World Poetry Day 2018

March 21st, 2018

Today is World Poetry Day – poetry is something that crops up in all cultures and spans the depths of time.

Here is what the United Nations have to say about it – this date was designated World Poetry Day in 1999 sadly I think I only really found out about it a few years ago, I think around a decade after I found out about National Poetry Day UK which is in the autumn. With the world seemingly becoming more divided here in Europe I feel that this day is one I should use to reflect on our place in the global ecology of all things – science, art, health, economy and the environment. After all we are all in the same boat staying a float for the moment, to steal some Gotye lyrics there. We are all ridding a pale blue dot, space ship Earth and we are all so closely related genetically to each other, to the animals and even the plants aren’t that different to us and yet there is endless diversity which makes our world all the more richer.

A couple of weeks ago when I hosted Gloucesters International Women’s Day event I made the point that the day was not just about us – it was about the world hence the international part of the name. I re-emphasised that we have the freedom to write and speak and share our poetry even when it is against our government or religion etc… many poets globally end up in prison for this – writers in general. My own inlays spent time in prison and exile during the Apartheid regime in South Africa in part for creating a newspaper!

For sharing words.

And others in more recent times have been put to death, or imprisoned or are living as asylum seekers due to something we in this country (UK) see as a bit “sissy”, I have met a few of these poets and it is heart breaking, and a powerful reminder of the freedoms we take for granted – I will not call them a privilege because I feel they are a base right that is being denied to others.

So for me I shall be thinking on these things and sharing poetry through out the day on Twitter and hope that in some small way I can change the world for the better with words – I have to at least try and that doesn’t mean that the words have to all be positive words, sometimes negatives are needed to highlight the problems or as a form of cultural and personal catharsis (something the ancient Greeks did very well with their Tragedy/Comedy mixes).

Twitter handles are @Saffy and @TheMonsterBlogs

The Man

March 12th, 2018

There is a man
And he has a wife
He loves her with his all
She saved him
Quelled the loneliness
That ate him from within

Together they made a home
And she grew him babies
So he wouldn’t be lonely
His family
He looks after them

But his soul hurts
And his heart is bruised
For his wife…
His beautiful, intelligent, talented wife

Keeps nearly dying
And all he can do is watch
As she battles on the hospital beds
Sickness cloaking her
Scrubbing her away

Almost it took
His little family
Before it had even properly begun

And when she can not be
Everything she knows she is
It brings a sadness
That all his hugs and kittens
Can not lift

Yet the moments between
When she is herself in fullness
When she is vibrant and keen
These he knows as the danger times

Sick for so long
She has no idea of her own limits
And she never did know when to quit

He wants to stop her play
She could be injured…
She could be killed

There have been too many ambulances
Too many x-rays and scans
And he is scared for her

One day she will kill herself
By being full of life
Or she will wither in pain and illness
On a bed craving those joys and freedoms
And he watches on – hurting and conflicted
Because if he actually was to stop her…

He would destroy her spirit
Something that should never be done

Secretly he hopes
Her art does not sell
He has built his home
His hopes around it
Pictures on the walls
Sock monsters in the kids beds
Manuscripts on the bookcases
So many there is no room for actual books
Musical instruments encroach on the living room
Lumpy knits are worn to unravelling
Mini-sculptures gather dust on the each and every shelf
Awards, certificates and medals placed with pride
Wood turned toys and hand made rugs

He lets her paint and stick and sew and build each room
In tacky shades of self
Even when it is not what he would have picked
Because one day…
One day…
All those things
Might be all he has left of her
And he knows the bleakness is still there
Just damned by her presence
Sometimes the thought makes him weep

International Womens Day 2018

March 5th, 2018

For International Women’s Day the Gloucester Poetry Society are putting on Raised Voices – with headline poets Tanya Feasey and Chloe Jacquet. Two very different but powerful poets ranging from humour to the deeply profound and sometimes both mixed together!

I will be hosting and Ada Lovelace The Puppet will also be there along with some… er…. poetry surprises :)

There is also an open mic at the end.

Info you need: Where – The Fountain Inn Gloucester
When – Thurs 8th March doors open at 7
How Much? – free entry

Felt Film and Cuddlies!

February 28th, 2018

Felt Shadows for the film of A Stranger dream

This is one of the felt back drops I made for the film of Love: A Stranger Dream. I really like working with felt as a craft material and have been pondering creating some stuffed Shadowing Souls.

Shadowing Souls are the little ghost things that lurk in the pictures within my visual poem. I made little polymer clay ones for the launch and have some events coming up over Halloween and Christmas so was thinking of making some little cuddly ones :)

Thunder Storm

February 21st, 2018

A petulant sky
Dark as a spoiled child told no
Boiling water heavy
Marring the summer sky
Building a prickly heat
Hurting the ears and eyes
Sledge hammer pressure
Blanketing populations
In sleeping aggression
Thunder head shifts
The clouds melt down
Sheets of water
Drowning the land
Choking the air
Lightening rents
Thunder booms
The storm has broken
In hunger
What will it consume?

Chris’s Song

February 14th, 2018

The bones of The City
Walked in his soul
The bone of The City
Walked in his soul

Discordian punk type
Illuminated with dark rave light
Illuminated with dark rave light
The bones of The City
Walked in his soul

Rapping in the jazz whole
The junk of funk
He could play
Marking out thoughts
In words on the stage
Cascade thoughts
Love and rage

Tell it like it is
And like it aint
Illuminated with dark rave light
Illuminated with dark rave light

His bones in this city lay

World Poetry Writing Month 2018

February 7th, 2018

Just a reminder that I am running a poem a day writing challenge over on the WoPoWriMo site, there is a Facebook Page and various other things to help and there are lots of new writing exercises and new guest poets appearing on the blog to help inspire you :)

Month of Poetry 2018

January 27th, 2018

I’ve been writing away – mainly using the beautiful origami papers I was given at Christmas as inspiration – the challenge is more than completed and I am very happy with some of the work I have produced. Now the tough bit begins – I have to type it all up and edit it all!

Once again this highlights for me how many notebooks with unedited or typed up poems I have lying around so I shall be attempting to do something about that over the coming year :)

Jan – What Am I Up To

January 21st, 2018

The last Saturday of Jan I will be at Overtown Farm in their lovely barn with all the poetry zines, visual poetry colouring books and the Gloucester Poetry Society’s first anthology Poetry Without Pretension.

Sat 3rd Feb I will be at the True Believers Comic Book Festival with all the books and zines.

Mon 5th Feb – Creative writing kids workshop at St Pauls Community Hub

Thurs 8th Feb – Creative writing kids workshop at St Pauls Community Hub

Sun 18th Feb I am co-hosting the Gloucester Waterstones Villanelles event with the Gloucester Poetry Society.

Sun 29th April I will be performing at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival’s Event Vinny Peculiar

Eulogy For the Arctic

January 14th, 2018

Pionist Ludovico Einaudi playing with the ice breaking up around him. This is so poetic and disturbing that I thought I had to share it.