Poetry Demons

Hello Poetry Lovers

Now, during this heat and the long days of August, instead of feeling sorry for myself as usual, I have been writing daily August poetry prompts and I have really been enjoying them.

I thought I’d share one of them with you, this particular prompt My Demons Write Poetry gave me the chance to sketch some imps. For some reason, I’ve always wanted to draw them. Anyway, read on…..

My Demons write poetry

while I sit here drinking coffee. 

I offer to help but they seem

to have the task in hand.  

How do they know what to put?!

How did they get that Pandora’s

Box key?!

The one that unlocks feelings, 

memories and emotions?! 

It seems to be their real forte,

and they have no intention of

returning it.  

Nor the pencil, paper nor iPad.  

They walk in uninvited, 

make themselves at home.  

I’ve seen a lot worse houseguests,

they’re polite enough, so I really 

shouldn’t complain. 

They text me when they’ve finished

and to expect them the next day. 

H Moulson 2022

I had great fun writing that one. They’re quite nice demons really. Like monsters, not all of them are nasty.

Thanks for reading, PL’s and please keep cool in this heat. We’ll be back with more poetry action real soon…

Villanelle Recipe

Hello Poetry Lovers

We return today to that thorn in the side poetry form – the Villanelle.

The lovely Poetry Performance regular and genius poet, Connaire Kensit has unfolded this enigmatic structure with a wonderful and concise villanelle. Do read on;

Whatever will be, will be.

Or will it?

We all agree that nature has fixed laws;

It seems our fate’s set solid, hard as ice

If we assume that all things have a cause.

The sardine can’t escape the dolphin’s jaws;

Predictions of eclipses are precise;

We all agree that nature has fixed laws.

Uncertainty will rarely win applause;

Mere chance events seem somehow not quite nice.

But why assume that all things have a cause?

We know our understanding has its flaws;

Errors have snared us more than once or twice;

But all agree that nature has fixed laws.

Confirmed determinists will clutch at straws;

Einstein felt sure God wouldn’t play at dice.

But why assume that all things have a cause?

All long-lived ladies face the menopause,

But weather forecasts can be imprecise.

We all agree that nature has fixed laws,

But why assume that all things have a cause?

Wasn’t that just a beautiful piece?! I think we should all write a villanelle after Connaire’s inspiration. I’m getting my head down now!

Thanks for tuning, PL’s. We’ll be back with more poetry action real soon…..

Interview

Hello Poetry Lovers

Welcome back to the talk show studio

(rapturous applause – host silences them with a stern look)

Today’s special guest is the wonderful poet and real talent, Sharon Andrews.

(Pandemonium- Security stir uneasily)

Now settle down, everyone. We want a nice dignified round of applause now for Sharon Andrews…!!

(Sharon wafts gracefully down the lighted staircase to loud clapping and joy from the audience)

Sharon, welcome to the show and thank you for being our guest tonight.

The pleasure’s all mine, Heather. Thank you for inviting me

I adore your thick false eyelashes. Very Dusty Springfield! Goes great with your leather mini skirt.

Ah thank you. Picked it up in Chelsea Girl this afternoon. I think I’ve got stuck to your seat though…

Well, only a cool lady like yourself can pull that one off – and er – lets hope you do. (Huge applause and agreement from the audience)

Now, settle down everyone while we concentrate on our guest.

So Sharon, I swooned over you on Instagram, fill us in a bit on your background.

I live in West Sussex with husband, Paul and our pup Einstein. Between us, we have three children who have all flown the nest.

I work in administration for my local fire service.

Einstein looks such a cute dog. I think Dobby is jealous!

When did poetry become a part of your life?

Poetry has been part of my life since childhood. I started reading at a young age and my first poetry was When we were young and Now we are six by AA Milne.

I started writing in primary school but became more passionate a writer during my moody teen years.

Beautiful books to grow up on. Only the best. Those teen years were long, weren’t they.

Who or what have been your biggest influences?

Music has always been a big influence. I adore the lyrics of artists like Justin Currie and Passenger.

Oh, fantastic choices there. A lot better than mine.

Tell us what you are working on next….

I am slowly starting to write a novel. It’s a modern tale about relationships and pets. It’s probably going to take a long time as my writing time is limited.

Fabulous, we’ll look forward to that (audience cheer in full agreement)

That is a fascinating subject. My cat is a big part of my life so that must be very absorbing to go into. Please keep us updated.

