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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

20 February 2024

Posted by By tabby Hayward


This week, we were writing about mundane, everyday tasks that use water - such as watering plants, washing dishes, making a cup of tea, showering and laundry. After a free-writing exercise, we read and discussed together the brilliant Sarah Howe poem ' A History of My Relationship with my Mother in Twenty Three Arguments About the Laundry', as well 'Laundry' by Ruth Moose and 'A Few Last Lines of Laundry' by Eammon Grennan. Inspired by this, the writers wrote some fantastic pieces - here's a sneak peak!

By David

Water slips through the material

The tumble of clothes

Colliding in the drum

A cacophony of noise

Swish, clang, slosh

Splish, splash, splosh

The river becomes the flood

Overwhelming within

Clockwise, faster, quicker

Shaking, moving, vigor

The countdown has begun

One more minute then it’s done

Silence, a beep, then a click

Now it’s complete

The cycle finished

Now a bundle in a watery heap.

All of Us, Alone - by Aurora

I’m where I belong. The shower. Home to
washing out and cleansing, the place where
I can stop pretending that the air is clean
and scrub its presence from my skin, brown moles.

It's a purge, as you should know. I scour every
dirty trace from my scalp, back, legs, toes,
run off into the drain in a little dark trail
like Hansel and Gretel into the woods, lost.

I can’t see, or hear, or feel. It’s wet and wet
and wet, and the sky is water and the walls
are ice and the splatters on my skin feels
like something I wished never happened at all.

If I had a whiteboard in the shower, I might
solve equations. If I had a book, I might read,
Shakespeare. If I were more prepared, I would
learn Shakespeare, and Socrates, and Miller and Williams-

And I would be chained by them. I would be
Coriolanus bound in the streets of Rome,
Oedipus restrained in his home of Thebes,
Giles Corey pressed against the earth of Salem,

And Blanche DuBois, trapped amid lurid colours
in a world never made for her, the rain falling
through my empty fingers as I’m trapped
against the wall, fearing the oncoming shadows.

Piece 1 - By Reina

This is it over and over. The orchestra reached its crescendo once more. The zenith of their harmonies. The back door slamming shut, the faint screams becoming louder when the door opens again. The washing machine joins in percussion, the drums bouncing in tempo. Oh how they sing, their screeching melodies. The telly, galling with its cheerful american ensemble; making me gag more than the mouldy tomato sauce that manifested for days in the lunchbox that I am washing. Mums nattering on the phone was jabbing at the piece, out of time might I add. My shoulders hurt trying to conduct it all.

Piece 2 - By Reina

When he is not around, the bed is easy to make. I just sit up, roll out, turn around and lightly pull the duvet back in line with the corner of the mattress. But no. When he is here I wake up, snivel and cough. He’s hogged the duvet from me all night I see. I sit up and look to my right. Is the drool really that endearing or am I sugar-coating it for myself? I rollout, turn around. Suddenly the sheets are pretending like they aren’t king sized and don’t fit around the mattress anymore. Lola is looking at me fed up that her spot has been taken by the hairy man again. I go down to make my tea and breakfast. I can hear the shower upstairs trickle into the pipes and realise I forgot my phone upstairs to listen to my morning podcast. I quickly nip up, and pop my head into the bedroom. The cushions are in the wrong order, and the top blanket is wonky, but he has made the bed and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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