GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP by VIVIENNE BLAKE

The next e-chapbook of poems from our July P.A.D. (Granada Camp For Wayward Poets) comes from Vivienne Blake with her collection entitled:

LoveHate

A Love-Hate Relationship

Contents:

1. Holiday Time
2. Deluge
3. Revolution
4. The Mill and the Pony Camp
5. Camp Stew and Chocolate Whip
6. A Forest of Flies
7. Exploration
8. Evening Walk
9. Renaissance Camp
10. Leadership
11. Recipe for Joy
12. River Camp
13. Ottava Rima
14. My Place
15. Campfire’s Burning
16. Sleeping Out
17. Time to Go Home

1. Holiday time

Unpack the tent to find a hole.
Mend the tent.
Pack the tent.
Pack some food
and something to cook it in,
eat it from, wash up in;
wellies,  waterproofs,
sleeping bags,
rugs and warm clothes.
Maps, musical instruments
and lego in the car
to amuse the kids on the journey.
Hang on a minute.
Must I?
Couldn’t I
have a five star hotel
with en-suite bathrooms
and someone else to cook
and make proper beds
and clean up after me?

No.
Oh well, I can dream.

2. Deluge

Someone up there turned on the tap
and pulled out the plug,
to unleash Niagara on an unsuspecting world.
The ants scurried hither and yon
in search of shelter
under the coverlet of a leafy haven
and dryads danced with naiads
in an ecstasy of nature.

3. Revolution

Panting up the thousand-pedal hill
rain hammering on my cycling cape
arms out searching for escape
eyes blind with ragged temper tears
cooking over a flickering candle
sleeping cold on  stony ground.
It’s a simple no-brainer to explain
why I’m on a mission to ban camping:
Weather

4. The Mill and the Pony Camp

Two little girls with bicycles
set out towing a horse
to a tiny island between millrace
and Grand Union Canal.
The horse set free to graze,
they set up their little camp.
Freedom

The nights were hard
the food was bad –
each meal a variation on sausages or Spam
with Shredded Wheat and marmalade for breakfast.
But not deterred,
intrepid girls explored
one on horseback,
one on bike, in turn.
Adventure

A week went by adventuring
without a serious problem.
The occasional fall
didn’t scare them at all –
the pony was their factotum,
carrying shopping or girl
back to camp full of environment,
then home, at last, for nourishment.
Hunger

***The Grand Union Canal runs from London to Birmingham in the centre of England and at that time there were still pairs of narrow-boats taking goods between the two cities and beyond, with whole families travelling the waterways all their lives.

5. Camp stew and chocolate whip

Camping wild means simple food,
mostly out of a tin or two –
ravioli, washed down with pop
or mince and tomato makes a good glop.
Beans and spam or sausages
plus of course hot beverages.
The kettle and the camp stove
plus frying pan enough to contrive
a meal sufficient to survive.
But mere survival is not enough:
chocolate relieves a diet of mostly mush.
Tabasco adds a little spice
to everything in paradise.

6. A Forest of Flies

Words hang heavy while creatures swarm
and buzz and hum around the tent,
storm my citadel; jump
with passion onto my skin; thrive
on my flapping, swatting, clapping;
sneer at my efforts to remove them.
Without an ounce of magic
I’ll never be free of them.

picture URL:

7. Exploration

Holding our breath in reverence
for the mystery of the forest
we’ll explore the dangers ahead
timid yet brave for adventure,
breathing in good fresh air.

How to escape the labyrinth?
Tie a string and trail it behind,
leave paterans of twigs at junctions
or cut blazes in bark to point the way?
Keep an eye out for monsters
or maybe a bear.

Collect pebbles in pockets
for a cairn at the top
to show that we were there.

Pateran:  an arrow of stones or twigs, left on a path.

8. Evening Walk

Distant view
of trees and pastures
now obscured by waving maize.

Remote hum
of main road motors
muffled by beloved birdsong.
Inaccessible roughness
of thick bark on oak trunk
untouchable high above the bank.
Sweet flavour
of luscious blackberries
lingers long on my grassy walk.
Insistent perfume
transports rosy thoughts
from some secluded garden.

image:  Sandwood Bay from Undiscovered Scotlane.co.uk

9. Renaissance Camp

Sandwood Bay in Sutherland
in days gone by as now reachable only
after a twenty-mile trek across moor and mountain.
My renaissance camp would set up there.

Back in time, like a Tardis
I’d wander the pristine shore
rejoicing in the sounds of the sublime –
the swish of sea, the cry of guillemot
the scream of dive-bombing oystercatcher.

Mermaids would whisper their stories
into my ear to re-invent for the children
who’ve accompanied me there –
sturdy trekkers that they were,
receptive to wilderness and beauty.

They’ve picked up the baton
now that trekking is behind me,
in search of remote places –
renaissance of the seeds we sowed so long ago.