Now (audience gasp) for the ultimate question; What was the best gig you’ve ever done – and the worst ?

I’ll do the worst one first, which was an open mic I attended at my local library. Nobody told me you had to register so having plucked up the courage, I never got to perform.

The best ones I do are on Instagram Live with my poetry friends across the globe.

Yes, they are indeed very good, and really worth tuning into. You read beautiful poetry on there.

Give it a try everyone – inksomnia_poetry on Instagram. Highly recommended.

Tell us what you’re doing later tonight, disco? nightclub? Somewhere groovy, I expect.

Erm – actually, Heather, I’m going to try and get out of this very clingy leather skirt. And one of my false eyelashes is coming loose, so I think it’s home for me…

Well, thank you for coming on the show, Sharon. It’s been a delight

(hearty applause from the audience that turns into a standing ovation)

(Our guest climbs awkwardly back up the lighted stairs)

Wasn’t Sharon an absolute joy?! Do seek out this talented poet, you really won’t be disappointed.

The book below is Sharon’s latest collection, full of wonderful and clever haiku, do treat yourselves. Available from this link;

A soul full of haiku https://amzn.eu/d/iNqZoHF

Thanks for coming to the talk show studio, PL’s. We’ll be back with more poetry adventures soon…..

My Favourite Things

Hello Poetry Lovers

I thought I’d write about my favourite subject this week – Me. Or rather the things I like.

The wonderful poet Miriam Otto gave this great prompt to list the things we love. This is what I came up with —

Ten of my Favourite Things

Coffee – the first sip of the morning

Wine – the first sip of the evening

My black cat and her velvet paws

Sketching – everybody and everything

Writing poetry in my scruffy Columbo notebook 

My friends – I cherish them all 

Plays and theatres – I can dress up

Photographs – Instagram has been a lifeline

My adult children – I forgive them for ditching the toys! 

My dollshouses – I’ve learnt so much about interior design

Gratitudes – see above 

Heather Moulson 2022

Wasn’t that a great prompt?! Do look out for Miriam and her new collection Wildfire and Magic out now. Miriam is on Instagram as @miriamo77

Thanks for tuning in, PL’s We’ll be back with a cool interview very soon….

Poetry Basket Review

Hello Poetry Lovers

Welcome back to the Poetry Basket Review. We have a stunning collection in our basket today.

Riveted by Graham Buchan’s impressive new collection The Pleasure of Firing Back, I gave it a golden review. Please do read and really consider buying this very strong book of poems.

The Pleasure of Firing Back
by Graham Buchan

Graham Buchan has an impressive background, and this is his fifth collection of poetry, published for the third time with Lapwing Publications. Dedicated to the memory of his father, with wistful, poignant words at the beginning of this powerful collection. These words set us in the right mood.

For those not familiar with this poet, do look at his YouTube channel for some impressive readings. The link is below.

So, our journey begins, tenderness intertwined with the horrors of war and disturbing images. However, by the time we are drawn into these, we do not want to go back. We get deeply involved very quickly.

Such as the powerful opening of the short stanza Father. The central figure of this collection. The words an old-age orphan are bitter ones, and hard to swallow. An unwelcome status. A strong first piece to embrace the fresh reader.

Pints is endearing and sordid, with the title of the book resounding. Blood red, disturbing, and the awareness that the poet will not be gentle with us. Memoire of an Optimist gives us the full-on horrors of war, tender words threaded with bloodshed. The poet draws you in nicely and horrifically, chilling us to the bone.

Stadium is a real historical human situation, and Yard is so vivid that we too feel the urgency to hide slayings from children. A sickening feeling. We share man’s inhumanity to man, the starkness that human beings are so cruel to each other.

Impressive prose pieces such as Imbros, and The Torturer and his Love for Beethoven really emphasise this point. The latter having such gruesome brutality riding alongside a passion for Beethoven. As we’re taken through the elements that define him, we witness the narrator accepting his fate.

Number is valid and horrific with the tyranny of Stalin in the Ukraine. I really love the listed details, and how these atrocities are recurring. The Stories That Don’t Get Told voices the details of families lost forever which we should indeed be told about. Very absorbing.

Personal favourite We Found…. A love story that didn’t last, and lessons learnt. Adored this piece. The End is sordid and yet it isn’t. The graphic words make us flinch but we wouldn’t dream of stopping reading.

