One of the poems I often use with schools is called Power; it’s about the power of words. I do sometimes wonder, though…

Anyway, on Monday I had a good meeting with the Gloucestershire Probation service and Steve Duncan; Steve and I will be at a Probation Service meeting next week to encourage them to be creative. They are great people, who have real power to change people’s lives. In the evening I went to the gym. All around me were people who obviously had a lot of physical power, and I wonder what they use it for. I’m just a weakling, after so long without regular exercise, but I give it a go. And then of course there were the usual emails.

On Tuesday I prepared for my GP group, or person, as it is at the moment, and started work on the wall panels that were exposed last week. I had to sand them down to get rid of the years of accumulated muck, and gave them their first coat of paint. I wrote a plan for the Probation Service work, and a proposal for some work at a prison; I’ll be delighted if this comes off. The people I sent it too responded really quickly, asking for a proposal for a shorter pilot project, which is very reasonable, so I did that too.

In the afternoon I worked with a terrific woman in the hospital; she loved her poem, and said that talking to me was better than therapy. She was a brilliant example of why I do this work. I’ll know soon if it is to be continued…

In the evening I saw Monuments men, and I have to say that the critics were right – it was bitty and unfocussed, but it least it brought to light a little-known bit of history. And it had George Clooney in it, so for me it was worth seeing. Now, he has power.

More painting on Wednesday – two more coats, and the panels are done. I’m not sure what to do with the beam beneath them, though.

I spoke to the guy who wants the World War 1 poem, and I decided I would definitely do it; he says he is not looking for a celebration at all, but a commemoration. I wrote the first draft over the next few days, and I’ll send it to him today to see what he thinks. I had a long call from The Son, which is always good, and did my GP surgery workshop, and wrote it all up, and got ready for a big day on Thursday. And I had a letter from my power supplier; my monthly bill is to be reduced, and they are paying back some money! The Son was home briefly in the evening, and I went through my snail mail.

Thursday was a big day. I was working at a school in Sutton Coldfield; all seven classes in one day, which meant 30 or 45 minutes with each class. And I got each class to write a group poem (on the theme of books – it was World Book Day) and practise performing it. They were all astonished at what they had done, and very pleased, and last thing in the afternoon they all performed their poems in the hall. It was a lovely day but hard work, and I think I was the only person in the school not dressed up as a fictional character. I wish they had told me! I did my Power poem four times, and I think they got the idea.

I drove straight from the school to the prison, where I was running a poetry group. This was our last session working together; our very last session will be an open mic night without the mic. And then there will be no more funding. It’s such a shame.

I wrote it all up on Friday, and did my accounts, and went to the gym, which actually seemed a little easier, and wrote a poem, and did some practice for my gig tomorrow evening.

More practice on Saturday, and another attack on the battalions of emails, and a trip to Stroud, so that I could write a poem about it for my Poet Laureate project. Stroud has more charity shops than anywhere else I’ve been, and also advertises more types of yoga than I knew existed.

And on Sunday, I finished work on the book of pieces by my previous surgery group, and walked for nearly three hours around the alleyways of Tewkesbury as part of the research for my band / songs project. I could have done with one of those little electric scooters, I think; by the end, my injuries were hurting and I had no power left for anything.

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