10. Leadership

Voices various
instruments melodious
blend harmonious
in chorus classical
conductor tyrannical
resultant canticle
beauty inexpressible

11. Recipe for Joy – a senryu chain

Past and future days
soaked in memories and dreams
comfort and solace

Good days and bad days
tolerated with courage
happy and sad days

Doing and making
obsession and digression
learning and laughter

12. River Camp – a prose poem

I wake in the dawn to the sound of lapping water and the pungent scent of river mud.  I stick my head out of the tent flap to watch the peaceful Thames.  A hatch of midges dances, erratically catching the first rays of the sun.  The grasses at eye level glisten with dew and silvered cobwebs join the green blades into a lethal network.
Lazily I roll over, yawn and stretch.  A cacophony of birdsong separates into distinct sounds: trills, squeaks, coos of wood pigeons, chattering chaffinches, melodies in harmony and à capella airs.
The siren song of the river beats at my will until I squirm out of my sleeping bag and pull on yesterday’s clothes.  Bare feet in cold, wet grass, then mud squidges between my toes as I push the dinghy with a rasping rattle until it floats.  I clamber in.
The current takes hold and the boat drifts peacefully past pollarded willows, their stubby trunks supporting an effusion of shaving brush fronds.
A pair of swans glides past, with four cygnets in line astern.  I spy a gaggle of fluffy baby moorhens under the bank with the triangles of their parents’ upturned tails nearby.
A silent shadow swoops above, neck tucked in, as the heron searches intently for its breakfast in the murky green water.  I am content.

13. Ottava Rima

A hatch of midges hovers in a cloud
above the Kielder Water at eventide.
Hungry for human blood they are avowed,
not to disperse until it is supplied.
Despite this hazard, hardy walkers crowd,
for the beauty of the lake can’t be denied.
As complex eco-systems demonstrate:
it’s nature’s way ever to compensate.

14. My Place

I rather fancy a beach hut,
with a gingerbread porch painted blue.
A proper bed with a mattress
and a bright hand-made quilt or two.
It would need a little bathroom –
my days of dew-soaked treks are gone –
a camping stove for cups of tea
and the occasional meal for one.
It could be hidden among the dunes
on the coast not far from home,
so when the mood takes me for camping
I wouldn’t have far to roam.
A comfy chair in the porch
to idle the days away
watching the tide as it comes and goes
and the birdlife cabaret.

15. Campfire’s Burning

A gaggle of girl guides
ging gang goolied
without a clue what it meant.
We came round the mountains
wearing pink pyjamas.
A big baboon by the light of the moon
combed his golden hair
while riding on a donkey.

We found a peanut, ate worms,
carried water in a holey bucket
to the quartermaster’s stores,
and sang of the explosion of Sambo
from too much fizzy pop.
We laughed with a Kookaburra up a gum tree
and finished with Courtesy –
our favourite campfire song.

We grew quietly sentimental
as flames dwindled
into a heap of ashes,
sang Taps
and went to bed.

16. Sleeping Out

Head to toe on veranda hammock
under phoney bearskin rug
sisters chatter loudly long into the night.
Little by little spreads the silence of sleep

or does it?

Ripples from river slurp softly on the bank
crow of wayward cockerel
causes murmurs from sleepers
rustles in the flower beds
as hedgehog creeps along
beat of wings from hunting owl
summer crickets’ creaky song
but little by little spreads the silence of sleep

17. Time to Go Home

Where are you hiding? The parents called.
Come out this minute, it’s time to go home.
They searched the camp,
they searched the woods,
they shouted hither and yon
until at last from the old oak tree
a giggle met their ears.
We don’t want to go home,
they shouted
as their hiding place was revealed.
Hard-fought negotiation ensued
with promises to return next year
before at last they slid down to the ground
and sulked all the way into the car.

 

All poems above (C) Vivienne Blake, 2014

CAMP GRANADA CHAPBOOKS

Earl Parsons had requested that I post the parameters for our JULY P.A.D. – Chapbooks (Granada Camp For Wayward Poet) and I’m sure more of you have been curious, so…

The last prompt has been completed and now you are asked to choose from fifteen (15) to twenty (20) of your camping poems to tell your story. If you have a photo you would wish to use as your “cover” please include as a . jpg file. In an attachment to an email to poeticbloomings@yahoo.com, include your titled “e-chapbook”, including Table of Contents.  I will feature a new collection from our poets on Monday every few weeks. They will be chosen in the order they are received in our mailbox. 

The prompts do not close, so if you need to catch up, you may do so if you wish.

Start thinking of a title for your chapbook and we look forward to reading each work as they are highlighted.

This has been another great experience. It was a pleasure to bring it to you! Walt.

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS: THE AFTERMATH

Thank you to all who were able to string it out and complete the month with us. I know the destination paled in comparison to the beach last year, but we came up with some good drafts from which to work.

I’m already looking forward to next July and the locale for our next P.A.D. I think we’ll bring the non-campers back into the fold.

The intent for the July P.A.D. was an e-chapbook challenge to go along with our Memoir Project. Unfortunately, my illness at the end of the 2013 challenge kept me away from assembling the Beach poems. However, if you have your Beach poems assembled somewhere and would like to add them as e-chapbooks, please notify me via e-mail. The Camp books will also be accepted. I already have one on tap to highlight. Ready to get back to work? Sunday is right around the corner. Walt.

