A few months ago, I joined a writing group, a U3A (University of the Third Age) writing group. It’s turned out to be the best fun. We’re quite a mixed bunch. Most of the group write fiction, and a couple have novels on the go. I don’t. Paul can turn out a haiku at a moment’s notice, and John’s turning his life story into a hefty memoir.
Imaginative and inventive, Sheila leads us in a range of exercises that are both fun and challenging. Who know that a discarded shopping list in a supermarket trolley could take our minds in such different directions?
At the beginning of every session, we write. Just write, maybe using prompts Sheila has devised. This is what Paul came up with the other week. What better day to give it a wider audience than UK Election Day 2017?
How deep your pockets?
Empty, though, of words
But filled with promises unfulfilled
And crammed with oily silver
Slipped there from your greasy palm.
Who do you have in your pocket, politician?
Surely a hedge-fund manager
And a city banker or two?
Maybe some chums from school;
An expense claim form?
For fake responsibilities
Carried out in fake locations
By numerous fake relations?
Tomorrow’s speech there too?
To massage the masses,
Written in a back room
By the spinners of dreams for the working classes?
I wonder if, at the very bottom of this cache,
Remains, from your possibly innocent youth,
A nugget, a trace, a sliver of the truth?