Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Inspiration for the Soul

I was invited to a fund-raising evening in the tiny village of Orston last Saturday. It's only two miles from where I live, but I clambered into the mini bus along with a handful of lovely neighbours. The evening was to raise money for research into the treatment and prevention of ALD. (http://www.oliversarmy.org/)
Martha and the Vandellas flew over from Detroit especially to perform on a temporary stage in the back garden of the parents who've lost a son to ALD. The couple picked up the trio from the airport. Can you imagine?
"See you later. Just popping out to pick up Martha and the Vandellas!"
They even stayed overnight at the house where the event was taking place.
What an amazing night. We ate pie and peas whilst sitting 8ft away from Martha and her sisters singing the original Jimmy Mack, Dancing in the Street and Heatwave. She was witty, modestly self-deprecating, as fit as a fiddle and still has an amazing voice at 70! She had us dancing on the lawn and singing along. She sang a tribute song of Michael Jackson's and I only wish I had as much energy!
As well as being an incredible night full of soulful melodies, as a writer, I had my eyes peeled for new characters, overheard conversations and even the latest bit of juicy gossip. I found it in spades!! I had to draw the line at taking my ever present notebook out of my handbag, but I gathered information which I scribbled in my notebook the next day.
I saw an eminent doctor having a crafty cigarette, a famous singer from the 60's squeezed into some eye-wateringly tight jeans to accompany his tinted hair, a tipsy judge and some blatant flirting whilst spouses back's were turned. All in all, some fabulous characters to work into a chapter of my next novel, Sugar and Spite.
The evening itself had a mauve haze to it as dusk fell. The heady fragrance from the flowers and ladies' perfumes added a spice to the colourful characters and laughter-filled huddles. I made new friends as well as caught up with old ones. The weather was as mild as a Mediterranean memory as we topped up our glasses and sang along to Mowtown and Soul legends.
A writer's dream!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Trapped Butterfly

I was delighted to win first and second places in a recent poetry competition. The theme for the poems was, turn back the clock. Here is one of my poems.

Trapped Butterfly

Trembling behind gauze, like a trapped butterfly
Listening to the scrunch of rubber on gravel.
He's home.
A door slams as headlights fade.
How can a lover become a stranger,
As swiftly as a once polished plum
Becomes covered in a delicate froth of fungi?
Turn back the clock to those heady fruitful days
When love blossomed.
Shared dreams divided by time
And split like parched wood.
His footfall, once a welcoming tread,
Now splinter my calm with regret
As he strides on the polished parquet.
Turn back the clock to a time when our words tumbled
Like a rushing brook in a spring thaw.
Before the wordless air ambushed me,
Squeezing my breath at his glance.
A look which once glowed with love,
Now glowers.
Loving praise decayed into mute criticism.
A curl of his lip.
Turn back the clock to a time when the sun shone
On entwined fingers, and a passionate embrace.
His kiss, once lingering and heartfelt is but a memory,
Bleached pale by time's incessant race.
"Goodnights" unspoken.
An extinguished bulb
Signals the end of his day.