Winter lights and colours are featuring in my end-of-term workshops for schools, and fascinating we’re all finding them to be!
The darker the days, the brighter our streets glow, of course. On my able writers’ day at Burstow Primary School (Surrey) this week, for instance, we found ourselves gazing at the lit-up squares of office block windows, peering down at the looping ribbons and necklaces of street lights below, watching the winking traffic lights, squinting along the chart-like lines of cats’ eyes stretching out in all directions, and glimpsing the faint flickerings of lanterns along the pavements. The more we gazed, or imagined we gazed, the more we spotted… and we spotted something else too: our town was turning into other things, like in my poem, ‘My Town at Night’.
My Town at Night
my town turns into other things:
gold and silver crowns,
a wizard’s glinting gown,
the moonlit threads of spiders’ webs
stretched across the ground…
but next day
it’s always just the same old town.
(Published in The School Magazine, NSW, Australia.)
But of course their towns turned into other things again!
It was fun to bring my little candle and its pretty, slatted holder onto the scene. (Don’t gasp: the candle was safely protected, and well out of harm and children’s way!) What with the tinsel and Christmas baubles I’d draped over the flip chart, and the night-city photos strewn over the whiteboard, we almost forgot about our afternoon break!
The theme made a cheery – yet fascinating! – antidote to our earlier wanders through the twitching twilight woods (or at least, the creaking desks and tilting chairs and falling fluffy toy animals in the darkened (yes, again!) classroom).
Some people moan about winter, but I relish the promise of its glints and whispers and quivers! I relish the poems it generates, too!
Children’s poet and workshop leader for schools