The Christmas Party..

Seasons Greetings, Poetry Lovers

Nearly Christmas Eve, eh? Always the most exciting day really…. I’ve got strong childhood memories of Mum making these sausage rolls and a burnt Christmas cake. Of course I touched neither because they were vile, but the aroma of that magical night, and anticipation of Christmas day and what it promised…..

Well, we all have our childhood Christmas memories. Perhaps that’s why Christmas Day falls a bit flat in adulthood. We expect the magic of our childhood to reappear.

Anyway, this poem I dug out from The Book of a Thousand Poems for the Young and Very Young (1970) reflects the Christmas I always wanted to have …..

The Christmas Party

We’re going to have a party

And a lovely Christmas tea,

And flags and lighted candles

Upon the Christmas Tree!

And silver balls and lanterns,

Tied on with golden string,

Will hide among the branches

By little bells that ring.

And then there will be crackers

And caps and hats and toys,

A Christmas cake and presents

For all the girls and boys.

With dancing, games and laughter,

With music, songs and fun,

We’ll make our Christmas Party

A joy for everyone!

Adeline White

Wasn’t that fun? I’ve no idea what year that was written but it captures the joy of Christmas childhoods and the magic we all saw then.

A very happy Christmas, Poetry Lovers, I’ll be back real soon …….

Return of the Poetry Basket

Hello Poetry Lovers

Today we welcome back our poetry basket with another ripping review inside. Today it is Viral Odes, a collection of pandemic poetry by the prolific Sharron Green. A great and relevant collection – so keep reading….

Viral Odes by Sharron Green

This new and anticipated collection from prolific poet Sharron Green greets us with a stunning cover and image. Beautifully presented with the subtitle Pandemic Poems – a souvenir of a unique year. Well, it certainly has been and Sharron captures everything from this strange era from every emotion, to confronting the deep efffects and impact COVID has had on our lives. It’s a versatile collection that faces up to this unwelcome intruder.

Divided into three strong sections, Part One is The Longest Journey with pieces such as Addressing Fear, which borders on the sinister, to a Coronavirus Nursery Rhyme being very detailed and humorous. They Can’t Cancel Spring is defiantly and strongly worded, and there’s real poignancy in Missing Mum’s Day. Doug the Destroyer conveys the joy of a new arrival, yet it is not rosy, Sharron doesn’t spare us the upheaval! However, we read from the subtext that it is all worth it.

A Stoic’s View (a Rondeau), besides being a good strong piece, it emphasises the variations of the poet’s style and art.

Part Two – Beneath the Surface stays consistent and comes over in so many clever forms. The title poem is gritty, and The Farewell Thief is angry, painful and confrontational. Corona Stay In – an acrostic and meostitch is simply skilfull. I love the vivid sonnet The Death of Flowers, and Finding Myself is a great insight on a human situation. The humour of Poltergeist Heist shows us that you can smile in the face of COVID.

Part Three is A Tight Predicament carried along with visually beautiful images. My personal favourites are A Tight Predicament, It’s all about Face, (a clever duplex) and the wistful When we were More. The latter is very descriptive. An Unwelcome Guest – a strambotto that sums up 2020 in clear detail. The reader will love these varied forms and optimism, ending with the apt climax LIving with Death in the Garden, a clever version of a blue sonnet.

Don’t let Viral Odes get away, published by Ink Gladiators, it’s an amazing journey.

Visit Sharron Green on

Thank you, Sharron, that was a corker of a collection.

Thank you for tuning in, Poetry Lovers, our first Christmas together is looming. Seasons Greetings to you all

Face to Face…

Hello Poetry Lovers

Now I do believe Face to Face was a programme in the ‘60s with a velvet voiced John Freeman. I’ve only ever seen one where he talks to Tony Hancock.

Well, I think Mr Freeman would have approved of our own Face to Face session with the wonderful Sharron Green on Sunday. A super reading of entries from her Viral Odes competition on Instagram.

Such a high standard of poetry and an honour to read. Thank you for inviting me, Sharron. Do have a look below.

Viral Odes, a stunning new collection of pandemic poems by Sharron Green, is out now. Go to Sharon’s website and Instagram on rhymes_n_roses and get a copy now. Well worth it.

I wonder what John Freeman would have made of Instagram.

Poetry advent 17

Well, Poetry Lovers, the computer has really shut me out. This is all from my phone. It seems you can’t just go to PC World (Brentford) and buy an iPad thing. You have to order it.

I expected to come out that shop triumphantly holding a nice carrier bag full of expensive goods! I mean, call me old-fashioned!

So the poetry advent calendar has to be abandoned. My biggest project to date!

Meanwhile, here’s some more test cards..
I’ve put on some groovy music in the background…..

Sob! Bye bye Poetry Advent Calendar 2020. Like the rest of this year, you took a dive.

I’ll be back, PLs, as soon as I can sort something out!

Poetry Advent window 16

Hello Poetry Lovers

I have really been looking forward to this window. We have opened number 16 to Trainspotters by Greg Freeman. A neat and moving collection published by Indigo Dreams in 2015.

