Week 5 Workshop with Gailmarie and David

Hi everyone!

Gailmarie: David and I worked with about 7-8 participants, 4 of whom were children. I took the first part of the session; we talked about writing poems that come from our actual dreams. I read them a few examples written by children from the text, Wishes, Lies and Dreams by Kenneth Koch. I also read them a couple of Richard Hugo’s “adult” dream poems from his collection 31 Letters and 13 Dreams. We talked about how dream poems make a silly sense sometimes; we know they’re not “true,” but they are “real.” Everyone then wrote a dream poem, and some of those were scary, some poignant, some funny.

Here’s “Marissa’s Dream” —

I had a dream that I was living
in Kentucky and was in
the old days 1835. I saw lots
of old buildings and I was walking
down the street and I went to
this lady’s house. She was 80
years old. I went to live with
her cause she was too old to do
stuff. So when I was there
she asked for her pills she said
they were in her cabinet. I got
them for her. When I went
in the room …
She was dead!!!
and when I was at her funeral
I had to live on my own and I
was at the age of 9.
________________________________________
And Theresa’s “In Sleeping Slumber” —

In sleeping slumber I did
lay in quiet solitude

Amongst the tiny daffodills
with mist of morning dew

As I did breathe the morning
air with all its wondrous smells

I took me back to days of
young and those who knew me well.

As I recall when we were
young those sleepless nights
of summer

Are now the days which
I recall while in my sleeping
slumber.
________________________________
David: Then I pulled out my old Gibson guitar and played a few Woody Guthrie songs. I talked about how Woody wrote his poems and set them to music to tell people about the problems of the hundreds of thousands of homeless migrants to California during the last Great Depression.

Here’s “Dust Bowl Refugee” —

I’m a dust bowl refugee
Just a dust bowl refugee
From the Dust Bowl to the Peach Bowl
And now this peach fuzz is killin’ me.

Across the mountains to the sea
Come the wife and kids and me
It’s a long and dusty highway
For a dust bowl refugee.
__________________________________________________________
It’s a simple two-chord melody, and after singing it a few times we started writing poems to it, using the same rhythm so the new words would fit Woody’s old song.

Theresa again:

I’m a mother, coming home
No more I wander, no more roam
I’ve come a long way
From Kentucky
I’m a mother, coming home.
____________________________
And Marissa again:

I’m a girl with a funny mother.
Just a girl with a funny mother.
She’s my mother
Such a bugger
I’m a girl with a funny mother.
_____________________________________
And here’s a poem that Nikki wrote today:

Caring, generous, loving mother

Sister of Charles, Matthew, Amanda,
Sierra, Sean, daughter of Lexie
and David, wife of James, mother of …

Lover of animals, cooking, James,
life, knowledge.

Who needs rest, to see my son,
my husband and daughters

Who fears the dark, spiders, loss
of family, public speaking

Who gives love, life, opinions,

Who would like to take a trip to the sea.
______________________________________________________
Thank you, every one of you!

David and Gailmarie

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