Saturday, 16 June 2012


I am posting a day later than usual this week, and I would like to begin by thanking Anna for inviting me to the Wychwood Festival to appear as part of the late night poetry event. It was a fantastic show and I felt privileged to be appearing with some really excellent poets.  Anna is also the driving force behind the Cheltenham Poetry Festival (, after watching the quality of the poetry last weekend I can only urge you to buy your tickets now for next year’s Poetry Festival.

It never ceases to amaze me just how much good poetry there is out there. For the next couple of months I am going to be showcasing poets and other creative people each Tuesday so I shall be posting twice weekly.

Staying with creativity, I’d like to know how you create, what makes you write, or draw, or sing? Readers of this blog will know that this is a common theme for me, not that I have any sure fire method of doing so. On Monday I was running a poetry workshop for the people in the group I facilitate here in Taunton, I have to say there are some excellent poets in the group and it is a joy to work with them.
I decided this session to set THEM the task of writing a villanelle, (you can find out information on the poetic form that is a villanelle here: ), to make matters more difficult I left he examples on my work table and had to busk the session- not an uncommon experience. I have to say that the individuals rose to the task and in approximately forty five minutes produced some excellent work. This is my attempt, I make no excuses for its roughness.

This is how it will all end,
You tumble into ignominy
It’s then you’ll need a friend.

Well, you can’t buck the trend
But you still can blame me.
This is how it all will end,

When you’ve nothing to give or lend,
That you wouldn’t give for free,
It’s then you’ll need a friend,

To heal the hurt you can’t mend.
As you turn to face eternity,
This is how it will all end,

You will be empty, nothing left to defend,
Your faults they all can see,
It’s then you’ll need a friend.

When the steel in you is broken, you bend,
You’re on your knees,
This is how it will all end,
It’s then you’ll need a friend.

Because I used quite common rhymes, and rhyming does not come naturally to me at the best of times, I ran the sentence over the line break (it’s known as enjambment: ) to try and cover the rather obvious rhymes. But hey, I only had three quarters of an hour and at such times you have to cut your cloth to suit.

When faced with the blank sheet and absolutely no idea of what I would write the echo of an old song came into my mind Your Going to Need Some One on Your Bond, which, after a quick scan of Wikipedia was first performed and probably written by  Blind Willie Johnson, a blues singer, it was his last recording in 1930 ('ll_Need_Somebody_on_Your_Bond ). The song tells us we all will need a “legally binding guarantee to gain access to heaven Jesus will act as our advocate and will provide us with a bond or a guarantee if we follow His ways.” Here is a link to listen to the original recording (

I ran with the idea of that moment when everything falls apart and after writing in the repeats of lines one and three where they would appear on the page I set about writing a list of rhyming words, then tried to weave each line into a whole.  How do you think I did?


  1. I find music to be very inspirational. There are times when hearing a song will take me back to a certain place in my life, which creates inspiration. Sometimes I see a film or read a book that makes me think of a certain subject matter, i.e westerns or period pieces.

    Some inspiration i think comes from our dreams. I've had dreams that I've had to jump up and write down.

  2. I think you did really well, especially for just 45 minutes!

  3. this is the first i hear of the villanelle form. i might have to try to my hand at one.

  4. MsMariah: I get some of my ideas from either dreams or that half awake state too.
    Golden Eagle: Thank you,you are very kind.
    Aguilar: Yes, go for it and play with the form, its fun.