“The aspiring poet is constantly lowering a bucket only half way down a well, coming up time and again with nothing but empty air. The frustration is immense. But you must keep doing it anyway. After many years of practice, the chain draws unexpectedly tight, and you have dipped into the waters that will continue to entice you back. You’ll have broken the skin on the pool of yourself.”
– SEAMUS HEANEY
Welcome to this special edition of a regular slot each Wednesday, which I call Writers’ Well because; it’s intended to be a source of nourishment and inspiration for the writer in you, it expresses my belief that creative writing can benefit our well being on many levels, and…I love the above quote from Seamus Heaney. It gives me goosebumps every time. It also resonates with my own intention when leading writing workshops. It’s not about producing good writing, it’s about brave, real writing. Writing that goes down deep within to draw up something unexpected.
Each week, I share one of the writing prompts used the previous Friday in my weekly workshop, along with an example of my own written response. However, today I have the great pleasure and privilege of sharing writing from some of the participants! Today’s prompt (allow around 15/20 mins in total) is called…Reflections on the Future
Begin by writing five sentences, each beginning, I fear for the future because…(complete with you own ideas). If you’re doing it in a group, you can pass your paper/notebook round to the right after each sentence and let the next person add another, so that you get some creative cross pollination of ideas. Now, take a deep breath, and write five NEW sentences, each beginning with, I’m excited about the future because… Once again, if you are writing in a group, you can pass your paper/notebook round.
We wrote with such spontaneous speed and passion that it was hard to read even our own writing at times, let alone each others!
Using your sentences for inspiration, though you do not you have to use all the ideas collected, nor are you limited to those already written, write a poem.
As examples, it gives me great joy to share, with their permission, poems written by some of my fellow writers who participated last week, in the order that they were emailed to me. Thank you all. It’s an honour to have your work here on my blog:-)
by Carole Ellis
We have the capacity to love and to destroy.
While some of us build, others will tear down.
Yet the desire to build remains strong.
And the world is grateful for our efforts.
For every block of concrete poured, the daises keep on blooming.
For every ready meal consumed, a farmer somewhere produces food to get the taste buds dancing.
For every child who cannot read, someone is still prepared to teach.
The world will find its balance
And we must find ours too.
It doesn’t come from mindless grind
But from the peace of gentle hope and that capacity for love.
You must travel there.
With whatever I can arm you with
To slay what dragons may cross your path,
To discover new lands,
To love people as yet unimaginable.
All I can give you is a past
To keep you warm should it be cold
To light your way should it be dark.
You must travel there.
Pack only what you need
Pack an open mind and a big heart
Pack you smile, it’ll serve you well.
You must travel there.
Reflections for the Future
by Jenny Heaton
The future is unknown
It lies ahead of us, yet to come into being.
I fear for the earth. Yet she is powerful –
Rivers, oceans, rainstorms,
Wind, hurricanes, fire
We are part of something greater than ourselves.
The earth is alive, and so are we
The life-force that moves through us
Moves also in the bee, the flower, the leopard.
We need to see the beauty of life all around us
in our rich, diverse, abundant world.
And we need to value it, look after it, and give back to it
with the fierceness of a lion protecting her cubs
and the gentleness of a ladybird landing on a cornflower.
As the stream that starts small on moor and mountain
grows and builds as it flows to the sea
So the seeds of longing can grow into something strong
and powerful, and fierce and loving.
Reflections on the Future
Is it the blackest night of humanity?
Have we wounded our Mother beyond healing?
Have we sought dominance through ignorance
until the black oil of profit and disrespect
contaminates our hearts, our consciousness and our children?
And yet, the darkness is a velvet thing,
a womb, a winter, a time to weep.
What child, what spring emerges after grief?
What happens when I listen, we listen
and hear our Mother singing daffodils into yellow?
When fathers love and children grow
and communities care from here to Timbuktu?
What happens when arrogance and difference crumble
and we see our brother in a foreign face?
When we say “No!” with fierce and tender love,
“Enough is enough; there is no them
This poem was created with added colour, so I’ve shared it as an image rather than text:
I feel newly emboldened and hopeful having been so beautifully and powerfully reminded that I do not travel into that future alone, but rather with many courageous, compassionate, creative souls who share a similar vision of the world we want to see…and the one we must therefore, together, create 🙂
If you enjoyed this prompt, then you can find more here: