For my second assignment for my A363 Advanced Creative Writing course with The Open University, my poem The Voyeur was adapted into a fifteen minute script for radio. Again, it has been assessed by The Open University, and as the author, please don’t plagiarise. You are welcome to give feedback on my Facebook and Twitter pages. To read ‘The Reunion’, please see the Word document. I have done this to keep the original formatting of the script.
The following poem is based on a black and white photograph that was published by Historic Photographs on Facebook, entitled, ‘The First Miss Universe Pageant 1952’, which took place in Long Beach, California, 28 June 1952. I used the photograph to write the poem, which was eventually submitted to The Open University, for my first assignment as part of studying for my A363 Advanced Creative Writing module. It has been assessed by them, and as I am the author of the poem, it’s also copyrighted. By all means, if you like it, you can leave comments on my Facebook or Twitter pages, but please don’t plagiarise.
Arms linked like a daisy chain;
united as one in their beauty.
Six goddesses emerge from the sea,
whilst waves lap gently at
slender feet and ankles.
Stoic smiles of innocence and grace;
captured by the camera’s lens.
Admiring from a distance;
I am the outsider looking in.
Hair flying freely;
blown by the summer’s breeze.
pristine white bathing suits.
Timeless class and elegance;
simply captivating my heart.
Is that Miss France;
glancing over at me?
‘Shoulders back, ladies!’
I hear the photographer shout.
the goddesses trace circles in the
sand with their toes.
Judges walk by with clipboards;
making notes of vital statistics.
From the safety of the sand dune;
my blushes are silently spared.
Tomorrow Miss Universe 1952;
will wear her crown.
The frenzied crowd,
will soon disperse
from Long Beach, California.
Poseidon will rise and summon;
his six goddesses to retreat beneath the sea.
The fragility of their faces;
forever framed on the pages of Life magazine.
A note on the poem, although it does have stanzas, the formatting on WordPress doesn’t allow for this. But poetry is all about interpretation, especially by its audience.
The following is a 26 line script that I wrote whilst hospitalised in a mental health unit, during lockdown in 2020. To keep myself occupied, I signed up to another FutureLearn course, Explore Filmmaking, this time with the National Film and Television school and the British Film Institute. This was a writing exercise for the course.
It was an extremely difficult time for patients and staff; patients weren’t allowed visitor’s rights, and staff were trying to cope their very best, under a horrendous strain. This particular piece deals with my own experience of having to sit on the naughty step, as I like to call it, in a seclusion room, for hours on end.
Warning: Contains bad language/deals with mental health. Please do not read on if you have been affected in any way.
Vall: Argh! I can’t believe the headache I’ve got. Paracetamol won’t shift this.
Animal: Bloody b@st@rd. I’m surprised they didn’t smack her in the gob.
Tilda: C*nt – that’s what she said. Did you hear her?
Vall: Don’t talk. It will just rile her up again.
Tilda: For Christ’s sake, throw her into seclusion.
Vall: Get’s my goat. Anytime now she will be.
Animal: Hurry the f**k up with the orderlies.
Tilda: I know. It’s hard to be around her right now.
Vall: Jesus. I wish she would shut up.
Animal: Kindness. Kill her with that?
Tilda: Love? Wouldn’t that be better instead?
Vall: Might be.
Animal: No. I don’t think that will be the answer.
Tilda: Or, what would be?
Animal: Quite. Say them silently though.
Tilda: Right now?
Vall: Sally, you say them for her.
Animal: Try and find the bibles!
Tilda: Under which beanbag are they hidden?
Vall: Jay’s room?
Animal: Will go get them now.
Tilda: X-Men. Call them too.
Vall: Yay. Superheroes – always save the day.
Animal: Zebedee’s on shift. At least we will be able to sleep tonight.
The following is a 350 word story that was submitted to FutureLearn, Writing What You Know, in order to receive feedback from fellow students. It’s a piece of life writing that’s based on my own circumstances, however, names have been changed.
Tom had never been a morning person and always found it difficult to get out of bed, despite the ten hours sleep he tended to average on most nights. He hit snooze for the sixth time and whispered to himself that he would get up shortly, just five more minutes. It was far too cold to leave the safe cocoon of his duvet and like a petulant child, he wrapped himself up even tighter. He had grown tired lately of most things; the daily commute to the dead-end desk job that he no longer loved and having to make pleasantries to colleagues he bumped into in the work’s canteen. Tom felt stifled by the conventional nine to five rat-race, stuck in a rut that he couldn’t see a way of digging himself out of. It had been difficult enough for him to return to work after his first long-term absence and even harder after his second. A necessary evil, the visits back and forth to Occupational Health were somewhat tedious too, not to mention the one-to-one counselling sessions. All he wanted to do these days was to spend quality time with Oscar, his companion and a four-legged one at that.
Had Tom rescued Oscar, or had Oscar rescued him? That was a question Tom had often raised in the counselling sessions with his therapist. Tom had gone to the rehoming kennels that day with the sole intention of having a mooch around and keeping his debit card firmly in his wallet. And then his attention was drawn towards Oscar, the black and white eighteen-month old Patterdale Terrier Cross, his paws outstretched towards the gate of his kennel, not barking but seeking Tom’s affection all the same. As soon as the little tyke was released into the cordoned play paddock, Tom felt such an incredible bond between the two of them and having asked the kennel staff all of the relevant questions, he had made up his mind to return the next day to adopt him.
Another character sketch from my FutureLearn course, Writing What You Know. This relates to how much the global pandemic has affected the NHS and their patients.
Dressed in a grey v-neck tunic and matching grey trousers, the dental nurse sat manning the reception desk, booking patients in for their appointments on a Tuesday afternoon. Her hair was scraped up into a neat bun on the top of her head, the arch of her eyebrows defined by a dark brown pencil and foundation heavily masking pocked marked skin above her upper lip. She was loud, obnoxious and brash when she spoke – no tact and diplomacy when asking patients to confirm whether their medical details had changed, or about their personal financial circumstances. Whilst the other dental nurses were busy counting out paper cups destined for patients to rinse and spit later on; she was more concerned with making an outbound telephone to arrange the dental surgery’s Christmas night out. Jenny sat in her seat, having looked at the time on her phone for about the fifteenth time. Her dental appointment was already running twenty minutes late; and it wasn’t as if the surgery was overrun with people that day. She thought to herself that the dental nurse’s conversation on the telephone could have been made Wednesday lunchtime.