I won a poetry slam! (with videos)

winner

So this week I competed in a poetry slam that took place in my hometown (and hope to take part in any future ones too) – I’m only just starting out with the whole public performance thing, but think I’m slowly gaining more confidence with it. What I wasn’t expecting was to win! There were two votes for best poet, one from the audience and one from the poets themselves. I was somewhat taken aback when I was announced as the winner of the audience choice! (Netting me a voucher to use for the local theatre, where the slam took place). I mainly tried out some of my more light-hearted, comedy stuff, which as you can see from the performance of ‘MARINA’S Magical Fingers’ above, seemed to get a pretty good reception (originally posted as last week’s Wednesday poetry prompt) As someone who’s never had a lot of confidence in himself (and very nearly didn’t go at all due to this self-doubt), this was a pretty big deal to me and has made me a lot more motivated to keep performing at events like this and really make a go of getting on the ‘spoken word circuit’. I have also been trying to put together a collection of more light-hearted, comedic poems, so again the positive reception here has given me more motivation too.

Anyway, please check out these videos of the other poems I performed – hope they entertain you too 🙂

‘Sticky Notes’ (originally posted as Day 8’s poem for the 2017 NOV PAD Challenge – as ‘Post-it Notes – this was before I thought of the more obvious, filthier title 😉 )

‘A Swing for All Seasons’ (originally posted here)

‘Remembered by the Words’ (originally posted as Day 24’s poem for the 2017 Nov PAD Challenge – ending on a more serious note…)

I’m also due to perform at another poetry slam in March – so I’ll let you know how that one goes!

Like these poems? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

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‘Leave the Past Behind’ / Nov PAD Challenge 2017 chosen poems

barefoot-hike

So following on from my previous post about the Nov PAD Challenge, I am now nearing completion of the ‘next steps’ and submission for the competition, having now selected the poems for inclusion and revising parts here and there. One poem that saw a lot of revision and re-working was ‘Leaves of Change’, now titled ‘Leave the Past Behind’ , which I present for your perusal today. Change is indeed something that ended up becoming a running theme through the poems, leading me to choose the title of the overall chapbook as ‘Changing Lanes’ – though this may be subject to change (ha!) if I think something else fits better before the final deadline of 15th January for submission.

Anyway! Here is the revised poem originally written for Day 19:

Leave the Past Behind

Summer sheds her dress
As we speed past dying trees
Driving to our next life;
We witness once-green leaves
Wither to sallow, sickly browns,
Sinking slowly into the ground.
But through less cynical eyes
They are perhaps turned gold
Still shimmering in the wind,
To then join a crunching carpet brimming
With abundant possibilities.
We stop here, so we may start anew,
Meaningless cloth is cast aside,
A cold breeze breathes upon our bare skin
As we run care-free through the leaves;
We then share chilled wind’s embrace
Allowing our dreams to lead the way
In the journey to a happier place.

***

And, these are the 15 poems from the 30 day challenge that were ultimately chosen for inclusion, in the chosen order:

  1. Say Something If You’re There (Day 9)
  2. What I Meant to Say (Day 17)
  3. Waking Dissonance (Day 14)
  4. Chasing the Light (Day 26)
  5. New Day (Day 1)
  6. This Life TBD (Day 12)
  7. Sapphire City (Day 13)
  8. Nameless Roads (Day 10)
  9. Reality [Remixed] (Day 25)
  10. Stranger Souls (Day 15)
  11. The Map of the Sky (Day 6)
  12. New You, Before a New Day (Day 29)
  13. Leave the Past Behind (see above – originally ‘Leaves of Change written for Day 19)
  14. Preface to Another Life (Day 23)
  15. Remembered by the Words (Day 24)

Anyone else still currently deliberating their poem choices/title for the challenge? I do find it fascinating to see what it leaves me with every year, definitely a great motivator for writing poetry…

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

2017 Nov PAD Challenge – Next Steps

editing

So a few days ago saw the end of November, and thus my completion of the Writers Digest November PAD Chapbook challenge, for the third year in a row for me now. I did enter my resulting chapbooks from 2015 and 2016 – ‘The Dance of Dark and Light’ and ‘Uncertain Amber’ respectively – to the competiton, not winning either but for me it is about the motivation that it gives you and the resulting chapbook that you are left with. I intend to try and submit both of these for publication wherever I can in the coming months, something I’ve been slacking about, but seek to remedy.

So! The next steps then. Now comes the slightly tougher part of revision and choosing which poems will make the cut, as only 10-20 page submissions will be accepted. I think I have a rough theme and possibly a title in mind, but it’s always tough deciding what to keep and which ones to discard. As the deadline is in January, I will be spending a lot of December armed with my trusty red pen for revising and deliberating which poems to include, and in what order.