Howard and Miriam jumped out at me, and was enthralling. Toot-Toot, Beep-Beep is threaded so intricately that we are absorbed. This collection is hard and bumpy journey but one where we wouldn’t look back.

Review by H. Moulson 21st July 2022

Thanks for reading, PL’s and do treat yourselves to this extraordinary collection. Available from Graham Buchan himself. Catch him reading live real soon. I also recommend viewing Mr Buchan on YouTube for some impressive readings…..

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX_kDVClx9RpB3ALD0I3inQ?view_as=subscriber

Mirror Issue

Hello Poetry Lovers

Today I thought we should have some mirror action. Mirrors are so intriguing to draw and write about. They are infinite and mysterious. So for fun, I’ve penned a couple of pieces.

One’s reflection in the mirror is:
Hopeful in the morning


Dodgy in the afternoon
Past caring in the evening
Avoided at night

Skeltonic Verse

Mirror mirror on the wall

Look at the dust in this hall

How will get my kids to school?! 

Mirror mirror on the door

My husband went off with a whore

My new boyfriend is an awful bore

Mirror mirror by the shed

Why is he no good in bed? 

When he sleeps, I hope he’s dead

Mirror mirror on the ceiling

Why am I so devoid of feeling?

Sexual antics are not healing

Mirror mirror by the sink

I look haggard, do you think?

I really need a good stiff drink 

Mirror mirror by the stairs

I’ve met someone who cares! 

Blankly your reflection stares

Mirror mirror you really should

Tell me why I feel this good

Sadly you’re only made of wood 


Wasn’t that just fun?! Please put any mirror inspired poems on a postcard, and I’ll do more mirror sketches.

Thanks for tuning in, PL’s. Next issue we have a marvellous Poetry Basket Review. Don’t touch that dial!!!

Interview

Hello Poetry Lovers

Thanks for joining us today as we have the wonderful and talented poet Hannah Stanislaus

(audience applauds ecstatically – host bangs a ruler on the desk) (There is silence)

Okay, gang, lets give a big hand for Hannah Stanislaus

(Standing ovation – security cut short their fag break and head on back inside)

Hello Hannah, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Now you have burst vibrantly on the poetry scene, and your work has been brilliant and tireless, so tell us a bit about your background…

Pleasure, Heather. I grew up in Tooting and my Mum was a single parent to all three of us. I have one sister and one brother.

I had a decent childhood and adult life, then at 27 I became a mum to my beautiful daughter, Lucy.

I have had ups and downs like everyone else, and in 2017, I became homeless after leaving my daughter’s dad. I had to start life all over again and here I am.

You’ve had a hard journey, Hannah, and one that’s now paid off.

When did poetry become a part of your life?

Wow! What a question! I wrote my first poem on 6th June 2020. The reason I remember that is because it was the day I gave up drugs. Six months previously I gave up alcohol.

Oh Hannah, how wonderful you remember your first poem being written. Even more wonderful is you gave up the things that hurt you. That’s really admirable.

Yes, and I started writing but I went for a career in politics. In May 2021, I was elected as a local Councillor into the same borough I walked in to homeless 4 years previously. I did 5 months and was bullied out of the role by the party I represented and in December 2021, I attended my first ever open mic night and I have not looked back!

That is so impressive, Hannah. You would have certainly got my vote.

I hear this about politics, the knives do come out. That’s rotten but they unwittingly steered you to a stronger medium. And I am so glad you went on that open mic…

.(audience shout up ’here! here!’)

Who are your biggest influences?

Wow, so many I can mention. You have Lemn Sissay and Maya Angelou who are like my poetry Gods. Their work is divine!

On the scene, there are many more, too many to name, but I love listening to and reading poetry.

There is no right or wrong, no good or bad. Every poet writes from their heart and head.

Photo by Hannah Stanislaus 2022

(Round of applause from the audience) That was so well said, Hannah. And you have a beautiful picture of Lemn there. I’m so envious of you sitting down with your hero. What a moment that must have been.

Now, tell us how your new collection Extremely Aggressive Uneducated & Rough came about.

I went to Paper Tiger Poetry at the Teahouse Theatre in Vauxhall, I performed there and in February of this year, I was invited to publish a book.

My publisher had said ”Who wants to do a book?” and I said “ME” and he said ”Okay”. I thought he was joking!

