Shoes of Glass

Hello, PL’s. Yes, it’s time for another magic poem by the lovely and talented Trisha Broomfield.

Shoes of Glass blew me away, and I really want to share Trisha’s poem with you. Thank you for that, Trisha. I hope I’ve done it justice.

Shoes of Glass

The dress was gold

split to the thigh

plunging to the navel,

on her feet

shoes of glass

in the back of the cab

she sat smirking,

smoothed on red lips,

at the party

all eyes would be on her

she paid and tipped from a

glitter purse

her six inch heels spiked

the steps,

red fingernail on the bell,

she allowed a tilted smile

all eyes would be on her

in the hall mirror, grooming

her reflection

she touched her hair

and turned

to join the party,

guests gazed

all eyes on her,

then the perfumed crowd

gasping, parted

revealing her host, wearing

a dress of gold split to

the thigh

plunging to the navel,

on his feet,

shoes of glass.

The drre

Isn’t that a wonderful piece?! So much detail and anticipation.

Thank you so much, Trisha. We look forward to another very soon.

Okay, Poetry Lovers, next post will be a hot interview with the stunning poet, Ray Pool. So get your tickets booked for the talk show now!

The BBC begged me to record it in their top studio but I laughed in their face(s), and will be holding it in my mate’s shed as usual. I’ve just got to get those lights set up!

Tune in, same time, same channel…..

Memory Corner!

Yes, Poetry Lover’s, we’ve returned to our precious corner.

This time I want to go back to 5th March 2019 to a magical evening in Cranleigh, Surrey.

This was an amazing night of poetry organised by the lovely Donall and Janice AKA Dempsey & Windle. Set in the stunning Cranleigh Arts Centre, and filled with performers of the same standard.

Donall and Janice above in action. The third image is some poet or other. Looks shifty, if you ask me!

I read from my new pamphlet (at the time). There were featured readers like me, then there was open-mic. A wonderful atmosphere that uncovered so much talent.

An extraordinarily impressive group here. From left is Ian McLachlan, (who brought the house down), wonderful clever Belinda Singleton, the vibrant Donall, Moi, site favourite Trisha Broomfield, and the unique Ray Poole. Thank you for that night, Demspey & Windle, and for the memories.

Wasn’t that fun?! I hope these memories bring us faith that these iconic poetry readings will take place again soon. We’ll make nice new memories some day……….

Thanks for tuning in, see you soon, same time, same channel………

Lockdown poem…..

Hello, PL’s.

Now you know me by now. I always resist contemporary issues, even when they’re looking at me in the face! Always leaning towards nostalgic poetry.

However, I couldn’t resist posting Sharron Green’s two great poems. So descriptive, observational, and beautifully put. Thank you Sharron.

Lockdown Days

Lockdown meant plans were suspended

Countless hopes and dreams upended

Videos and cartoons trended

Some offended! Some offended!

Pretty soon the days all blended

Walls were painted, gardens tended

Many things were made or mended

Neighbours friended! Neighbours friended!

Sharron Green @rhymes_n_roses

It’s all about Face

Not long ago our faces could be bare

And we could enter shops without a care

Now entrances to shops instruct ‘take care’

And bare-faced patrons are subject to glares

So staff admonish customers with glares

(Although they’re mask exempt when stacking wares)

Some claim they have forgot, are unawares

But there’s the chance to stock up on spares

For different outfits now I keep some spares

(A tip would be to buy mask-maker shares)

It’s best to keep masks clean and avoid shares

In order to suppress all Covid scares

It’s only since the dawn of Covid scares

Not long ago our faces could be bare

Sharron Green rhymes_n_roses

Find out more about Sharron on her lovely website

http://www.rhymesnroses.com

Weren’t they just great?! Dobby and I really loved hearing those. Thank you, Sharron.

Tune in same time, same channel for another Memory Corner (I think….)

Interview!!

The wonderful and engimatic poet, Rodney Wood is joining us today.