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – BACK TO NORMAL

July 31 – And so we return to our daily lives, refreshed and ready to resume where June had left us. What is the first thing you will do now that camp is over? Do you need a vacation from your vacation? What actually is normal? What is your normal? Write it.

We will be going back to our normal routine at Creative Bloomings as well. The Sunday Seed will be planted on August 2nd. The Inform Poets Wednesday feature will resume on August 6th. The Blooms will be chosen on Saturday. If anyone has not served as Guest Host and would like to take their turn (if you gratefully declined because you had plans when you were asked, please let me know) Otherwise, I’ll be flying solo from here on out until I figure the course to follow.

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 30 – “GOODBYE, FAREWELL AND AMEN”

July 29 – I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME

July 28 – IT’S A DAY

July 27 – BARREL OF MONKEYS

July 26 – THREE-LEGGED RACE

THANK YOU TO HANNAH GOSSELIN FOR HER CREATIVE BADGE FOR THE

CREATIVE BLOOMINGS CAMP GRANADA JULY P.A.D.

Evening Primrose 33

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – “GOODBYE, FAREWELL AND AMEN”

July 30 – Not the last day of the month, but we say our adieu to Camp Granada today. Write a goodbye poem to the camp, your mates, something specifically, or just to Summer in general (it will be over before we know it!) No need to be maudlin or melancholy. There must have been something (someone) to whom a goodbye is due! REMINDER: There will be a final prompt to close out July tomorrow!

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 29 – I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME

July 28 – IT’S A DAY

July 27 – BARREL OF MONKEYS

July 26 – THREE-LEGGED RACE

July 25 – AT YOUR SERVICE

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – I DON’T WANT TO GO HOME

July 29 –  Now that we’ve spent nearly a month at camp, we found many things to appreciate here to have the thought of not wanting to head home just yet. Even if you’re not usually a “camper” there must have been something you’ve likes about the experience. Revisit that one thing that made you a “Happy Camper”. Give the connotation a good light for a change.

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 28 – IT’S A DAY

July 27 – BARREL OF MONKEYS

July 26 – THREE-LEGGED RACE

July 25 – AT YOUR SERVICE

July 24 – IT’S RAINING AGAIN (OUTSIDE)

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – IT’S A DAY

July 28 – As we wind down to the final days of “Camp”, today is an Event Day! What day is it? Invent a special celebration for today and write a poem about it. “Packing” Day? “hashtag” Day? Make it a day and poem!

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 27 – BARREL OF MONKEYS

July 26 – THREE-LEGGED RACE

July 25 – AT YOUR SERVICE

July 24 – IT’S RAINING AGAIN (OUTSIDE)

July 23 – YOUR AREA ADVENTURES

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – BARREL OF MONKEYS

July 27 – In the children’s game “Barrel of Monkeys” you tried to link the arms of the monkeys to make a chain. Following the linking exercise of yesterday, we continue Haiku style.

We will link haiku together (renga). I will offer a start below. You will continue the chain, or you can start a new chain at any time. If you choose to continue a chain, you must include the previous section that you are linking to. Include at the bottom a reference  to who had contributed to the chain so when the “last link” is added the chain will be complete, and the combined authors will get recognition. The last contributor will get to title the renga. A current chain will be very obvious from that aspect. A new beginning will stand on its own as well. These are always a lot of fun. So join hands and play along! (But leave the Kumbaya at the campfire!)

A beginning:

morning arises
offering hope for the day
new awakenings

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 26 – THREE-LEGGED RACE

July 25 – AT YOUR SERVICE

July 24 – IT’S RAINING AGAIN (OUTSIDE)

July 23 – YOUR AREA ADVENTURES

July 22 – CAMP DANCE; SUMMER ROMANCE

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – THREE-LEGGED RACE

July 26 – Remember three-legged races? Two legs tied together and an awkward run for the finish line? Today we’re doing the poetic version. A three stanza poem where the last word or line begins the next stanza. Any length on any subject. Just tie it together and head for the finish line.

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 25 – AT YOUR SERVICE

July 24 – IT’S RAINING AGAIN (OUTSIDE)

July 23 – YOUR AREA ADVENTURES

July 22 – CAMP DANCE; SUMMER ROMANCE

July 21 – SCAVENGER HUNT

GRANADA CAMP FOR WAYWARD POETS – AT YOUR SERVICE

July 25 – It is our annual service day at camp. This is where we do something wonderful for someone else. There’s a camp for children with disabilities down the stream from us; a church camp up the road. On the northern end of the property there is an Assisted Living facility; the southern quadrant is a nature preserve. A mile up the road there is a mission which serves homeless veterans. Pick a group to serve and write a bit of your altruism into your poem.

STAYING ON THE TRAIL

July 24 – IT’S RAINING AGAIN (OUTSIDE)

July 23 – YOUR AREA ADVENTURES

July 22 – CAMP DANCE; SUMMER ROMANCE

July 21 – SCAVENGER HUNT

July 20 – RENAISSANCE CAMP