Stirred Adverts Poems

We had the last Stirred of the year at the end of November and as I have been playing around making recordings I thought I would post one from our last event.

Stirred returns to our usual venue at Three Minute Theatre 7.30pm 25th January with a Bjork theme and Marianne Daniels guesting!

This poem was written using the prompts from the workshop which is available here:

Recording is here:

I’m intoxicating

I am the strongest liquor you have ever sipped
watch out don’t glug I might burn your lips
there’s something sweet like honey, like honey
a reminder of summer roses
then sharp aniseed
I can be cloying
many will need to take small measures
we provide a thimble with each bottle
others will find the need to cut me with ice
with soda water to thin and cool my effects
your first taste will shock your tongue
and by the third you’re hooked
your first bottle won’t be your last
you will thirst for me like no other

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Wilderness Workshop

We have been unable to organise a live workshop this month for Stirred Poetry so Anna Percy has written you a workshop you can do at home, if you can gather a fellow poet/s to join while you do these exercises over a cup of tea or a glass of wine (cake is also very important to the poetry process) the more the merrier. We find the workshop atmosphere makes all our poems seem better as your negative opinions of your just written work is immediately challenged. Use the exercises to write a poem join us on Monday from 7.30 pm at Three Minute Theatre for our Fifth birthday! Sign up to the open mic by emailing event details here:

Use the first three lines of this poem

‘’The landings had gone wrong; white silk,/

like shrouds, covered the woods./

The trees had trapped the flimsy fabric’’

Set a timer on your phone and write solidly for five to ten minutes depending on how ambitious you are feeling that day. Don’t read too deeply into the rest of your poem you want to go your own way this is just a kicker line. Don’t think about length of lines or writing a poem just yet just keep that pen moving and follow the ink don’t worry about your handwriting, spelling, punctuation or making sense this is free writing be free.

Write about your own Wilderness, when have you ever felt truly lost? This can be geographically, emotionally or socially whatever your wilderness was and whether it was freedom or frightening write a short poem describing your experience.

Wilderness would not be complete without a Kate Bush song, this time similar to the above you will be writing to a stimulus but this time watch and listen to this video in full of Kate Bush’s the Sensual World where she dances through a Forest and describes a musical wilderness of sexuality: put it one more time and write till the song finishes.

Write ‘’Kissing-gate’’ in the top left hand corner of the page and ‘’sunlight’’ at the bottom right the blank page is your wilderness, your woods, your desert use the whole page to write your way out of it into the sunlight go wild and weird don’t think left aligned lines use the whole page. You can do this on a computer but we would suggest paper and pen for this where possible.

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Billie Holiday Workhop 2nd Poem

You can find the full workshop here: and write your own Billie Holiday poems.

This is a poem I got from the free writing exercise.

Fell into my Head

There were broken tea cups on the carpet

clumsy visions of someone else’s tea party

we had used them for something comparable

in colour though stronger it bit our throats

brought forth those neon spiky aching words

as they smashed the painted swallows I swore

they flew through the window rustling curtains

into the summer night near an apricot moon

to soar among the flash fast shooting stars

when held you always tell me I smell of roses

perfume covers the unwashed don’t care hair

without success smother sweat with rose scent

push back dirty strands with bedaisied sunglasses

sweep tea cup pieces find joy in a rainy summer

drink rose lemonade in hope of a rosy outlook

of a rose-like nature softer never forgetting my thorns

grow deep roots and can take a hard pruning

regrow my blooms next summer requires sunglasses

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Billie Holiday Workshop Poem

We will post the full workshop on our Stirred Poetry blog soon. I thought I would post this short and silly poem using the blues.

The Washing Up Blues

Everything’s stuck to the sink

ain’t go no man to wash up no

you could be my lover

my scrubbing brush baby

Oh I’ll cook for you if you’ll

do the dishes baby

I’ve left it so long

I don’t know what’s blocking the plughole

I got those washing up blues

the plates are stacked high baby

and they are oh so sticky

ain’t got no brillo pads baby

there’s something oozing on the draining board

you could bleach it baby.

