NaPoWriMo Day 19: Olly Watson – Everyday objects

Poetry is full of the extraordinary, the beautiful, the emotional but sometimes it starts with everyday objects as Olly Watson explains for today’s NaPoWriMo prompt.

Olly’s every day object prompt

When wanting to write about something that if filled with emotion, be that a break up, mental health, a loss in your life of some sorts, I always like to frame it around an everyday object that is linked to the emotion, or the person. I think it helps the reader process the difficult issues by giving them something secure to hold onto throughout the poem.  

I created a new folder on my phone today
started filling it with all the pictures
of all the things we had done
your kids and mine
rivers, and trees, and that trampoline.
“We’re killing each other,”
that’s how it came out.
“We’re killing each other,” and I fell off that cliff edge I’d been standing so close to.
“We’re killing each other,” and in every photo we’re smiling
and I can no longer see where the knives were falling.
Three hours I’ve been moving those images around
sorting the clutter
because I can’t keep going back over them
I need them gone
locked on an old lap top that takes ages loading
so I can’t just flip back to those trees, those rivers,
those kids of ours covered in mud and smiles
forever on that trampoline.
I remember that first night dancing,
before the kids, before we had any doubts to hide from each other
when you were just this marvellous new thing I couldn’t keep my hands off.
“Get a room,” someone said, and I god I wanted to
because I thought maybe I could stay there forever
my lips on yours, Mr Fucking Brightside on loop,
the world so far away.
I might have married you on that night, just to stay dancing.
“We’re killing each other,” I said, but it wasn’t true.
I was killing you, or us.
Promising you what I didn’t have to give
hiding what I really was.
I’ve done it before.
This playing to the crowd, hoping this time it would be different.
This time the words would come true.
This time, the rivers, the trees and the trampoline
would be enough.
Olly Watson

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, 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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