Thursday, 28 February 2013

For the Welsh in general and my wonderful Welsh friends in particular

It seems it is all too easy these days for the Welsh to become the punchline to cheap shots by lazy comedians. So I wanted to celebrate my Welsh friends. Here's a little poem for them.


Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus
A celebration of my friends who are Welsh on their special day.
Here’s to the celtic children;
the blessed of Dewi Sant.
Singers of songs and
weavers of harmony.
For those born with a kiss of
poetry in their souls and
dragon fire
in their bellies.
For the hookers and flankers,
the ones that cheer them on.
For those who rage with Thomas
And those still sad he’s gone.
Wearer of leek and daffodil,
alchemists of word and art.
This poem is my love spoon.
Place it close to your heart.

Monday, 25 February 2013

A week is a long time in Poetry

Some weeks feel ordinary but some weeks seem to last a lot longer than seven days because you packed so much into them. It is the unexpected little twists and turns that I now have time to explore that is making life so rewarding as a full-time poet.

Last Monday morning I woke up with that lovely glow you get from a great gig the night before. Allographic in Cambridge is a wonderful monthly poetic oasis meticulously run by fab poet, publisher, promoter and prorammer, Fay Roberts. This was the latest leg of the Rhythm Method tour with the Antipoet and it was a great night with strong performances from support poets Leanne Moden and Patrick Widdess. The Antipoet and I did our thing and the crowd loved it so a great night was had by all. A few pennies covered the petrol and a few book sales meant there could be jamon the scrape of dripping this week. The glow however was not to last.

My habit is to wake up to radio 4's "Today" programme which because of industrial action by journalists was missing and replaced by other programmes. This just didn't seem right and had me feeling off kilter all day. On the drive into the office (a mere ten minutes) the idea of a poem began to form and by the time I got there, a little octet of lines had more or less arranged themselves into a little poem. I was so pleased, I almost called it a day right there and then (I'm freelance;  I can do that if I want to!)

I blogged it (see the post below) and it got a nice reception on Facebook too. Encouraged by this,  I sent it in to Radio 4's Feedback programme who really liked it, called me, recorded it and put it on the show. My debut on Radio 4 and I had no idea on Monday morning that by the end of the week I'd be broadcast there. All thanks to the power the of being cheeky and trying to make doors open rather than wait for someone to open them for you.

In other news, I spent the weekend mainly singing with a small choral group called Heart & Music. A group of a dozen or so singers get together to stage fund-raising concerts for churches and charities. The group are lovely and we have fun rehearsing and doing the concerts and as part of the programme, I perform a short poetry set and if I sell any merchandise, I make a contribution to the charity. Part of my mission is to take poetry to new audinence and this has been a wonderful platform for me. We staged 2 concerts this weekend and the reception to the programme as a whole and my set of poems was terriffic. Many are yet to experience Performance Poetry and it is wonderfully rewarding to see the penny dropping and people really warm to it as you perform. The applause was great and I sold quite a few books and I've had to reorder as my first print run has almost run out.

We raised over £1000 for the respective charities and really enjoyed ourselves so you can't ask for more than that. I can't wait to see what this week will bring! Here's a poem written for my friends in Heart & Music

Keep writin' and recitin'


PS: I also heard I have a poem in the soon to be published Volume 3 of Best of Mancheter Poetry :)

Friends in High Places
Many don’t or won’t believe
thinking my poetic licence
has stretched truth too far this time
but my friends turn angel when they sing
Voices that hug and caress
soothe and bless
until the world dissolves
to a feather-down bliss
Each note a kiss
of such tenderness
they reach  the ears
like a lover’s whisper
You’d pass them in the street or
meet them at work
and never guess their gift
their voices can lift
launch, take flight
each intricate part
so seamlessly woven
in choral art
that moments stall
lose their way
but stop to rest
in perfect suspended chords

Some say they won’t believe
unless they see their wings
You need to close your eyes to see
but my friends turn angel when they sing

Monday, 18 February 2013

No Radio 4, no point.

The world was rocked this morning as Radio 4's "Today" programme was not on air due to a strike by journalists over proposed job cuts. I respect and support their right to strike but the day seems out of kilter without the right programme and voices to welcome you in the morning. It inspired this poem.

Keep writin' and recitin'


Radio Forlorn

There was no “Today” today.
I’m told there’s a “Today” tomorrow.
But the absence of “Today” today
Has filled me with anguish and sorrow.
I think tomorrow, I’ll record “Today”.
So if the next day they’re on strike.
I can play yesterday’s “Today” today
And then again, whenever I like.