I’ve blogged in the past about how nervous I get when I stand up in front of people and talk – it’s here – and that I was hoping to continue going to the poetry group I started going to a few months ago and try to expel the demons. Well tonight was one of those nights: tonight was a workshop organised by Dick, our leader, and John Hegley was giving the workshop. John doesn’t just run workshops, he performs poetry with his little ukelele, makes everyone laugh and then gets us to write something. Tonight’s themes were confessions and then decisions but first we wrote a corporate poem – a line at a time passed around the table until we had a poem – beginning with and filling the blanks as here – I need you like a …….. needs a ………. . Then with the spin of his pen John chose the corporate reader – which happened to be me. This went OK – still a bit nervous but I got through it – with a degree of blusher and sweat added mid-flow.
The evening carried on with John performing more of his poems and more laughs with all those that hadn’t read their I needs reading either their confession or decision poem. After everyone else had read there was a little bit of time left for the I need readers to read their poems – so that was it sink or swim – and I bloody well swam (well I did better than I’ve done in the past). I belted it out like I’ve never belted anything out to anyone while stood in front of them and I’m chuffed, over the moon and all of those feelings bundled into one. It’s not over, I know I haven’t all of a sudden become a performer but what I have done is leapt the first hurdle of a steeplechase – and I’m so glad I went tonight. Here is my Confessions poem for you:
I confess to the Lord Almighty –
I confess I don’t believe in the Lord Almighty –
I confess I’ve tried to believe but –
I confess I don’t believe in God.
His son – if he did in fact
come from the Lord Almighty –
I confess I believe in Him
and I believe He died for the Good of us.
I’ve confessed – the Catholic Way and
I confess I didn’t tell the truth –
I did what everybody else did and I wish
I could have confessed to Little Nicola Love – not the Catholic Way.
I wanted to finish with a laugh and I did get the laugh I was hoping for – so thank you all at Toddington Poetry Society, Dick, the visitors from Ware, Vere Poets and ID Poetry but most of all thank you to John Hegley for making the evening enjoyable and for me, a small personal triumph. Thank you very, very much.
John’s website is here http://www.johnhegley.co.uk/ if you’d like to find out more about him. He travels a lot, there’s a good chance he could be in a town near you very soon – go along I guarantee you’ll have a good evening !