Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Everyone has a story to tell

Why are we in such a rush?
Where on earth are we all going?
Everything seems to get
cut down these days...
So many people want things
chopped and neatly presented
in bite-size chunks.
They want it ready made,
tepid and easy to take on board
without a lot of chewing,
and they want it yesterday!

Take the word ‘Blog’
for instance:
the piece I’m writing now.
It’s an abbreviation of
the words, Web Log.
What’s wrong with saying
Web Log, for goodness sake?
What’s wrong with saying things
as they are designed to be said,
or using stuff
as it’s meant to be used?

Well, you won’t get anything
like that from me.
I tend to record things
just as they come into my head.
Information (some useless) flows in
and out like the tide...
and I write it all down.
Nothing (well, maybe some of it)
gets edited out.

This is how I intend to write
about the Appledore Book Festival.
I’m Writer-in-Residence this year
and It’s a great honour,
as far as I’m concerned,
to have been asked to take on
this very important role.
But it’s slightly unsettling too.
I’ll be surrounded
by wonderful writers, adventurers
and performers
and I look at myself and say,
“What on earth can I offer?”
Well, of course, we’ve all got
something to offer.
Everyone has a story to tell.
Each of us has an interpretation
of what has been...
and what is to come.
This is the way I’ll be thinking
when I roam the streets,
eat pasties, sample the strong ale
and finally put pen to paper
at the Appledore Book Festival.

I won’t be a reporter of facts.
I am not a journalist
and would never get short listed
for a job as a reporter on
the North Devon Journal!
I’ll be passing on my impressions
of what has, or maybe what is
about to take place.
This, hopefully, and fingers crossed, is how new poems will take form.

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