This piece evolved from an exercise set by Emma Jane Unsworth writer and tutor at Lumb Bank, near Heptonstall. The Arvon workshop was called ‘The Art of Beating your Demons.’
I hope it might help other writers.
To keep writing
These nostrums are packed in my cedarwood chest,
an antidote for boredom, clear, cold and sparkling,
a map of exploration still needing notes and sketches,
small jars, stopped and engraved with snippets, eavesdropping and misheard words
You may share them.
Place you hand inside the worn velvet of aloneness,
take out a spangled notion.
Pull up a string of connected memories,
worn round and lustrous over time.
Rub the brass lamp hard and summon the grumpy muse.
Perhaps you need something stronger?
Take up the arm-ring with its fiery, immoveable runes –
‘the words must exist by then’.
Cross your palm with the dagger of expectations,
leave a new red line,
Or prick your thumb with a shard of anger.
I have remedies for the bruised in heart
A bracelet with the names of friends
enamelled on small shields –
it clasps your wrist and heats your veins.
Polished opera glasses –
they hold the field of vision in gilt circles,
giving distance and precision.
The smallest vellum illuminations,
gilded scraps that safeguard hope
Open the lid
Take a gift from me.
love your use of language
Thank you very much, Harriet.
Just love the rich imagery in this. So inspiring, thank you for sharing with us.
How kind of you to say so, Andi.