At the end of September, I really found my voice, when I attended a Bardic workshop in Glastonbury. I got to write a poem as part of a group presentation for an Autumn celebration. It went down very well and I was very surprised to hear the power and vitality in my voice, when speaking my own words. My effort appeared to have a positive effect on several people and I in turn was moved by the efforts of others. After the workshop, the facilitators both told me how good it was to hear my voice. When poetry is spoken by the person who wrote it, it becomes energised and the effect can be dynamic - the spoken word might inspire, influence, facilitate change or sometimes even heal according to the intent and abilities of the writer. Of course, the Bards of old practised an oral tradition of poetry and story telling. That is how the legends were passed on. Since the workshop, one of my poems has been published in the monthly newsletter of a Druid organisation with an international membership.
Finding my voice with a live audience was certainly a confidence booster and I don’t think I will ever be nervous about speaking my poetry again. Who knows, I might even develop an ability to tell live stories as well...
I am working on a book that maps out my own journey into the creative heart. I hope that it may inspire others when it is finished. This first few lines of a poem and the two paragraphs following it are a short extract from a chapter I wrote around the time of Halloween.
Raven - Iona Jenkins
A solitary black raven
Balancing on a sycamore
Swaying shadow silhouette
On a swirling backdrop
Of autumnal misting sky
And water grey sea wash...
We exist in two worlds. First there is the outer world of form with its conscious mind, knowledge intellect and logic. Then, there is the inner world of the unconscious mind with its dreams, imagination and intuition. Within and without, both worlds are alive with wondrous things to fill my poems and stories. The unconscious sometimes requires a guide and on the time of All Souls or Halloween, I chose to fly with the raven on an inner world quest for inspiration.
I acknowledge the raven as a symbol, a bird of the mysteries - wise and protective. The creature has that look about her, as though she could glide through the night into forgotten corner of the unconscious where creative treasures lay hidden. Black as midnight, she is a sleek Amazon amongst birds with her impressive jagged wingspan, sparkling eye and a solid curved beak that gives her such an ancient appearance. Her voice is raucous, strident like a wake up call as she struts bossily across the grass or sails on sea winds, fearless and sure of herself in all weathers
The wheel of the year has turned through the spring equinox, the clocks have been put forward and the light has changed. The World is renewed and we have a chance to move on if we are so inclined.
I open up my senses to warmer air, increased birdsong, the feeling of growth beneath my feet, as our mother the Earth gives birth to a bright abundance of flowers like light bursting skyward back towards the sun that first warmed their seeds. It’s a time of renewed hope, of creative and personal possibility, responsibility towards the planet that sustains us, a time to begin new projects and to look forward to the promise of celebration that summer brings. I for one, have been inspired to write several poems and to write down headings for a new creative writing project that is neither fiction nor poetry and which I hope will be a quick flowing stream by the time of the summer solstice. More about this later if everything goes to plan and the muse is good to me.
After the Storm*
On spring’s edge I awake in sunshine
Golden warm and light upon my face
And bright Cardiff Bay sharp glittering
After the rage of gale and white storm
When the air rings and sings with birds
When silent hideaway time has ended
Icy snow transforms in rippling rivulets
And yet a strange sense of quiet descends
Beyond the bird and windsong in the trees
Like the world and I are both washed clean
And something in my space has changed
A Scots pine supporting, holding as I see
An open door a lighter path, a brighter me.
*From The Starlit Door, 2018
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