A workshop poem

On Saturday I went to a poetry workshop organised by Moor Poets. The tutor was Tamar Yoselof, an inspiring tutor who gave valuable feedback to all.

The title of the workshop was Ekphrasis and we looked closely at several Ekphrastic poems including one of Tamar’s. I never knew that there was a name for the way I use art or photography to write poems.

We had a pile of art postcards to choose from as a writing prompt.

I left with rough notes for the poem below.

Indigo

Searing heat
no shade allowed
for infidels
I must be content with an outside view
of twice baked cubes and oblongs
black wood and the palest bone-like earth
a hush fit to burst
wake the dead
or call the prayer

a woman glides by
swathed in indigo
followed by her child
someone’s child
a warthog mama follows
followed by her squealing wartlets

I walk to where people huddle
smiling with the hope of a chat
but with foot flicks of sand they’re gone
leaving one elder man who looks as if he’s always been

solitary

a sentinel guarding what?

he fixes black eyes on mine
waits
then hisses like a possible snake
if I dare to stay I see
the slow deliberate bend of an elbow
slide of hand to a pocket
to pull out
a Koran
blade
iphone