'Oil Waves' is the writing blog of Wes Viola, a pen name of Wes White.
A Glastonian now living and working in London, Wes is an Elder Bard of Ynys Witrin (Glastonbury), having won the title in 2015.
He is an alumnus of Goldsmiths' Creative & Life Writing MA and was the 2013 poetry winner at Wells Literary Festival.
If you think you could be dreaming
you can try a handcheck:
look at your hand’s open palm and flick
back and forth between that and the back.
You’ll know if you’re awake.
Your knuckles will just be your knuckles,
your little finger just a pinky.
If not, there are all kinds of freaky
your fingers could be tied in knots,
or covered in dark lipstick kiss marks,
or made of lank kale…
It looks like normal… I think.
Only, when did I get ink?
normal? I blink… and in that quick movement
there's a sparkling kaleidoscope of black
and shocking pink.
I don’t know I’m awake, but something’s out of kilter, and I reckon
if I take a breath, I can make things
I close my eyes again. Take my time.
Hold my palm out flat.
What will I make? A knife? A key?
With a whack, it lands from the sky.
I sneak a look:
a shepherd’s crook.
I'm writing a poem for each of the 26 letters of the English alphabet for #NaPoWriMo2018. The letter 'K' is derived from an Egyptian hieroglyph for an open hand - think of splayed fingers. In English, K has a strange duality as arguably our hardest-sounding letter but also one of those that is most often silent. Is it real or a dream?
The poems are a sequence and you can read those that have come before on the following links:
April is #napowrimo ('National' poetry writing month), an annual challenge to write a poem a day, and post each one to your blog. The dedicated website also offers optional daily prompts. I've been thinking for some time of writing a series focussed on the 26 letters of the ISO basic Latin alphabet, and April having 30 days seems to fit quite well with doing this (and leaving myself room to skip some days, as I will inevitably end up doing. In fact if I only skip four I'll be doing far better than I normally do at these things, but I fancy my chances of getting to 'B', at least). In relation to this first step on the journey, I also recommend reading Malcolm McNeill's article 'A' is for Girl. Aside from those associations, this gate where we begin is guarded by a bull. 'A' is thought to be derived from an Egyptian hieroglyph of an ox's head. So - grabbing the bull by the horns: ------------ A A crack in the cave wall – an aperture to
a view …
I am writing a poem for every letter of the English (or, if you prefer, international standard Latin) alphabet, this NaPoWriMo.
You can find the poems so far under the following links: ABCDEFG On Monday I stumbled across this beautiful diagram of the letters' histories by UsefulCharts - have a look.
'H' is derived from a symbol for a fence! Now I think it's a stile. ------------ H
Here is a hare. He hears your heart. “Hello”, puts forth the fair-haired hare, “have
to rush… horribly behind
for a hugely himportant happointment”.
(That’s how you think you heard it in your human head. What he said
was holy - hard to echo here). “…have to rush…Heavens!Hades!”
he hops, hurriedly,
under a hurdle in the hawthorn hedgerow. Hmm…
Day 8 of #NaPoWriMo and I'm only on the 6th letter of the alphabet. Maybe I'll try to do more than one a day for a couple of days to catch up. You can read the first poems in the series here: ABCDE
'F' is descended from the Semitic letter 'waw' (the letter's 'f' and 'w' are surprisingly closely related - to find out why, make a 'w' sound and draw your bottom lip back towards your top teeth so it becomes a 'v' - and keep going...) - its hieroglyphic ancestor probably stood for a club or a mace. ------------ F
The frequency fades
and you follow his frantic gaze floorwards, where, freakishly, you find ’e’s
sinking in to the ground! First his feet, followed fast
by his fit legs, and the rest of his frame….
his femurs, fibula, fat gut, false teeth - all the way - to that furrowed forehead
and the follicles of his fine coiffure. Even then his arms remain aloft. In five seconds flat, he’s in up to his
funny bones, and only now that he’s nothin…