I signed a 5 year book deal with William Cornelius Harris, London Poetry Books and I took two months to choose the 30 poems in the debut anthology.

The title was brought about because someone on Facebook said that I was ’extremely aggressive’, ’uneducated’ and her husband said I was ’rough’. I thought what a bloody good book title! There you go!

What an extraordinary story! I don’t know what to feel about these ignorant people who called you those names because as you say, they inspired that amazing book title.

That’s very impressive about being published, you have been in the poetry world for such a short time. Yet, you’ve produced this stunning collection. You’ve really gone for it, and you’re an inspiration to us all. (Audience cheers)

Okay, we come to the ultimate question’ What is your best poetry gig so far, and then the worst?

No No No! What a question! Best gig is every time I get on stage and one person applauds!

Worst one was an open mic, which shall remain nameless, I was sitting around for 2 hours and then told to recite my poetry over music and there was no audience!! I never returned!

That’s because you were too good for them, Hannah. Absolutely their loss! And I thoroughly agree on the former.

So I believe you’re performing at the High Tide Festival in Twickenham on Sunday 17th July. Don’t miss this, everyone. A stunning and unique poet. Bless you for coming in and talking to us, Hannah.

To purchase Extremely Aggressive, Uneducated & Rough, go to http://www.londonpoets.com or purchase a copy from the lovely poet personally at the High Tide Festival. Look forward to seeing you all there.

Wasn’t Hannah just fabulous, PL’s?! A fascinating and insightful guest that you could talk to all day. Keep a lookout for this extraordinary poet.

Thanks for tuning in, Poetry Lovers, we’ll be back with more poetry action real soon…..

The Vowel Affair

Hello Poetry Lovers

What can I say?! Whatever has our hero Luke Wright ignited here?! And how fortunate I am to know such talented poets.

Wimping out after attempting an A vowel only poem, my contemporaries have gone from strength to strength, taking on vowel pieces and building up such intriguing and alluring poetry.

I think it’s best to feature one poet at a time to ease you gently into this fascinating world. So we’ll start with Trisha Broomfield’s amazing work, taking on the letter E. Do read, they’re exquisite;

Leeds Lee meets Essex Elle

Leeds Lee meets Essex Elle, pretty knees,

‘Hey Squeeze. check these keks!’

Essex Elle, breezy, Lee’s effete.

Lee pecks Elle’s neck, wetly

‘Hey, jerk!’

Lee, ‘Trek? Tent, trees?’

Elle, ‘Where? Jet? E-Type? Speed?’

Lee, ‘Bet debts, tents, pegs, trees, scenery?’

Elle treks, tent, freezes. Trees, vetch, sneeze, wheeze.

Leeds Lee meets Ely Eve, pretty cheeks,

‘Hey squeeze! Check these keks!’

Let me peck your pretty cheek.’

Eve, ‘Jerk! Wet!’

Leeds Lee

depressed

Leeds Lee meets Doll Dobbs (Hoxton)

‘Hey sweet cheeks, check these keks.

Doll’ ‘Wow!’ Wot job?’ Dosh?’

Lee, ‘Er, vet, bet debts. Beer?.’

Doll, ‘Pot of oolong, good for spots.’

Lee, ‘Eccles? Cheese? Even celery.’

Doll, ‘Hot pot, cod.

Lee, ‘Ok, excellent.’ Lee chews, chews, ‘Eel?!’

Doll, ‘Good for colon.’

Lee, ‘EEK!’

Moon.

Lee, empty, pecks her neck tenderly,

‘Pretty neck, pretty chest, pretty…’

Doll, ‘Oy! Not bot!’

Doll socks Lee, hops off.

@magentapink22

Do you know, like all of us, I have a soft spot for Leeds Lee. I hope he finds fulfilment soon – as well as a decent meal.

Thank you so much, Trisha for those wonderful pieces. You are so prolific.

Thanks for tuning in, PL’s. We’ll back with more poetry action real soon….

A Night Out with Robert Garnham

I know! What ravers we are! One social engagement after another. Especially with talented poets!

We adore the Guildford Fringe Festival, so much more civilised than that overwhelming Edinburgh one. So much so, that last night we went to see the prolific and wonderful Robert Garnham upstairs at The Keep. A beautiful venue opposite the castle.

Trisha Broomfield, Sharron Green, Carla Scarano and I have all swooned over Robert at Woking, and we’ve been staunch fans ever since. His poetry so witty and enticing with real human stories. Last night was no exception.