Applause – Crowd go mad – security is called (again)

Rodney elegantly descends the lighted stairs

Now, settle down, Poetry Lovers! Let’s let our guest take his seat

Cool hat, Rodney! I think this is the hat – is it not? It certainly has a story to tell!

Every hat tells a story, Heather. I particularly like this one as it goes with my tie dye vest

Oh Rodney, you are so cool ! Tie dye is the way to go! How long did you stand at that sink to get such a strong shade of pink? Isn’t he the most, everybody?!

pandemonium

Now calm down, Poetry Lovers, because I’m chomping at the bit to ask Rodney his first question – How did poetry become a part of your life?

In my very late 20’s, I spent a week with the poet lorryeate of Milton Keynes, Bill Billing, at Open University Summer School. He introduced me to poetry (and much else) and encouraged me to “just write”.

I was able to thank him a few years later by putting him on the stage with his hero, Ivor Cutler, in Aldershot and by buying him some SAS wings. From that stage I continued to write bad poems.

Fabulous, Rodney! How I’d love to interview those guys too! You’ve certainly come a long way, and so modest!

Now which poets influenced you the most?

Elizabeth Bishop, Raymond Carver, Ken Smith and Matthew Sweeney. I fell in love with them and read everything they’d ever written. When I had the chance to meet Ken and Matthew (who was writer in residence at nearby Farnham. He invited me to a reading once but didn’t tell me the audience would be made up of sixth form schoolgirls) they were both so kind and generous that I just wanted to become part of that world.

I had much to learn so paid weekly visits to the Poetry Library, went on Arvon courses, was one of the founder members of the OU Poets and put on about a dozen poetry readings.

Rodney! That is so impressive! An inspiring example of what we do for our passion and art.

spontaneous applause

And what a CV! Tell us about your pamphlet Dante called you Beatrice, published by Red Ceiling Press. How did you come to write it?

I’d read so many books with dedications to a significant other and I thought well why not write all the love poems to and for that person. Found the title by the way from a book by Paul Potts, not the opera singing one.

Geoffrey Pimlott told me how he’d been a landscape watercolourist but when he saw how computers could generate the same result, he had to do something different. I invented a new form that was short, based on repetition and mucked around with the structure.

The last thing to fall in place was the cover. I’d seen the Cuban artist’s work while I was on holiday and emailed him (Raul Cordero) to say how much I enjoyed his exhibition. A few years later, I emailed him again and asked if I could use one specific painting. He replied that I could use any one of his paintings I wanted. That generosity again.

Todd Swift, of Eyewear Publishing, called it a lovely little book and gave me much needed confidence. “When did you start getting good” he said.

Love it, Rodney! What a story! And that was praise indeed!

Now, can you elaborate on starting Write Out Loud Woking with the wonderful Greg Freeman?

For various reasons (one of them to do with my leather hat), Greg and I wanted an open-mic in Woking where people could just read their poems in a relaxed, non-competitive environment. We also both had a passion for poetry and liked each other’s poems. After perhaps too much prompting from me, Greg found a venue at Send (bit out the way) and later The Lightbox in the centre of Woking, where a few great writers from London also came to enjoy the vibe, Matthew, Tom and Heather.

We’re zooming across the universe now. We enjoy the events so much and at every reading are struck by the varieties and types of poems on offer. In fact, no poem is better than any other.

I was, and still am, the Stanza rep for Woking at this time and it was a good fit as I believe that reading out loud is the final stage of editing a poem.

Well, I’m blushing here, Rodney, I tell you. I treasure those nights at Woking. Loved Send too. Magical nights at both.

So, what was your best poetry gig, and what was your worst?

The worst was at the Poetry Cafe in London. I was really giving the poems some welly and then looked at the organizer who was busy writing and chatting to a neighbour. Why bother? I thought.

The best reading was at the LRB Bookshop where there was an attentive audience and I was trying to see what my poems looked like when signed. I’m half deaf as well. A magical experience like laughing along with Ivor Cutler.

Tsk! That’s happened to me too. It’s a really deflating experience.

I would love to have known Ivor Cutler. He sounded a great talent.

