New Poem due to a no show by Jill, our Writing tutor


Two months back, Irwell Writers agreed to have a writing tutor, funded by Bury Borough Council for a period of 5 weeks, beginning 28/04/15. Jill – our first writing tutor – promised to use our current arrangement (we bring pieces of work to read out) as part of this. This is a formal arrangement which will involve a visit by an Ofsted inspector. Our writing group is independent of Ofsted but we were naturally nosy so we turned up for the first meeting 10 am, the Mosses, 28/04/15.

Goodness knows what was going through their heads because we waited, and waited. Jill (I omit her last name to protect innocent and guilty) didn’t turn up. No one did. We’d made a special effort – by that I mean that we were prepared to drop witty banter in favour of a compliant class-room of getting-on-a-bit children; we even promised to fill in forms. Our banter is civil and went along the lines of:

“There’s going to be an inspector.”
“Whooooh!”
“And he will fill in forms.”
“Whoooooooh!”
“And Ofsted will file then somewhere.”
“WHOOOOOH!”

Having worked in a number of bureaucratic organisations, I could see exactly what the form filling side would achieve; a satisfied bureaucracy. See, I know my Orwell and Kafka…

Anyway, having exhausted our conspiracy theories in the empty minutes, we got down to work and read from our pieces. I read from the beginning of Manchester, one of my post disaster pieces (well received). With time on my hands at the end and, after protesting lack of poetic ability, I came up with the following.

We Waited for Jill

On the 28th
 we sit ready to listen
 and learn
 forms fit for words
 to punctuate
 and make incredible prose

We wait in vain
 thoughts
 held in suspense
Childlike
 disappointment
 fades

Poetry to me is does it look right? They felt okay because they were topical. The meeting wasn’t entirely wasted, but perhaps that was unkind so I did another

Where’s Jill

In the morning
I looked on fresh dawn
Pulling me to explore
garden fair
out and beyond
Where the wide world
 fenced by forest
 and airy paths that trail
 through glade and dell
 and wheresoever
 my heart will go
Bides

I closed the door
 and barred the gate
 that all will know
 that garden mine
 is no haunt for
 fierce beast
 while I follow
 fern and flower
to search the Earth
for Jack

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About Terence Park

Collections: vinyl records, comic books, paperbacks; I've plenty of them all. I also do spreadsheets.
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