Love in the Time of COVID-19: Working Apart but Creating Together.

By Sammie Venn Jeeni’s Official Writer, Columnist and Blogger.

Here at Jeeni.com we celebrate and support all musicians and performers, and poetry has its own dedicated channel for artists and performers to showcase their work and earn 100% of their sales, ticketing, merchandise and donations. Today, Jeeni has returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. If you want to see our pitch click HERE.

Today we showcase Sammie Venn as a very talented and creative writer.

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it” – H.E Luccock

Sammie says, “Creativity brings people together. Artists, poets, writers and musicians have been forced apart, to distance, to isolate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet collaboration has flourished. Adversity has brought us together to create in new and innovative ways. I have learnt over the years that it is not possible to be great at everything. Different skills that blend and morph with each other are key to an effective alliance. That’s where the magic happens.

I have forged a new partnership with a UK-based award winning sound designer to launch a series of poetry short films – I call them “Poetry Porn” – on YouTube as a prelude to publishing an anthology of work in the autumn. Joe Churchman and I have worked on various projects together over the years. She wrote and co-directed the multi-award winning short film “Gloop” and collaborated with Sir David Attenborough. Joe has worked with MC Saatchi and the BBC, her talents and eye for creativity know no bounds .

Where once we joined forces over the kitchen table, enjoying a glass of wine, we have been forced by the pandemic to find new ways of working together, including our latest venture. We both have a thirst for learning and a need to enthusiastically share and impart the wisdom we have gained. Creating during COVID-19 has been an exhilarating and challenging experience for us both, but one we have overcome and enjoyed with fervour and passion. Never before have Zoom, WhatsApp and the desire to teleport been at the forefront of our combined creativity. Despite the 50 plus miles between our respective homes the soul sister bond that we have nurtured over the years has never been lost.  

The verve for all things lyrical has surfaced again whilst working on the Poetry films. Having created a series of 100 poems, I am now in the editorial process: altering verses, changing words and making sure rhythm, beat and iambic pentameter all synchronise.

The work embodies the emotive journey of womanhood: traversing sorrow, despair, anger and liberation. The natural environment heals all woes and this journey is told through the changes in season. Death, loss, renewal and growth are all subjects covered within the poems and the films. Winter teaches us how to be patient, to rest, hibernate and prepare for growth. Autumn helps us to embrace the process of letting go. Spring is a period of regrowth and birth. Whilst Summer is our time to blossom and burst into the most vibrant versions of ourselves.

In the depths of winter combined with a broken heart, “Kiss the Tinder” was born. Poetry was and still is my solace, it helped me to rediscover compassion, serenity and hope. I was lucky enough to meet a fellow poet and songwriter via the writing community on Instagram a couple of years ago, Renée is from Texas, so we have only ever virtually met but he kindly agreed to record this poem. A true gift. I woke one morning to his dulcet tones in my inbox, and with a voice of liquid silk, he is the soundscape to this film.

This Poetry Short is therefore a true collaboration. Global restraints from continental distance to COVID-19 have not curbed our resourcefulness. The project has only just begun. This poem  was published in June in American Journal “The Starlight Emporium” along with a collection of my other work.

“Kiss the Tinder” by Sammie Venn

Kiss the tinder, fall in love with the ashes
The storm destroys the pain with lashes
Indigo shards, incandescent stains
Life blood flowing, ripped like veins.

Lightening shreds the Arial sky
It punches, spits and angrily cries
Glorifying the night with celestial screams
Mother Nature voices her savage dreams.

Dancing with Hope, thunder follows alongside,
For now, there is nowhere in the world to hide.
Like a love-lorn couple, they rampantly combust
Tears of anguish wash away rage and lust.

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Published by Jeeni

I am a founding director of Jeeni. Jeeni is an online platform for independent musicians and performers. Jeeni is for everyone and anyone creative: musicians, voice-artists, performers, poets, singer-songwriters ... hey, the list is endless. We aim to connect, collaborate, share and support each other, while we have fun and make a real difference.

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