For today’s NaPoWriMo prompt Olly Watson invites us to do a little eavesdropping. An excellent source of inspiration:
I love to steal lines from people. Not other poets but from everyday conversations. Spend half an hour just sat somewhere where there are people or just open your ears in your everyday routine and listen for the one or two phrases that pop up everyday that can lead to something. I try to write down what ever I hear, so I can go back to it later and then play around with it.
Your Ear to Mine
A friend told me about her little boy,
how on Christmas Eve she had asked him if he could hear the bells.
“Father Christmas is coming,” she’d said.
He’d turned to her, this boy who loved dinosaurs, and replied,
“put your ear next to my ear mummy and then I can hear what you’re hearing.”
I thought of you then.
That time in the Doctors, when you told me how impressed you were
with how I had described my feelings.
“Brought them to life,” you’d said.
It’s all I’ve tried to do ever since.
You’re Mum not Mummy now,
and I’m not sure if either of us hear the bells any more,
but put your ear to mine
and we can try.
Olly Watson is a thatcher not a poet so has absolutely no clue how he has managed to convince loads of people to put him on stage. He has gigged all over the country including four solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, often to crowds in the tens of people, runs his own poetry night in Norwich and was a 2017 National poetry slam finalist. It is true that he’s a much better thatcher than he is a poet, but he is a damn fine thatcher.
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