Drawing us in with Seaside Serenade full of amazing details and humour, Robert told us he chose poetry because of his soaring fear of success. Then treating us to a nostalgic moment concerning tinned mackerel fillets, Robert launched into Sideburns, and how they held him at back at school. Such hilarious and poignant moments.

This poet gave us gentle yet brutal and undeniable truths. Recalling a former deceased auntie, and the question of is it really worth living?! Then performing a personal favourite of mine – Planning My Funeral. This humorous piece echoes my sentiments entirely. Can’t stand all this wear something colourful business – sombre black and grim all the way. Well said, Robert.

Keeping us in fits about his poet residency on a fish factory ship cum trawler, among other great poems, we loved Homecoming. And stories of Stinky Pete and the poetry workshop in the fish gutting room. We stayed with the poet on that boat and waved (!) through it.

That profound question that we ask ourselves came up; why are they called fishcakes when we know fish can’t actually bake cakes?! I think this is very relevant indeed, and the issue should be addressed!

Robert Garnham gives us much more than clever words, he presents a way of life. And tenderness, Nathan Who Went For a Walk in the Rain was performed so poignantly. An important person in the poet’s life, and we found ourselves walking with him.

Alighting this life changing boat, Robert gave us the wonderful classic Shackalakaboomboom. We all went home reciting this immortal expression. An hour of joy had already passed. Do catch Robert at Edinburgh if you’re there, for a unique and uplifting hour. You may never be the same again!

The vibrant Robert Garnham is at the Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh, part of the pbh Edinburgh Free Fringe from the 14th August to the 21st at 8.15. Don’t miss him. https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/robert-garnham-yay

Thanks for tuning in, Poetry Lovers. We’ll be back with more poetry treats real soon…

Vowel Challenge

Hello Poetry Lovers

So after our wonderful night out with the irresistible John Cooper Clarke and the alluring Luke Wright, some of us put our heads together to write poems using only one vowel.

This was inspired by Luke Wright performing Ron’s Knock Off Shop – using only the O vowel.

We’ve had some marvellous and clever ones, and I know first hand what a labour of love these pieces are. That didn’t stop these three poets coming up trumps.

So the first piece is by the inspiring and clever poet Anne Warrington, who is only using the i vowel. Love this, do read on;

Sighing Micky

Mick is in cynic mind

His child is drinking mild pints with Will whilst

Kid Billy lights cigs in Rick’s dinghy

Mick lifts his fists in fright,

Biting his lip, he sighs

He lights a cig.

A Warrington 23.06.2022

Marvellous, isn’t it. Some rules broken there, but you know what….?! What else are rules for if not to be broken?!

The next is from the superb poet Trisha Broomfield who witnessed the great Luke at work alongside me. Another terrific piece, do read….

Anna handstands grandly

flat hat

falls, pants sandy,

Art plays ball

Anna, pants handbag, starts lawn darts

Art farts, gas, nasty

says, ‘slag’,

Anna , savvy tart, drags fag smartly

lays flat

hazy days

calls Art, ‘Carry?’

Art, fast car, says’ Walk lazy cat,’

Anna sprawls, splays arms

crawls,

‘crazy lady,’ Art says,

‘Car? Carry?’ Anna calls

Art starts fast car, jam jar, ‘Class act Anna,’

gaming palls.’

And buggers off.

Trisha Broomfield 23.06.22

Beautiful, isn’t it. The breaking of rules only enhances these pieces and quite right, after penning all those lovely lines.

Now we come to the lovely Sharon Andrews, who we also challenged to write one. Needless to say, Sharon came up trumps;

Angsty Ann was adamant

Cats always sway

Pray all day at an altar

Adam’s banana hat

May alarm an alpha

Sparks flash, a party!

Madam shall crawl away

S H Andrews June 2022

Another wonderful piece. Now mine is a damp squib compared to all those beauties, but humour me anyway;

Pass a fag, gal
Damn, what an ass
That haphazard happy day
Adamant grass was hard as glass
Ann always wash hands haphazardly
handstands apply!

H Moulson 23.06.22

I know, I had to get fag in there somewhere. This is a great innovative form, do get scribbling now… Thank you so much, Luke Wright.

There, I’ve done some glamorous sketches of us all.

Thanks for tuning in, PL’s. Back with more poetry adventures real soon….

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