I did it - I didn't think I would, but I found lines from both the last prompt lines!
Doing this as a competitive challenge seems to have brought out the best in the poets and the poetry I have read, from Colin Will, Rob MacKenzie and Ben Wilkinson. I bet that they were only the tip of the iceberg: this has to be one of the best workshops I've ever done!
Funnily enough you'd think there'd be some repetition of motifs, and there maybe was a little bit, but each poet had enough of a separate voice and vision to make them totally distinct.
I think it really pushed me out of what or how I'd usually start a poem and I'm really looking out for the unusual or catchy saying or turn of phrase in conversations,for starting lines. Older people are great for these; they pepper their conversations with expressions that are passed down through families. I've learned a great lesson in this workshop that I intend to carry on with for the next while: there's no excuses, just write! And so to revisions...
The Trouble with the Non-Smoking Ban
Meanwhile surely there must be something to say
as his words sink gently, a stone dropped from the arc
of a bridge into murky water: I know your face, followed
by the challenging stare; leering gimlet eyes wandering
over me like a pair of clammy hands. Yes, I smile
politely, that was twenty years ago. I turn back
to the company, lighting the offered cigarette, drawing
a pull and hopefully another strand to this strange conversation.
You were a great dancer and a great kisser, he adds.
I grit my fixed grin pointing out my husband.
The eyes still pierce trying to connect intervening
years, joining dots and colouring in. Get over
it, you sad fuck, is what my eyes are really saying
now and I invite my smoking friends to find
a table indoors, out of the mizzling rain.
Just for the sake of recovering
the kettle is pressed into service.
Dark brown coffee grounds release
their nutty, sharp scent in the plastic nest
above the mug with a swirl of oxygen
and hot water. Cane sugar dissolves
and cream flourishes its rounding swags.
Two Nurofen complete this recipe
accompanied by tasteless tobacco;
inhaled, exhaled, in a blue plume.