“When does it start? I need the loo.”

“Oh, I think in a moment or two.”

Do you want some water, in case you go dry?”

“Sssh! I’m listening, I’ll tell you why

in a minute, if you’ll just wait there.

I think I can see – yes, he’s the compere.”

“Well, put your name down, get on the list!

To come all this way, then only to miss

your chance to read, that would be a shame.

I want them to hear you, to know your name,

to learn how great your poetry is.

So step on over, don’t get in a tizz!”

“OK, I’m going! Please get me a drink,

my throat is so parched, I can hardly think.”

“I offered you that, a while ago,

just get your name down, please don’t be slow

in grabbing this wonderful chance to take part,

or I’ll drive home without you, and it’s getting dark!”

“Alright, I’ve done it! My name is submitted.

I can’t turn back, I’ve just committed

to read aloud, the spotlight’s on me.

So please, I beg, will you get me a tea?”

“Too late, my dear, the lights have turned low.

He’s calling your name – get on with the show!”


Tonight, Claudia is hosting dVerse Meeting the Bar and has asked us to write poetry in the form of conversation. Riding on the wave of yesterday’s fantastic evening where I took part in my first ever poetry reading night, at the Chinwag event at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, I decided to be light-hearted. This rhyming conversation does somewhat mirror the circular discussion my best friend suffered with me beforehand, as I dithered a little over putting my name down, should, shouldn’t I have drink, what if, what if, what if…?! Whilst my heart was pounding like fury when I started reading, it was great fun and I received proper applause, not just that kind smattering that I was worried about!

I hope you enjoy this slightly comedic piece – please do let me know. And please, do pop in to dVerse, find the Mr Linky, read a few/all of the other poems and think about taking part yourself!



45 thoughts on “Limelight

  1. WOOT!! very cool – congrats on your first reading…oh the nervouesness… i can relate to the dry throat… smiles…. have been only performing my poetry at birthday parties for friends so far… smiles

    1. Thank you! It’s funny, I’ve done a lot of speaking in front of audiences, clients (for my job) etc, but this was something very different! But now I’ve done it once, I would do it again 🙂 And I would say – do it! Your poetry really lends itself to reading out loud!

  2. Congratulations on your poetry reading, Freya. Some years ago I used to do this as well & really enjoyed it ONCE I got up there and opened my mouth. The waiting beforehand is the hard part. I like the way you wrote the story. I empathize with the desire to go to the loo! And also with the bit of anxiety when your name was called.

  3. I love the way your dialogue conveys your anxiety before the reading. Great that you seized the opportunity to read your poetry!
    Did you read anything you have already posted on this blog or did you write something new?

    1. Thank you, Gabriella. I read two poems I had written before and have posted here, but extended one by an extra verse, and left the other ‘as is’. Jazz Man and Views (written for my brother) and Destination (written about train travel).

  4. Yeah.. well done Freya.. so good to hear you have done it.. I have listened to your recordings so I know you did well – would be nice to try it one day… hmm English poetry readings in Stockholm.. ?

    1. Thank you! Do you write poetry in Swedish at all? I know another writer who writes only in English, but never in his first language – he says he just can’t do it! You have a lovely reading voice, by the way, so… 🙂

  5. Open Mic poetry readings are a privilege; for no one knows the heart of your words but you; it can be performance art, certainly a performance. Too often I hear poets whose butterflies obscure their language; but then I once was an actor, so performing is like breathing. Kudos for the fun ride with this poem, & for taking that first step in broadening your horizons.

    1. Thank you, Glenn. It’s funny, I did lots of acting at school, have done a great deal of public speaking, do a lot of presentational work in my job – so I should be used to standing up in front of others. This was entirely different – like being naked in a room of strangers! Thankfully, I had practiced beforehand, so the nerves soon went and I got a great reception 🙂
      So, you used to be an actor… how wonderful!

  6. ha. fun stuff…and nice job taking the stage…its poetry at a whole other level when you have to perform it…and it allows you to hear the nuances of your verse as well….wool rhyme in your words too…

    1. Thank you, Brian. Yes, it was fun! And even as I was reading, I was thinking about how I could change things up a bit… is anything ever ‘finished’…?!

  7. Congrats to you ~ You have captured the fears & thoughts of someone before the call ~ Good work on this challenge, smiles ~

  8. Oh Lord..i’ve been terrified of any type of public speaking most of my life..and for good the words used to come out all at once..with out much coherence..and lots of raised eyebrows..of confusion…

    But..losing all my fear..i actually did the singing thing in public earlier this year..without a care..and continue to do so at church..every Sunday..

    Letting it all go is cool..and without fear we all can do amazing things..i think…:)

    simply in the flow of life…

    1. Well done on the singing! I remember doing that in a musical version of Aladdin at middle school, then in other performances too. Nerve-wracking stuff! I find speaking easier… 🙂

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