Saturday, 22 April 2017

poetry 2017 / 074

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech. It could be something you’ve heard on the radio, or a phrase you remember from your childhood, even something you overheard a coworker say in the break room! Use the overheard speech as a springboard from which to launch your poem. Your poem could comment directly on the overheard phrase or simply use it as illustration or tone-setting material.

Black Bags

Dog waste bags stuck in trees look like crows
she said, as if the horrors of the A61
were something she'd been forced to witness.
Sometimes they fly away,
cackle at the passing cars
and the full ones just hang, limp,
like a farmer's spoils on the barbed wire.

But if the waste bags are crows,
then supermarket bags
are the plastic equivalent of pigeons
flocking together,
scavenging in shopping malls
and market outlets,
clustering high on chimney pots
and sycamore trees,
tattered and resilient
spreading disease the colours of petrol
and suffocating sparrows.

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