Untitled I – Poetry Workshop

When the air is un-breathable & water, un-drinkable and land intolerable, I will …..

I will …..

Move towards the rising sun
Along paths of possibilities
  Past gravel pits
  Near ledges
  Near misses
   Steady gait within
    Opening gates without locks
    Changing landscapes but
       not altering escapes
    Withered pasts trailing
       shadowed auroras
    Patience and perseverance

✩      ✫      ✬      ✭      ✮      ✰      ☆

I generally shy away from including ‘Director’s Cut Extras‘ in my poems, but …..this might need a bit of explanation! I recently attended a free Poetry Workshop hosted by our public library, and taught by Victoria’s Poet Laureate, Janet Rogers. This was an amazing experience for me!

The first exercise was to write a poem, based on the phrase:

When the air is un-breathable & water, un-drinkable and land intolerable, I will …..

Then write a poem! IN TWO MINUTES!!! I probably spent the first 10 seconds with my jaw dropping as to what I would try and write, and… the result is above.

I am also including a scan of my notebook, complete with my real time ‘digital scratchings‘ of this poem.

We also listened to Janet Rogers narrating one of her poems, set to a video by Dan Kahan. Links are included below.

The next exercise that night was to write for … 12 MINUTES …. based on words about Victoria ….. and that will be another post!

Victoria’s Poet Laureate
Janet Rogers

Directional Geometry 101
Dan Kahan

Digital Scratchings

Digital Scratchings



28 thoughts on “Untitled I – Poetry Workshop

  1. What a wonderful opportunity!

  2. Amazing what you produced in two minutes!

  3. penpusherpen says:

    to be faced with such a task and then produce the words you did, loved it …. and can’t wait to see the next one. x

  4. maryamchahine says:

    I would have been shocked too. Sometimes it takes me 2 minutes to get out just two words. Ha, ha! I’m definitely not a spontaneous person although I’ve put more of it into practice recently with a project I’m working on with another poet. Although I’m sure it was scary, I’m sure it was fun, too!

  5. UnPoet says:

    2 minutes…WOW. I bow to your eloquence my friend! That must have been such a wonderful experience for you. I should see if my Library ever offers stuff like that.

    • I probably looked like Bugs Bunny with eyes popping out of my head! I was not expecting that, but it was an excellent exercise! And my next post..when I get more time after this crazy week of mine…was our next exercise – 12 minutes – WRITE! But with some key words!

  6. janineyork says:

    So perfect. Inspiring, capturing, strength through the impossible, from within. All of that in a few minutes on cue. You are amazing.

  7. gimpet says:

    I decided to take this challenge! So I got a timer, sat down and pressed start. The first moments were true to my philosophy: When in doubt, FREAK OUT! My heart started racing and I just thought: AHH, this is horrible, I am in turmoil.
    Wait, stop. When in doubt…..GO TO HAIKU! So I finished in two minutes with the following:
    Swirling turmoil
    Life as I know it is gone
    Elemental loss
    Yeah meeee! I did it! Not sure if I really ‘met’ the challenge, but this haiku kinda mirrors my week, so I think I will post it! 🙂

    • I am VERY impressed! This still sends shivers up my spine when I think of it! And my next post….when I get to it…. will be the next exercise … 12 minutes of writing, but with a twist! EXCELLENT Haiku! I am working backwards in time, I think, at least from top to bottom, on comments, so I hope you posted it! About 500 WP Follows and your wonderful emails to catch up on, after a crazy week here! And last night…at poetry night….someone recognized me from work! ‘What are … you … doing here?’ scenario! Hilarious!

      • gimpet says:

        I was actually nauseated the whole two minute time period, and I wasn’t even in a workshop! I am posting it, along with my verbal flagellations over the process, today.

        Caught RED HANDED! What did you TELL the person? “Well, Im a budding poet; would you like to read my blog?” I laughed OUT LOUD when I read that! Giant-cooler-than-thou-Greg at a poetry reading…..bet THAT gets around….
        Well, if your poetry were a little less wonderful you wouldn’t have so many follows to review. The rewards of excellence. I would like to say I feel sorry for you….but I don’t! 🙂

        • Did I also mention that we were also asked to … read it outloud! Fortunately, we moved on before I had to read mine! Actually, I was quite flustered! That is actually a fairly common occurrence with me…unless I am prepared! No, did not mention this blog, just said that I truly admire people who can not only write, but especially if they can stand in front of a crowd and … read their own words!
          And then collapsed into a puddle of Dragon Jelly…… 🙂

          • gimpet says:

            Oh, poor Greg. And here my eyes were lit with unholy amusement trying to imagine you conversing about attending a poetry reading, but by the time I got to Dragon Jelly I was melting with sympathy. I think you need to put some liquor in that coffee to relax you a little. Or I can send you some Clonazapam–you would not be feeling any anxiety after one of those! Someday you will take the poetry reading by storm, I am certain of this! I believe in YOU!
            I strongly suggest you pick one, then practice at home saying it out loud….then practice in front of your daughter! If you send me a video, I will honestly critique you, like: quit rubbing your scalp, stop rocking back and forth, LOOK at the audience, show us your gold fillings a little more 🙂 🙂

            • Just finished glass of red wine…and read my Haiku to my cat. She promptly walked over to her food dish and did the double-take … feed me … FIRST! Gold fillings! LOL! I prefer to think of myself as a Nigerian Prince, and will ask my dentist to return my .. gold crown! I haven’t even been to poetry readings for 2 weeks! Just too much pain! But this Friday..fingers crossed! And probably 100cc of Adrenalin would get me up there!

  8. I love “paths of possibilities”. And the direction you chose to take off on following the prompt. Sounds like a wonderful workshop. We must have similar things going on here (L.A. area) – I’m inspired to seek them out.

  9. […] describing a free Poetry Writing Workshop I attended at our public library. My first poem is at Untitled I – Poetry Workshop if you are […]

  10. A mere two minutes?! Whoa. Not sure if I would have been able to do that, lol. Well done. ^_^

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