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Armistice Day Prompts Creative Writing at Age UK NYD

Posted on Friday, 12 November 2021 11:11 am | Category: Darlington Our Prompted to Write group were prompted to respond to Armistice Day with creative writing masterpieces

Prompted to Write is a friendly and supportive writing group for those who enjoy writing but don’t always know what to write. They explore different genres with  prompts each week and encourage a “Have-a-go” approach, creating opportunities to read out and be listened to. 

The group is structured to create and encourage opportunities for everyone and meets at Bradbury House every Thursday between 10:00am and 11:30am and costs just £3 per week including refreshments.

Inspired by the memorial of past conflicts, the Group was inspired to create characters responding to conflict.

The following are some of the pieces created on Remembrance Day:

The Welding Baker

The aroma of freshly baked bread was a memory.
Different and better than the sour stink of ground metal
 she carried home in her chestnut brown hair.
She remembered, fondly, friendly chit chat 
at the bakery, despite arms straining under heavy trays.
A long time since breakfast her mouth watered.
Now shrill women’s voices yelled below screaming tools
that scoured, bent, joined metal into shrill birds of war.
Her man depended on those joints
yet scorned the girlish welders.
He soared and flew as mates dived and fell to earth.
Burning, swirling, falling to unconsciousness if lucky.
Women, bundled into hairnets and dungarees,
struggled alone to live, to work, grow potatoes, feed families,
 wait in hope, weep in their pillows, fatigued to death.
Children, labelled like gifts, travelled to a place of safety
but feared pigs and the unknown.
Safe from screaming bombs and tumbling debris
they worry, uncertain, fearful, hungry, lost.
Studded with moments of hysterical jollity,
women and children find  light moments in comradeship.
But how long will this last?

Susan Chapman

The War Reporter

The midday sun beat down mercilessly, sucking the moisture from the atmosphere.
He sat listlessly in the make-shift tent, struggling to breath the lung-burning air.
He felt that he would suffocate before he could escape to the safety of home, to his beloved Jane.

How could people live like this? Starving, thirsty, fearful for their lives.
The desert was harsh enough, difficult to eke out a living at the best of times.
But now they faced war, the worst kind of war – a civil war. 

An unknown, oft-unseen enemy – until the horses and the camels arrived, carrying rifle-bearing, sabre-swinging dervishes.
Friends and family died; tents were set ablaze.
Those who escaped death and, worse, mutilation, fled into the relative safety of the night.

And now they gathered here, amidst the other refugees, victims of a conflict they could not understand.
A soulless place, ranks of canvas shelters under the unrelenting sun.
They held no great ambitions, no hope of a brighter future, only, perhaps, a morsel of food and a sip of tepid water.

The sight of the hopeless old, the despairing adults was bad enough.
But children too weak to play, too sad and frightened to smile, too dehydrated to even cry?
He began to write. But how could he possibly convey to those at home the misery, the despair, the smell of death, the stench of the living?

BM
11th November 2021

War

The Last Post clearly sound,
for they that are now forever dead.
Lying lost beneath that ground,
they can rest but not in bed.

Away from home they lie.
We cried,
for husbands, sons, and betrothed.
Why did they have to die?

The Last Post clearly sound,
for the dead in that far land.
Mothers weep,
for their only husband and sons,
who lie, 
asleep.

AD 11/11/21
 

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Age UK Darlington is a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1128377) registered in England and Wales as a Limited Company no. 6817492). Registered address: Bradbury House, Beaumont Street West, Darlington, County Durham, DL1 5SX.

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