to enhance your story or poem?

Post the results below, along with any comments about the process, or how you felt about writing or the subject.

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