Changing Yangon – Pegu Club

Copyright Catriona Knapman

Children Play at the Pegu Club, Yangon, 2013: Copyright Catriona Knapman

“The Pegu Club seemed to be full of men on their way up or down…”

Quote from R.Kipling, From Sea to Sea

Once the exclusive club for British Expats during the Burmese Colonial period, now creaking floorboards, smashed windows, broken stairways the building are all that remain to show something of what it used to be … bridge games, ballroom dances, swirling stairwells, cocktails at four. It is waiting for a developer with a passion for restoring the past; however all the new apartment towers in the city suggest that they are not what most developers are dreaming for the new Yangon. There used to be a ‘no traditional dress’ rule which excluded the Burmese from entering the club, today Burmese children play together in the overgrown gardens … as we have all heard, times are changing in Yangon.

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Burma/Myanmar is one of the countries featured in my Edinburgh Fringe Show ‘Out On The World’. 16.15 at Opium Bar on the Cowgate 6 – 16 August 2016.

Come along if you are in Edinburgh.

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Information for travellers:

Visit the Pegu Club on Zagawar Street, off Pyay Road, near the Taw Win Centre, Yangon, Burma.
Entrance is free.

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I am writing a poem a day for April

Hello everyone,

April is National Poetry Month. Once again (for the third year in a row!) I am writing a poem a day for Tiferet Journal as part of their poemathon fundraiser.

*You might remember this and this from last year or this from my first year.*

A poem a day seems a lot, especially when you have a lot to do, but each time I commit I like the practice. I have found that a lot turns up in my writing by having to produce someone else will read at the end of day. It is also completely counter my tendency to write and then wait a long time to publish. It is a different rhythm and a good one. Things come up – both good and bad – then you can write about them.

This year I am enjoying writing about the changes in Yangon, as well as observing what comes up from my sub-concious. I hope to also explore some more performance poems, if I find the right inspiration.

You can read what I have been writing here and here I will also post poems to this site.

Also – very importantly – you can show your support to this creative month and give a few dollars to poetry by sponsoring me. Follow this link and click on the sponsor a poet button.

Lots of love,

Mandala

A lovely mandala which was shared as writing prompt. 

A Solemn Pleasure

Quotes from A Solemn Pleasure – Melissa Pritchard, taken from BrainPickings.

There are too many good quotes in this piece to know where to begin.

Here is my favourite:

We are in danger, I believe, of becoming accustomed to indifference, of being kept within writing workshops, conferences, and seminars where we write and read to a dwindling, closed circle of admirers.

Nearly resigned to this peripheral fate, we are then tempted to take ourselves too seriously as far as ego recognition goes, in terms of literary prizes, grants, and publications in journals, yet not seriously enough as essential witnesses to our time.flowers and footsteps

‘Rare wild-maned Kelpies come to harness the river’

Echo the great beasts that work among us unbridled in this kingdom between canal and firth, here to harness the river carry each weary traveller Bow down your strong heads to taste the water Stretch up your long necks to face the sun. Mighty twins of carnera, unbridled in this kingdom between canal and firth, surface to take the strain. Clydesdales of the Carron, rare wild-maned Kelpies come to harness the river, each weary traveller, celebrate their strength never forget a debt owed, echo the great beasts that work among us. Bow down your strong heads to taste the water, stretch up your long necks to the face the sun.Kelpie1 - Version 2

Jim Carruth

Visit the Kelpies in Falkirk, Scotland for more information see here: http://www.thehelix.co.uk

Read more stories from Scotland here:

Poem by Glasgow poet Edwim Morgan 

In Glasgow

New Poem: The Start of The Past

Hi everyone,

A new poem of mine is published in Liminality Poetry Journal. I wrote this piece about seven years ago when I visited Mexico. I was fascinated by Mayan temples, the life of Frida Kahlo and the names of the metro stations, all of which feature in the poem.

“Diego paints streaming skyscrapers which Frida
climbs to a mega-top.
Daring to look down she exclaims:
I know this view but it is… only you!”

MexicoDF.metro

I was happy to finally find a home for this piece. It gave me hope to keep persisting through the many rounds of submissions to find a home for  individual poems.

Each poem was worth the time and energy it took to write, so it is also worth the time and energy to find it a literary home.

Thanks for those at Liminality for accepting it to appear beside some other great poets.fr

You can read the poem here.

freida-kahlo-with-monkeys