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Flim Night Withnail and I

Flim night was gorgeous as usual if you are Manchester based make the next one at Three Minute Theatre. I today wrote a sculpted poem as usual using a  secondary source. I highly recommend reading this interview in full because it is hilarious. Ten years after the film Withnail and I was made the writer/director and Paul Mcgann and Richard E Grant got together to discuss the film.

I isolated the text from Paul McGann and Richard E Grant and cut out words in order to make the following poem.

He never told me anything we were all feeling around, it was my invidious task  I was so upset.

I did “Fork it!”I was lunging at him. He asked me did I generally attack I said, “Not to my knowledge,”. Fuck, I’m going to be used as a kind of stooge I had been out of work for nine months, so I though Oh I’ll order absolutely everything on the menu. I was so knotted up that it was sort of like eating dog bones.

Down the escalators in an increasing state of depression, started blubbing thrashed round my house, I was levitating to the ceiling, jumping on the furniture, screaming, shouting.

Oh it was a physical thing  – he had that imperious bearing and looked down his nose at you.

Wanted me to have a “chemical memory” a whole bottle of champagne in one night. The next morning gallon-sized jars of vodka. I remember them laughing I was falling around and crying, completely out of my head. All in one room banging out all the speeches. I knew I had to get out of the French windows, a Persian carpet came out of my mouth.

Look at his eyes, he shouts out, “Scrubbers” to schoolgirls. He has that madness in his eyes. It wasn’t him. He dictated the pace, he was the soul. He was fantastic when used well, and basically got what he deserved.

We had adjacent rooms in a hotel It’s six, seven in the morning. I can hear next door, bottles clinking, ashtrays shuffling. Then these low growls, honey rose tobacco smoke the door opens and it’s like Boris Karloff, and I’m in absolute hysterics.

He’s telling you a total lie. I was on a different floor. I’ve kept a diary on whatever I’ve done, they’re in for a big surprise when it comes out.

There were times when I wanted to kill him and I’m sure there were times when he wanted to kill me as well. He’d seen Uncle Monty as this fat cartoon character.

His memory’s fucked; it was the first day. I had a quiet nervous breakdown over lunch, thinking that comedy couldn’t be done in the dark. “We’ve come on holiday by mistake,”

I’ve had enduring respect. And on a personal level, complete satisfaction.

Unless the stupid fucker drops dead.

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Plum Poem

To The Beautiful Man Who Gave Me Free Plums

Thank you for knowing

sell by dates are a nonsense

I took two of them to bed tonight

my first fresh plums some folly

Had persuaded me I did not like them

till someone handed me a plum cake

The fruit jewelling the top

These were my first fresh plums

as my teeth broke in I thought

how fragrant the skin was

let juice run my chin

how small the stone is for such flesh

Considered I have many more

firsts to find in this life of mine

consider the idea of my next lover

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More Arran Poems

I have returned home and typed up poems from my notebook more to follow

Things I had Forgotten:

The alarming geometry of gorse

Poisonous beauty of foxgloves

How to walk across streams

My feet know how to negotiate stones

That sheep give no fucks

The smell of a foison of ferns

Childhood scent of getting lost

And not caring

How the oyster catchers scream

How jagged the sea becomes in wind

How delicious I find the smell of seaweed

how much I love to roll and loll on grass

how I sniff in all the deep green scents

of grass gorse fern and trees

how to walk in absolute dark

my night vision returned faultless

linked arms I walked all three of back

Lochranza Distillery

I tried to walk back up the way we came

separately, you charging ahead

this treacherous path

my incredulous reaction

to your lack of care your laughter

for my bog soaked twisted ankle

was when I knew I wasn’t

really in love with you

I was still considering the idea

of not living alone

in the years that have passed

I have not cleared a path

through the woods

to my heart for another

I got as far as the ferns

their rich smell heavy

with the secret thoughts

I had wandering alone as a child

the mouse ornament I hid then

recovered from a hole in a tree

the carved fur smeared with dirt

The slugs were out a warning

as I headed for the hills

in search of waterfalls and eagles

the rain came down

As it took my sight

It taught me that I cannot

walk into our past

last time I saw you

there was a calmer air

you were kinder and almost

asked to go to bed with me

I knew you were after comfort

of a familiar body in sleep

I thank you for all the poems you gave me

we cannot walk back

and make either of us

easier to love.

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