Flip Flop Boating

This morning I am thinking about creativity and the art of expressing oneself. I’ve had to stop reading Life by Keith Richards at bedtime, because it was overexciting me. After a couple of sleepless nights, I cottoned on to the fact that I was high on the rhythms of  Keith Richards’ speech patterns. Now that’s some achievement,  as it’s not even as if he wrote the book himself. It is ghosted by one James Fox, who has done a brilliant job of capturing Keef’s highly individual and charismatic voice. He must have recorded the words and transcribed them with the skill of an identical twin (or alchemy of some sort)

People are extraordinary and life is full of wonder for someone like me, who has the time to look and see the creativity around. Take for example the flip flop boat I happened upon the last time I was in Marrakech. Who would have thought that a discarded slipper could be transformed into such an elegant little display. But what is it for? I can hear someone say. There is no answer. You either see it or you don’t.

I’ve been struggling to turn a poem of mine, about the correlation between the arctic winter and the state of marriage, into a villanelle. Again the question arises. Why? Because it is a challenge Dylan Thomas rose to superbly with Do not go gentle into that good night and  doing is a good way of learning. I am always learning. I am under no illusions that mine will be as good-I will be happy enough it it becomes a villanelle at all.

I work every so often with two young performance poets who wouldn’t know form if it hit them on the nose and yet who write poems that clutch the heart and make it skip a beat. It keeps me humble working with them. They give me youth and rhythm; I give them banana cake. They question every assumption I ever had about poetry and a lot else. Together we are reaching new heights. That’s creativity.

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