WriTING my Way Through Lockdown.

An Artichoke Poem, grown and written by me!

‘Cause the Writing’s on the Wall.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: my brother by other parents, spies a ghost.

WriTING Task Six: Find an object that is connected to how you have spent some of your time during lockdown; I choose an artichoke. Use this as a prompt to write with a paper and pen. Just write whatever comes into your head. Stop after ten minutes. Cut what you have written up line by line. Throw these in the air. Randomly reassemble them. Change some words. Move things around. Sellotape together. You’ve got a poem.

As those of you who have read more than one of my blog articles will suspect: I quite like writing. So, with lockdown rules putting paid any plans for a ski trip this side of ‘sometime never’, I signed up to an online writing course.

It may surprise you to know that I haven’t written anything before where I’ve made it up. All my writing comes from facts and research and my opinions of it; to write something completely made-up, that’s a first for me.

The course was online and twice a week, for eight weeks, we were set a writing task. Sometimes long, sometimes short, sometimes odd. None were compulsory, but being someone who tends towards ‘completer/finisher’, I generally went for quantity over quality and tackled them all.

Here’s one…
Most of us on the writing course were amazed at how this ‘nearly’ worked. None of us had to rearrange or edit very much to get something that actually worked as a poem. Rhyming aside!

My WriTING Effort:

Artichoke – The random reassemble of one liners

I’ve never seen them for sale in Tesco
Being perennial means it’ll crop every year
Harrison’s don’t have any plants, only seeds
Keep it as a plant
Good on pizza
Maybe try Rhubarb next year
Never grown an artichoke
Sarah says they make a stunning plant
She has the recipe
Sow ten seeds, five start to grow
Long and ornamental leaves
Spikey fruits
Rhubarb Farm grow them
Eight fruit from one plant
They’re hungry plants
Monty says they are easy to grow
Two plants survive
Never eaten an artichoke
Nearly a metre tall
Good colour for backdrop in the garden
What a faff to cook
Very little is edible, very little to taste
Second plant is fruiting now

Artichoke – Slight re-arrange and re-edit into a poem

I’ve never seen artichoke in Tesco.
Harrison’s don’t have plants, only seeds.
I’ve never grown an artichoke.
Sarah says they make a stunning plant,
And she has the recipe.

Rhubarb Farm grow them.
Monty says they are easy.
Sow ten seeds, five start to grow.
Long and ornamental leaves,
Spikey fruits appear.
Eight on one plant,
They’re hungry plants.

Two plants survive,
Nearly a metre tall.
Good colour for backdrop in the garden.

I’ve never eaten an artichoke.
What a faff to cook,
Very little is edible, very little to taste.
Will keep the plant.
Artichoke is good on pizza.

Second plant is fruiting now,
Maybe I’ll try asparagus next year.

pop trivia: ‘Sam Smith’ co-wrote and performed ‘Cause the Writings on the Wall‘ as the Bond theme for 2015’s outing, ‘Spectre’. The single made it to number 1. Who knows when we are going to see Bond’s next outing.

The writing course was called Zoom with a Brew, if you’d like to read more of my efforts, they can be found here. East Midlands Arts funded the course and created a website containing the submitted work of all the writers.

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