Posts Tagged ‘Brightsparks Poets’

Smoking Cessation Poetry Booklet

February 11, 2010

Poems and illustrations on the theme of smoking, by BrightSparks poets and artists, are now available in a beautiful booklet. Download the poetry booklet here.

BrightSparks Smoking Cessation Poetry Booklet February 2010

BrightSparks Smoking Cessation Poetry Booklet February 2010


“Rebellion” poems

December 1, 2009

BrightSparks runs an art workshop every Wednesday afternoon from 1pm till 3pm at 27a Access Artspace, 60 Northgate Street. (See our “About” page for more details.) However on the last week of each month, we have a poetry workshop instead of art.

In October 2009, Tim Sayers led our poetry workshop on the theme of “Rebellion”. Here are some of the poems we wrote.

No Spark of Life

September 20, 2008

An oven flooding with gas
A starter-motor whirring in an engine not turning
A match scraping not striking
A boiler-clock clicking not firing
Gears jumping not engaging
Water steaming not bubbling
Cigarette lighter flicking not igniting
Batter baking not rising

Poem by Martin Burch


May 18, 2007

Cardiff is one of those words.
If language is a map, words
ordered by their relationship,
it is right out there, so far
off in the open it is nowhere.

It is one of those words, that
you know, you recognise, you
remember but you just don’t know
what it means. You carry it
around, but you can’t get it
out of the herd. I guess cows
recognise each other with that
black and white pattern I guess is
unique-but then I know you all
but don’t recognise your fingertips.
Cardiff is one of those words.
I know it’s there
in Wales, but where in Wales.
I don’t know. I don’t know who does
Cardiff is one of those words.
So is death.

Jo Swift

Long overdue update…

May 18, 2007

So the last RAC Sparkplugs Poetry session has happened and the Sparky Poets will be taking a brief rest while we look for more funding. In the meantime, you might like to see what that last session entailed….


Making like a room full of teenagers we set about this much in demand exercise. Here are the randomly generated results:

She was taking pills for her optimism
He was horrified at how similar he
was to her wanton insubstantive-
ness – he wasn’t however convinced.
They met as residents of
a mental health community
government pickle jar!
He said “I used to live in Cornwall,
but then my wife died-so I came here.”
She said “run away with me and my cat”
In the end they got married and had 14 kids.
They lived happily ever after.

She was amusing to the point of death
He was in love with her.
They had gone out for ages.
They met at a party on a riverboat
on the river Thames.
He said:
“I’ve been looking for you all my life
now I’ve found you
will you be my wife.
She said:
“Don’t worry, it’s not contagious”
In the end it was-
“I hate you and I hate the ostriches
and never begun it never
once continued – ‘cept in the science
of simpletons and caterpillars.”

She was fantastic.
I loved her very much
She was my best friend.
He was dressed – in black.
They met at the bus station-
Stand number 12, it was the first time
They had been there together.
He said:
“Sorry love, you look like me mum.”
She said:
“I’d rather like a coat made of
lama and ghosts and ostrich”
In the end,
It was black eyes all around,
Until we shrugged it all off and agreed
“Wot was all that about?”

She was a young woman
With long flowing
Rapunzel-esque hair
That frequently became
Knotted around her ankles.
He was the minister of popular youth.
They met in the cinema.
That was where they had their first date.
He said-“I am here
For one night. One night only”
She said- “I feel the same.
You are my shining star
I’ve been waiting for you for all
In the end, ‘a’ comes before ‘i’
Except after ‘b i’

She was my valentine, but when
she didn’t come home for a
week the bouquet of flowers
became withered and shrunk to reveal a
heart shaped twig skeleton.
He was an old man. Didn’t get out much
And suddenly there she was.
He said “I want to give you a baby
That we can love”
She said “I have written down
All that I have to say.”
In the end,
They strolled through life hand in hand.
Love had taken over their hearts
and they lived happily ever after.

She was the most beautiful female I ever set eyes on!
He was quite attached to his conscience.
Wherever the ghost left his hat
was where they were to meet-but
he only ever put down his umbrella
leaving his head, famously under
his hat.
He said: “Wassup? Girlfriend”
She didn’t say anything-she just looked at him
And then, raising one small hand
Slowly touched his face.
In the end, Felix and Deidre met Harry

She was profoundly disturbed by what had happened.
He was strolling through this situation called life
They met at a clinic for people with exclusive habits
He said “ abracadabra and allez-ka zoom
And all piffling bonkers stuff
That was quite possibly ill.
She said “I do worry about you, y’know?”
In the end they said no more
but went their separate ways.
He remembered her for months afterwards.

A ghost substantiated thinly
With griefs and veils of apprehension
she was.
He was more of a brother
Than a friend or a partner.
We bickered and fought
Like brothers banded and branded
Together with loyalty
They met in a shopping centre.
He was examining the silk cravats.
She was lingering by the till.
He said “take me to the moon
So I can see the stars.
She said “you can fuck off
You bastard.”
They never really knew what the
other person was thinking…”

Things that are exciting in all kinds of ways

March 12, 2007

The BrightSparks voicebox has been woefully far behind in keeping you to date with things that are exciting in all kinds of exciting ways.

