This poem by Phil Coleman was written during the Poetry at the Start course 28 May – 2 June 2018.
Phil Coleman lives near Swansea and tries to balance work and the need to write. At the age of 51 he’s still a complete tyro at everything except juggling words.
clear your throat
clean the window, look outside, then in
lift the lintel of your title
note three dreams, at least once a day
just let the lines
break on the page
what do the birds say?
cut, then cut again
make paper bleed
keep going, across the road, over the railway
dogleg the tin hut. Now, which way?
Follow flag irises to the river or Friesians to the beach?
even when stuck in first gear
find the sweet line
hold the poem as long as you can
swap point of view, gender, tense
scramble the form, drop the full stop
then feel the lines
keep your ears open
it’s all clay for your pot
a blank, white page
is only a secret
yet to be learnt
collect your resources
close your eyes
corral the image
what’s the right phrase?