Rodney, thank you so much for sharing such unique, enthralling and inspiring stories. Hasn’t he been wonderful, Poetry Lovers?!

standing ovation, security look nervous

Now Rodney, you’ve got to come up the Talk of the Town tonight. Lovelace Watkins and Peter Gordeno are having a frilled shirt contest. You’ve gotta be there! Greg’s going!

They never let me in, Heather. I think it’s my hats!

Well! If your hats aren’t good enough for them………I’m just going up Send with Cliff and The Shadows then! Greg can tell me who won. Coming, Rodney?

The Shads and I drank Send dry last night, Heather.

Tonight it’s feet up, watching Z Cars.

What?? I bloody love Z Cars! That’s it! They’re getting the old heave-ho!

Thank you so much for coming in, Rodney, and allowing me to interview you.

Huge huge applause as Rodney is smuggled out the building

Wasn’t that great, everybody?! Tune in, same time, same channel for more poetry antics. Bye bye

Click the following link for more information on Write Out Loud http://writeoutloud.net

Worth looking up, it did so much for me !

Memory Corner…..

Yes, PL’s, we’ve returned to Memory Corner!

I want to take you back to September 2019, at the Devonshire Nature Reserve in Forest Hill. A very special event took place – the Slipoff Festival. Superbly organised by my dear friend and hero, Barney Ashton-Bullock – I mean, what a guy!

Not only is Barney a very talented poet, composer and performer, he organised a day of poetry and musical splendour in this beautiful nature reserve.

I was awed at how much talent I was spending 22nd September with. To name but a few – gifted Warren Cazpa (from left), the amazing Chip Morgan, and the unique Barbara Brownskirt. I have previously swooned over the first two poets, but Barbara was a brand new experience, so I went weak at her presence too. Such a lovely and funny comedian and poet. I hope to catch her again soon.

There was endless talent that day – Dino and the Diamonds, Angus Strachan, Mark Chamberlain, Jeremy Reed, Lady Poe, Brudini, Michael Dench, Hannah Lowe …… and many other beautiful people. Paradise!

On the subject of weak-kneed shenanigans, my lovely hero, Peter Straker took the stage. With that wonderful and golden voice, he completely engulfed us. A fantastic performance, Peter.

As for me, I was honoured to perform alongside the magical Lucy Lyrical. She brought the house down with her clever lyrics, while I tried to match up with my poems.

I drove home drained and elated.

Thank you for that unforgettable and unique experience, Barney.

Sorry, just swooned again!

Anyway, thank you sharing this memory with me. Be back shortly, same time, same channel…….

Poem……

Hello Poetry Lovers,

We have a beautiful poem today by the lovely and clever Trisha Broomfield called Waiting.

This will stir up memories in a lot of us – we have all been on that bus, we have all got ready for a date just after breakfast – we have all shared this urgency……well, read on.

Thank you for stirring and reviving this bittersweet chord, Trisha.

Waiting

Two hours, hair straightening,

strands curling, eye painting,

borrowed lipstick, pink on pink

then the shoes, borrowed

those too,

sequined dress, never worn

waiting for tonight,

waiting for you

this time, my reflection

tells me,

you will not be able to wait.

Cloaked in fake fur,

mottled legs beneath fake tan

toes peeping,

silver polish once chipped,

twice repainted,

I catch the bus

longing for a cigarette, longing

for you.

The lights of the pub glow

show life inside,

I know, you will not be able

to wait.

You blow smoke sideways,

order the first of many

notice nothing.

My lipstick wears off, time

wears on

sequins lose their lustre

you hurry me back to your flat

unable to wait.

Trisha B

Thank you so much, Trisha.

Wasn’t that just wonderful and poignant?! Tune in same time, same channel for more poetry delights.

Interview!!

Rapturous applause

Hello again, Poetry Lovers. There, there! Settle down now! Tonight we are lucky to have the talented and amazing poet Greg Freeman as our guest, who will be talking to us.

crowd go mad. Back-up arrives

Now, come on, folks. Lets sit back down and welcome our lovely guest Greg Freeman!!