Exciting thing number one: last weeks Sparkplugs. The sterling turnout of heavens knows how many trotted their way through a follow up Things I have brought exercise. Those who’d done it as ‘homework’ read round to start. Those who hadn’t, did that as their sessional exercise and some others still did clever things with mixing lines up between the things they had brought exercise and things they had not …. Here are a couple of pieces, done in the session to illustrate the point.

My Darling

My seal of zeal
As the distant clouds
Is my beloved darling
Still she lays bare in the glass vessel

For time I look at the seasonal rain
And bare barren trees
To inform me of its meaning

Whilst the birds withdraw
As to escape its shadowy clutch

My musik now belongs to the tarmac
As the tyres crush,
Sounding like waves
Lapping against the seashore

I wrap myself in my warm, weathered waist coat
To shield me from its force
Finally I am reassured.

Sean Benjamin 2007

full of things I can’t remember
mixed up with things I can’t forget

I hold the stone which will become earth part of the planet from the star stuff and my body burns iiself to holdand the stone holds my hand back which is like the darkness reaching out to you which is like nothing holding you firmly this is an interlacing of my fingers and your fingers of darkness and nothing and there are rings on your fingers my darling and all the husbands and all the wives are solid stuff intershot with emptiness and we hold each other tight we put out the fires inside for rings are forever my darling but we are only now we are fists and fingers we are statues we are holding and so we are from the planet from the stars we are stones

Jo Twist

Sparkplug Poet

March 6, 2007

Last week new poet, Naomi Paula Naisbitt, attended Sparkplugs for the first time. A prolific writer she came up with a number of pieces, here’s one of them….


Loneliness is a cruel word,
it hurts me deep inside.
Nobody understands how much
or why.

The torture delves deep,
through the dark nights
and hurts me most
during the witching hours

12am to 2am
are the worst,
waiting till the clock strikes
tick, tick, tock –

time travels on
till morning arrives.

With the birds chirping
and the sun rising
another day
and the torture continues

Will I ever find happiness?

Sparkplugs Poets

March 1, 2007

Well, after a short break, The BrightSparks Poets are back on track, rejigged, renamed and ready to blow. ‘Sparkplugs’ relaunched this Wednesday, at the super swanky RAC (Richard Attenborough Centre). Subsidised by the RAC (through the vastly kind donation of space) and facilitated by me, the first session went really well.

We LOVE the centre. The room is spacious, light and airy, packed with books and condusive for writing. The cafe downstairs does great snacks and is lovely to break in. The art throughout the centre is fabulous. We are very happy and we would like to stay please, so…Lydia must get writing that funding application so when our 10 week pilot runs out, we can do.

In our first session we read Not a CV (or I am not who you think I am), a fantastic piece by Penelope Shuttle and one which had inspired me to write Not a Mathemetician a few weeks earlier. After discussing Penelope’s piece we kicked off with a writing and feedback exercise-which ended up taking the rest of our time. The group wrote following the same ‘negative’ theme, but using the prompt: ‘Things I have not brought with me’. This exercise is a kind of linguistic version of the drawing exercise, where you draw the spaces between objects rather than the objects themselves. In many ways it follows on nicely from Mark Goodwins earlier exercise in lying…sometimes, more can be revealed by reading between the lines…. Anyway, here are some of the poets solutions…

Things I haven’t brought with me today

I have not brought my seal of zeal this afternoon

As a distant cloud has dulled my mood

Also not with me is my beloved darling

Who has in-fact not been with me for quite sometime

My watch stands still in the glass vessel on the coffee table

This was too big to put into my folder

However, I did bring my pen but not the lid

As this hampers writing for me

I haven’t brought my CD collection which is growing out of all proportion

As these can now be stored onto my MP 3 player

This happens to be plugged into my friend’s ear and not mine

Alas neither my friend nor his ear is here so lend an ear

And spare him a thought.

Sean Benjamin 2007

More ‘not’ poems to follow….

BrightSparks Poets: we have a plan…

November 28, 2006

Here’s what we’re going to do then. We’re going to hold our next facilitated poetry session on Wednesday 20th December, 1-3pm.  The second session will be held on Wednesday 10th January, 1-3pm.

In between these 2 dates we’re going to trial run an informal writers group (Wednesday afternoons 1-3pm) where poets can catch up informally, share work, collect exercises, etc…the detail’s up for grabs!

If you’ve already been attending, just turn up. Otherwise, register your interest by emailing us here ( or by leaving a comment below – we’d love to hear from you! 

Poetry sessions – what do you think?

November 27, 2006

Brightsparks Poets…and potential Brightsparks Poets…we need your thoughts…

Following the resounding success of our poetry workshops, we have funding to pay for 2 more. After consulting existing attendees of the course, Wednesday 1-3 seems to be the best slot to plan around. So, interested parties have a choice. Would you prefer:

This coming Wednesday 1-3-followed by Wednesday the 20th December OR
two consecutive Wednesdays in January.

Your comment, emails and pledges of interest would be appreciated…