Otis has officially jumped the pond! The following otises were produced during a creative writing workshop at the West Yorkshire playhouse in Leeds that was facilitated by the poet Winston Plowes. If you’re wondering why they all have a similar thematic resonance, it’s because Mr. Plowes innovated the rules a bit and had all his Otisi work from the image below and the following seed words. This is a perfectly wonderful way to approach the otis, especially for newcomers to the prompt, though we wouldn’t exactly condone it for more experienced practitioners.

down, walk, the, inside, all, blue, head, this, feet, I, of, hope

Down amongst the ocean’s bulrushes

we all walk. Gingerly

dodging the water furniture

safe inside our fancy suits

all is calm,


I head the queue of

this fearless clique of humanity.

Just 24 feet, 12 people.

I feel in an otherworldly state

of utter powerlessness

yet full of hope.

- Geoff


Going down is the easy bit.

Now try to walk.

The suit, seen from outside’s insectoid;

once inside you don’t care

what you look like, all of you

trapped in here, Ol’ blue eyes,

Is this SF mag’s cover art,

and in this precise moment my feet,

which I have so far ignored,

begin to itch; chance of relief –

None – No hope! No hope!

- Mike Palfrey


It is eerie down on the sea bed

Not a place for a Sunday afternoon walk

The darkness has a strange green/blue hue

Reflected from inside the suit

And all one can do

Is hope that the blue

Dominates the green as the walker’s head

Rotates within this massive helmet

Far from the feet that

I fear will slide

Off the edge of a deep trench

Into the depths of forlorn hope.

- Harry Venet

Down down down at the bottom of the sea

– a long way to go for a walk –

The suit is a monster

and I’m inside,

all I can see

is the blue-green light.

I can’t turn my head,

this worries me.

Feet won’t move.

I want to get out

of here.

I hope I do.

- Gail


Down among the dead men

I walk.

Looking for the chest

whose inside is crammed with gold.

All about me is the heavy water

A liquid blue.

My head feels about to burst

This is the last flailing

of my feet

I cannot stay. Going now means I can return full



- Joanna

Down, under God’s umbrella

I walk again, the first steps of my lifetime.

The pressure


is all I have to hold.

Through a blue voile

with a head for numbers

and this quest.

1,000 feet beneath,

you and I merge

the filterings of

hope together.

- Winston Plowes

Please send your own experiences and experiments with Otis to otis@otisnebula.com. We’d love to feature them in our next issue.


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The Heydeys writing group in Leeds, West Yorkshire