I went to a Sensory Integration workshop this week. As part of the programme we took part in two activities. In the first, we had to put a hand into three different, covered bowls, and feel what was in there. The first held pine cones, the second held spaghetti hoops (yuk) and the third held flour. We were allowed to wash our hands immediately afterwards! The second activity was to try to unwrap a Starburst while wearing gardening gloves. It was funny and frustrating at the same time.
Both of these have left me thinking about how important the sense of touch is, and how we disregard it. I seem to spend a lot of time sliding a finger or thumb over a shiny screen, but our sense of touch is so much more than that.
Think of the difference between wearing a soft, well-washed t-shirt and a scratchy jumper. Think of the texture of your favourite mug. Think of pushing your hands into damp soil, or holding a bumpy skinned orange. Think of shaking hands, of hugging a friend, of patting a dog. Think of standing under a hot shower, or holding out a hand to catch a snowflake. We learn so much about the world through our sense of touch.
That’s what I want you to focus on tonight – the feel of things. Here’s a little excerpt from Seamus Heaney to inspire you:
“So I saw him
Down on his hands and knees beside the leek rig,
Touching, inspecting, separating one
Stalk from the other, gently pulling up
Everything not tapered, frail and leafless,
Pleased to feel each little weed-root break,
But rueful also…”
Think about the things you touch…
How does a cool glass feel on a hot summer’s day?
How about this seaweed?
Have you ever been licked by a cow?
Give us a poem that has texture, temperature, heft. Give us a poem that conjures up a smooth wooden handle or a crisp cotton sheet, a moist handshake or sand underfoot. Really explore the sense of touch.
Once you’ve written your poem, leave a comment here, and link it up to Mr Linky. Then take a stroll though some other blogs, read some poems, leave some comments. Mr Linky is open for a couple of days, so come back again if you have time.