At any rate, here is the full list of poems that I wrote for the challenge this year, with links. Expect a follow up post in the near future of the final list of which ones make it into the chapbook. Let me know if you had any particular favourites 😉

  1. ‘New Day’
  2. ‘Tired Old Suit’
  3. ‘Triangle Hearts’
  4. Whosoever Takes the Time’
  5. ‘The Imp Inside’
  6. ‘The Map of the Sky’
  7. ‘Days of the Weak’
  8. ‘Post-It Notes’
  9. ‘Say Something If You’re There’
  10. ‘Nameless Roads’
  11. ‘Left Out of Luck’
  12. ‘This Life TBD’
  13. ‘Sapphire City’
  14. ‘Waking Dissonance’
  15. ‘Stranger Souls’
  16. ‘To the Rude of this World’
  17. ‘What I Meant to Say’
  18. ‘Beast of Rage’
  19. ‘Leaves of Change’
  20. ‘The Illusion of Honesty’
  21. ‘She’s Making Rainbows’
  22. ‘Duvet Day’
  23. ‘Preface to Another Life’
  24. ‘Remembered by the Words’
  25. ‘Reality (Remixed)’
  26. ‘Chasing the Light’
  27. ‘Change of Plans’
  28. ‘Love – A Haiku’
  29. ‘New You, Before a New Day’
  30. ‘The Good Old Days’

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

2017 Nov PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 30 – ‘The Good Old Days’

bike at sunset

Yesterday’s prompt: Write a ‘back in the day’ poem.

So here we are, already at the end of the month and the last day of the challenge. The prompts produced some interesting results for me this year, and I look forward to revising them and selecting which ones to keep for the next steps…

In the mean time, enjoy this poem inspired by youthful, carefree days of scabby knees and muddy puddles…

The Good Old Days

I remember when
We’d ride bikes until sunset
Struggling to scale the steep hills
Of a muddy makeshift course
Full of perilous dips and bumps,
To then come barrelling down again,
Then repeat, until boredom set in,
Or bloody scabs marked our knees,
(Whatever happened to come first).
This is how we’d pass the days
With only our wits and wily ways
To entertain us, a simpler age
Where anything could keep us amused,
And we’d be forever enthused
By forest paths and mystic caves
Before life became serious and grave.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

2017 Nov PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 29 – ‘New You, Before a New Day’

self-reflect

Today’s prompt: Write a ‘response’ poem

Now this prompt could be taken in a number of ways; however, I found the suggestion given on the page to be an interesting one -to write a ‘response’ to one of the poems previously written for this month’s challenge, especially as we are now nearing the end. I opted to write a response to the poem I wrote for Day 1, ‘New Day. Has anyone else ever attempted to write something like this in answer to their previous poem before, or taken the option for today’s prompt? It’s intriguing in that you are essentially talking to yourself, and as I discovered a little self-reflection and events in your life can lead you to question your previous words. At any rate, here is my response to my first poem of the challenge:

New You, Before a New Day

I know this ‘new day’ you speak of,
The fabled time when everything
Falls effectively into place
And life is all tidily arranged,
But these ‘old worries’ of yours
Will surely follow you there
If you don’t begin anew as well.

Perhaps I should more clearly explain,
You see, this so-called stress and strain
Has grown from your own brain,
It is your response to life’s difficulties
That has stifled your creativity,
Because of your constant proclivity
To allow anger to ravage you so intimately.

I do not wish to dispirit you,
But merely make implicit to you
That the root of this perceived ruin
Lies somewhere deep within you,
And that change must occur
For this ‘new day’ to be a solid reflection
Of a truly unclouded mind and intention.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

2017 Nov PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 28 – ‘Love – A Haiku’

love

Today’s prompt: Write a love and/or anti-love poem.

So today I opted for the former, feeling particularly soppy after a long day. Said long day also meant I went for a quick, simple haiku for this prompt, but I hope it is an effective one all the same…

Love – A Haiku

Love is coming home
And forgetting it all in
Warmth of caring arms.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a

2017 Nov PAD Chapbook Challenge Day 27 – ‘Change of Plans’

sorryforincovenience

Today’s prompt: Take the phrase “(blank) Of (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

Change of Plans

And so comes the dreaded call:
‘We apologise for the disruption’
A statement vague enough
To appease any form of frustration;
They’d also appreciate your co-operation,
As they fumble for an explanation
For the source of your vexation;
Or they’ll be sorry for the inconvenience
In a desperate plea for lenience
From you for this maddening experience.
They do so hope you’ll understand
As after all, ‘The best laid plans…
Of mice and men
So often go down the pan’.
Well, that might not be it exactly,
But they’ve simply assumed
(Perhaps a little offensively)
You won’t know a fancy word like ‘awry’…
But whatever words they might use
Thinking of all calming tactics they can,
They’ll merely continue to anger and confuse
Those intolerant to changes of plan.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M</a