Last Saturday I went with my family to Castle Hill library. It is one of the best librarys in Sydney. There’s a lovely cafe off to one side, easy to read signs on the bookshelves, books sorted by genre and classification (of course), really comfortable seats, and an innovative children’s area with a wooden castle and a great wooden dragon hanging from the ceiling.
While we were there, we met a lovely woman. Wendy chatted with her about back pain and the like. She was going to a meeting. It turns out it was a meeting of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Hills Chapter) and they were having a one off workshop at the library, which was not their usual meeting place. They invited me to join them for the poetry workshop.
The poetry workshop was hosted by a Canberra poet. Her theme was the use of colour in poetry. One of the exercises was to write a six-line poem using words and colours provided. The colour was in the form of a paint sample sheet, the word was written on a small piece of paper. This was an exciting idea. I received “Arctic Crossing” as a colour, a kind of muted off-white and the word “Cloud”. It was almost too easy. I conjured images of clouds swirling like penguins over a frosted landscape, and hence the poem. I now suddenly realise that the act of penguins swarming like that belongs in the Antarctic and not the Arctic. But I’m not going to change the poem for that. Call it artistic license.