A Jackdaw Giraffe

A Jackdaw Giraffe

I’ve had the pleasure of attending some of the marvellous Linda Cleary’s writing courses recently: Free Writers Centre, Penzance, Cornwall, sponsored by the Hypatia Trust.

I’ve learnt a wide variety of all things literary, met some lovely people and experimented with some serious and amusing techniques.  Here are some examples from my attempts at various exercises.  So, now all I need to do is get typing!


A surrealist piece in third person:

A jackdaw giraffe dancing the horse parachute ran amuck between the bejewelled beetles and cauliflower lampposts. His flying mane of mangos attracted quite a crowd. If only he had seen the gorilla mob waiting for him at the end of his air-sprung dingo. If only. He probably wouldn’t have trumpeted his treacle in a cascade of bingo feathers. The mother of pearl penguin, the loser of the mob, was cleverly not impressed. In fact, if the street urchin and banjo basher hadn’t butted in, they’d all be horse parachuting until the early hours of yesterday. Thank goodness diamonds. It was jackdaw giraffe’s greatness mistletoe that had led him underground and over ground in the second place. The first and final finding of the deeply unending podcast would have to wait. And willow down wait some moss. He wanted to strike a star with his mango mane and no gorilla peanuts would prevent him falling over backwards again. Hey-ho pearl penguin, your chute has been para ponied.


Working with first person from the perspective of the narrative:

I am becoming a river, trailing through the land, crashing my sides against unyielding cliffs.  I hear nothing but my own relentless roar of aggravation.  I crash through an ancient pathway of my own design and despise the direction but cannot rest.  I feel a torrent of gasping breaths as each twist heightens my anxiety.  I howl at my fluid state, my inability to turn back, to look back, to glimpse at the moment of conception.  Too many trickling chills spilling into me, the conspiring forces that thrust and shove.  I am out of control.  Freezing myself of reasonable thought whilst consciously knowing that I cannot stop, do not want to stop.  I am this breaking blue, this rush-gush blasting chill as I drum against all obstacles and hammer my fists against the sides of my sliding prison.


A poem (almost), looking at the simplicity of childhood before life gets complicated:

Each day a little something is lost.
The thread stretches taut.
While a million snippets of sights and sounds drift by.

The moon was once a mystery, a majestic glowing light.
Remember it as the moon.
Without a name for every crater and a sum for its rotation.

Remember the juicy blackberries picked on a Sunday.
Without the tarmac new build estate.
With fruit dripping fingers, taste each mouthful with sweet impatience.

Remember the Hide and Seek in a public park.
Without the parental fear of danger.
Of thoroughly mowed lawns and clean-aired cries of joy.

Each day a little something is lost.
The thread is taut and waiting.
But while the moon is still a mystery, reach out, and remember.

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