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Pete Lawrence - 26 May 2017



Liv Torc is a Frome-based standup poet, wondermentalist, comedian who seeks the humanity and absurdity within the human condition and when she finds it, she strips it naked and kicks it... 

She was invited to write a poem during the Frome Campfire Conversation which rounded off the evening :

What if...  


We light little fires, 

At the centre of little circles

In the middle of little streets


Whisper our stories into the smoke 

until they fill our lungs 

and stain our hair


Until we smell of ash and ideas.


Cook local sausages 

over beeswax candles 

and lean back into the arms 

of beautiful smiles. 


What if...


We become constellations of culture 

Get Google maps to chart us 

like a new universe 

and trip advisor to rate the satisfaction 

of our hearths and hearts 


A roaring conflagration of voices 

Grassroots twitching between our toes.


What if...


we put down our bats

and stop playing ping pong with whispers 

set the ideas free 

crack them like greyhounds

detonate the damn and stand in front of the approaching tsunami 

wearing racing green wellingtons 

and a hat made from the Guardian


What if...


we start spending every Tuesday afternoon trying on other people's shoes

To see which ones are best for dancing

or digging 

or kicking 

or standing in line at food banks


catapult our bubbles 

into the dewy dawn, 

let them float over back gardens 

and brick walls, 

car parks and playgrounds, 

alleys and prisons, 

skyscrapers and dockyards. 


Watch them






Like the rainy season after a drought 


What if...


The 2% and the 98%, 

the 48% and the 52%... 


Our friends, parents, colleagues, neighbours, children...


You, me, the Prime Minister 

and the woman who works 

in the Coop...


What if.... 


we just try 


really try



to live together?



Sean Prentice

"You, me, the Prime Minister

and the woman who works

in the Coop..."

I think the 52% was actually more like 26% percent of the electorate...but I get where you're coming from, and I'm okay with you and the woman who works at the Co-op, she has a nice smile...but I can't live with the Prime Minister, I've tried it...but she steals all the cheese from the fridge while I'm out, never cleans the oven or buys toilet roll, and only ever does her own washing-up, and even then its only once a week. Other than that I suspect her of being a compulsive liar with psychopathic tendencies, honestly, she's the worst flatmate I've ever had...


Lou Mycroft

You made me laugh out loud Sean x


Kate Edgley

Me too! x


Ralph Pettingill

Look Sean, I hate to put this to you, but we have to build a world for absolutely everyone. I know it's hard to stomach, but in Norway they have a prison system that might help....


Sean Prentice

Yes, I agree, "absolutely everyone"...I think a large proportion of British people would require a eight-year stretch on that Norwegian island (possibly also including myself after fifty-years living in this dysfunctional society) so I am worried it isn't big enough (they could be transported to land mass on the other side of the world maybe, or has that been tried already?). What would it take to rehabilitate the likes of Theresa May, or Tony Blair. How long would that take?


Ralph Pettingill

Ha Ha! I like all your 'questions' and I'll assume they're not rhetorical..


Sean Prentice

I'd also ask what form the rehab would take?


Ralph Pettingill

RE. the Blair et al rehabilitation: I seriously think we can all potentially be rehabilitated ( a spot of 're-education' ?) but my angle is ' let's steer them away from the levers of power/ red buttons/ microphones/ TV cameras, say for.. the rest of their life, and let them get on with something of more practical use till their megalomaniac tendencies/ rug chewing habits have settled down quite a lot. A particular bug bear is when the likes of Blair/Mandelson etc etc pop up and, for absolutely no good reason, are invited to regurgitate on air yet again. So when I'm in charge, my rehabilitation regime will definitely ban that sort of carry-on.


Sean Prentice

Possibly they could be taught woodwork or some other handicraft...or possibly they should be required to face their victims one by one...


Lou Mycroft

I love your poem Liv and I'm intrigued by your use of the word constellations. I'm exploring 'constellations of practice' as a way of working, rather than via organisations. I appreciate how you used this word here.

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