Tender pieces, such as in The 21.53 – an interaction between strangers on a train and the poignant A Job on the Railways, a moving account of the poet’s father. These very personal accounts are neither sentimental nor mawkish. The reader can also warm to the reminiscent The Clackety-Clack and the human situation of The Late Shift.

My personal favourite however is Dance On, so poignant, absurd and engulfing with its bitter-sweetness.

We’re awaiting that next collection, Greg.

Most of you will know Greg Freeman co-runs Write Out Loud Woking, now on Zoom. Do check out the site

There’s also a great interview with Greg on

Thanks for tuning in, Poetry Lovers. Tune in tomorrow for window 16……

Poetry Advent Calender – window 15

Hello Poetry Lovers

And what a lovely window we have today – Spools of Thread by Angi Holden, published by the now sadly defunct Mother’s Milk Books.

This kind of fell into my lap as much as I had to buy one of their books to enter their competition last year. I didn’t win but I got some fantastic feedback.

This is a neat and intimate collection with warmth, humour and tenderly crafted words. I Measure My Mother’s Love is one of my favourites, plus Christmas Day 1941. Full of unforgettable words on youth, mother’s, and relationships.

I can’t tell you to order it because they’re no longer there, but if it also falls into your lap, then hold onto it.

Thanks for looking in, PL’s. Tune in tomorrow for window 16 – same time, same channel….

Test Card

Hello Poetry Lovers

Computer absolutely shot. Lost my pictures, everything. So today, Instead of window 14, you’re getting a test card.

Many of us here will remember the excitement of a test card on TV – especially the little girl with a blackboard on BBC2. So I’m going to take you back down memory lane and give you a poetry one.

Dobby’s ideal mistress
The reality

Thank you for watching, Poetry Lovers. What you have to do is put some groovy music in the background and sit there and watch it for a few hours before a programme comes on…..

Luckily, I have window 15 in the draft section, so tune in tomorrow – same time, same channel

Poetry Advent Calender – window 13

Hello Poetry Lovers,

Welcome to window 13 –

And what can I say about this great collection called Boring The Arse Off Young People by the wonderful Martin Figura. Published by Nasty Little Press in 2010, this is the first poetry book I ever bought. And off the great man himself! At the Roundhouse

I suppose I’ve seen Martin Figura a few times now and he just gets better…. However, I never forget the very first time on a freezing November night upstairs at the Fox pub in Twickenham – now a restaurant!!

Despite being miserable about working a rugby match the next day, Martin and his ‘gang’, including the marvelous Luke Wright, opened my eyes to a whole new world of vibrant words and performance. Who would have thought I’d be penning these things myself six years later…?

So, Boring The Arse Off Young People is razor sharp, witty, so so poignant and clever. My favourite is (The Trouble With) Middle-aged People which incorporates the unforgettable title of the book.

Martin at the moment does wonderful Zoom poetry on the first Sunday of every month, called Live from The Butchery with wonderful readers. It’s on Facebook – so like their page now!

Well, PL’s, I hope you enjoyed that impartial mini-review. Tune in tomorrow, same time, same channel for more advent action! Thanks for stopping by…….

Poetry Advent Calender – window 12

Hello Poetry Lovers! Window 12!

Everything was wiped away from my laptop but we may just make it to the end…….

And what can I say about this poet? And Family Values?

When I saw Wendy Cope at The Richmond Literature Festival in 2016, poetry was a new door for me then and I’d only tentatively pushed it open.  After seeing Wendy, I went through that door and didn’t look back.

Wendy Cope’s work is endearing, deceptively gentle with an underlying steel grip.  I like that she writes about everyday things that are right under our noses, and makes such valid points. Her observations are sharp, witty and very British and though tending to be middle class, the poet takes a stand on this. A great example is my favourite Uncle Bill – poignant, sweet and sad.    

Get on the case now!

One of my favourites there. Tune in tomorrow for Advent Window 13 for something completely different!

Poetry Advent Calender – window 10

Hello Poetry Lovers, window 10!! Not bad going – eh? I had all sorts of technical problems yesterday but today we have opened the window to a beauty.

As you know, Patric Cunnane runs the wonderful DoDo Modern Poets above the King & Queen pub in the West End. I’ve known great afternoons of poetry there. So I jumped at the chance of buying Patric’s enigmatic The Ghost of Franz Kafka, published by Palewell Press in 2018. The distinctive style is disturbing, sharp, clever and humorous. I particularly love Keys, No More Superheroes and When You Hang a Poet.

However, one of my absolute favourite poems of all time is The Old Office. It reflects our offices of yesteryear with the reek of fags and fry-ups and being paid in a brown envelope. So many memories overwhelmed me that my eyes misted up. I was such a part of that structure once. An era that’s gone forever. Poignant to the point of painful.

Thank you for that, Patric, miss you and Peter so much. Let’s hope we get those afternoons back soon.

However, DoDo Poets do a great live webpage every month. Have a look, some good recordings of poets on there

Great window! Think I’m going to have to lie down after that!

I see Dobby’s just walked in, so I’d better sign off. Tune in same time, same place tomorrow.

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