Last Friday, while on a half-term break from the weekly writing workshop I lead, I followed through on a personal promise to warm up my three-minute poetry writing skills for real, in preparation for several upcoming events.
It was a truly magical morning, during which I went to the cafe in Exeter Library, and asked if I could write three minute poems for their customers while I drank my coffee. These people would give me a subject of their choosing, I would write the poem in three minutes, and then, if they liked the poem, I would invite them to make a donation to the cafe’s fund, which pays for a coffee for those who can’t afford one. In just half an hour I’d approached five tables, written three poems, and had £15 pounds to donate, as each person who’d received a poem had given me £5, and enough tears/smiles/appreciation to fill my heart to bursting.
I could have continued but I didn’t wanted to push my luck, or break the spell, or get greedy. I’m sure I will become more accustomed, but it really is a very powerful and connecting experience. When a total stranger reads and receives my words, and responds with tearful eyes, material generosity and an emotional exclamation that I’ve truly captured something of their own thoughts and feelings, that is just…well it’s pure energetic alchemical gold. It’s also the closest I come to the experience of knowing that I receive all that on behalf of something much larger than individual little old me. During those three minutes something is gifting me, and I am accepting my role as the one allowing that gift to be passed on by making it manifest. That is an honour.
“That’s amazing!” said the cafe manager as I gave her the £15 “you should come again!” Indeed I intend to. You can read the poems in the photos. Remember these were written in just three minutes so no, they’re not brilliant, they’re far from perfect, but they spoke to the people they were written for…and that’s all that matters.
I’m very much looking forward to writing in collaborative circles again, both tomorrow and Friday, feeling creatively re-inspired and deeply re-affirmed in my belief in the potential power of poetry, and in general spontaneous writing in from a place of heart, humility and courage.
May you too know the experience of being blessed by the act of blessing another, until there is no distinction between the gifter and the gifted.