Doorway Writing Group December 2016

Posted on December 12, 2016 by Categories: Alcohol, Drugs, Homelessness, Mental Health, Poetry

Writing group December 2016

We had another great session. We discussed poems: the importance of rhyme and meter as a driving force; the pros and cons of a freer form of poetry. We talked about short stories, stories in instalments, and the role of cliffhangers and suspense. We decided between us that writing, in any form, is the key to life: our motto of the day was something like “just keep writing and everything will be okay!”

RH and J both contributed something for the blog – read on – and J also borrowed a book from our library. M is quite interested and hoping to come along next session.

Two lines written by RH’s daughter (aged just 10)

Let your smile change the world

But don’t let the world change your smile.

A poem by RH

Sick of being on the edge of madness

Full of pain and so much sadness

Tired so tired of all this shit

Sick of looking for my next hit

Hate the taste as it slips down my throat

Tired of looking for my next scapegoat

Scars on my body scars on my heart

So want to recover but where do I start

Always apologising to family and friends

Making empty promises instead of amends

Don’t want to die with everything lost

So I will get better, no matter the cost

Minnie’s Christmas Outing (a Short Story by J)

It was the end of another Christmas visit to my mother’s flat in Gloucester. We waved goodbye and walked out into the bleak late afternoon fog. My mum would have quite happily given me the train fare to Chippenham but owning up to failures was becoming a tedious full-time occupation so I never told her I’d lost my wallet a few days earlier, so I decided to walk home thus keeping my misfortune to myself.

I had Minnie for company, a small short-legged Jack Russell, white with a black head and black spot on her hind quarter, a present from my sister, Claire. I’d kept Minnie from a pup and she was now about 10 years old, alert, intelligent and lively, trotting along beside me. She skipped her balance from one leg to the other.

It was the harshest winter for many years claiming the lives of several homeless people in Glasgow. Overnight temperatures lower than -10° C and snow frozen solid crackled underfoot. I’d lost familiarity with cold winters wearing a light jacket with detachable lining, no hat, no gloves or scarf, my fingers and feet soon became numb as the temperature dropped. Weak whitewashed sky faded imperceptibly into darkness as we trudged uphill to Cotswold edge and saw the lights of Gloucester, Stroud and Painswick below us, the sinuous curves of the Severn nestled in the valley below.

The traffic was light on the A46. Christmas Day had passed and the cold weather kept people indoors in the cosy warm, but here every long, lonely mile dragged on forever and every milestone seemed like a tombstone, the end of the journey nowhere in sight.

To Be Continued…

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