Surreal and fun workshop last night at Juncture 25 (our group of performing poets). We were given a list of people, list of places and list of situations had to chose one from each and then write a poem in 40 minutes! A point of note: Zola Budd was a South African who became a British citizen and was the world’s leading women’s middle distance runner in the mid 1980’s. She always ran barefoot.
She stands waif-like between a morose AA man
and the West Country Cornish pasty mobile.
It’s been raining.
Coming down like lions and hyenas,
she tells one disinterested traveller.
At least he was until he heard her say that.
Lions and hyenas.
Don’t you mean cats and dogs?
He regrets the words before they leave his mouth,
sees the trap of the surreal opening up before him.
He learns where she comes from,
it obviously rains lions and hyenas.
Then he notices a bucket full of sorry looking flowers.
Rained on, they bow mournfully over the edge.
Red blooms, yellows and night blues
bleeding rain onto the floor by the door.
How much, he asks.
But he’s not prepared for the comeback.
Whatever you think they’re worth. She shrugs her bony shoulders.
Grabbing a handful, he jams a tenner in her fist,
walks off shaking his head.
Taking pity on the flower girl
who has no shoes.