Deafening applause as Greg descends the lighted stairs.

Greg, welcome. So glad you could come tonight. And what a lovely frilled shirt! Wouldn’t we die for one of those, ladies and gentlemen!

Pandamonium

Hmm… I’m not too sure! The frills flap about a bit. But they say they’re the way to go……

On a guy like you Greg, any trend can work….

spontaneous applause from the audience

The host signals for quiet – the audience meekly obeys and our guest looks apprehensive Host leans forward and places her angle lamp so it shines soley on our guest…..

Yes, Greg. You should be afraid……It’s down to brass tacks now.

Tell me when poetry became a part of your life……..

Well, Heather, for two years between the ages of 16 and 18 – the years 1969 – 1971 – I wrote bad poetry furiously, inspired principally by and in imitation of the Mersey poets, Adrian Henri, Roger McGough, and Brian Patten. I didn’t write any more poetry until 2004, when we were asked to come up with something in a creative writing class, and that way of stringing words together and seeing what happened came back to me. I wrote a poem full of longing and nostalgia for the north of England, where I’d lived for 5 years in the late 70’s – early ’80s. Poetry has been a big part of my life ever since that day, in that creative writing class in New Haw library.

Fascinating, Greg. ’69 to ’71 – bloody good years, them! And those wonderful Mersey boys, so strong!

Which contemporary poets do you admire?

I really rate Matthew Paul – and that’s not just because he’s a regular reader at Write Out Loud Woking, and said some very nice things about our open-mic nights in your last interview! Matthew and I come from very much the same neck of the woods, and attended schools in Kingston across the road from each other – at different times, I hasten to add. His poetry is witty, crafted, and humane, and hopefully once he gets a second collection out many more people will start taking him very seriously as a poet of stature. Other than Matthew, I admire far too many other poets to list individually. It wouldn’t be right to single others out.

Oh, Matthew’s wonderful, isn’t he. Get that second collection out now, Matthew!

Tell us about founding the prolific website Write Out Loud

I must put you straight there, Heather. Starting up Write Out Loud wasn’t down to me at all, but two chaps in Bolton around 2003 – Julian Jordon and Dave Morgan. Originally it was just a round-robin email listing where local open-mics were being held, but it was developed into a website – first the Gig Guide, sadly in abeyance at the moment because of Covid. Then came news, reviews, and the blogs, where anyone can post a poem, and others comment on it. A number of open-mic nights were launched in the north-west region that bore the name Write Out Loud…first Bolton, then Wigan, Stockport, Middleton, Marsden, and finally Woking, down in Surrey.

I joined the site in late 2009, just posting poems to begin with, and found it a welcoming community of poets. But at some point I must have let it slip that I was a journalist, and in 2011 I began doing news items for the site, when I was still working as a newspaper sub-editor. I took redundancy from the paper in 2012, and began working for Write Out Loud ‘full-time’, as it were, writing news stories and reviews, taking pictures, you name it. All unpaid, of course!

Julian remains the man in overall charge of the website, which is now a Community Interest Company, or CIC. We look on ourselves as a poetry hub, disseminating information, encouraging poetry in all its forms. Right now, we are just finishing staging a big competition called Beyond the Storm in aid of NHS Charities, for which we had over 2,300 entries. According to our stats, we get around 25,000 visitors to the site each month.

Well, I thank fate for that amazing website, as that was how we met. I mistakenly posted an event for Poetry at the Adelaide for 3 evenings the same week!

Thankfully, you contacted me about it, then you came along to the Adelaide and …… well, the rest is history.

Now, you’ve had a pamphlet published by Indigo Dreams called Trainspotters. A stunning and very personal collection. My own favourite is Dance On. What is yours?

Do you know, I believe that Dance On is my favourite too. It was intended to be a short story, and became a poem instead. It came first in an annual local poetry competition run by Kingston University, in 2007. My only such success!

In the competition anthology it said: “The poem demonstrates how culture provides disguises that can be dangerous to our own individuality, yet the superbly balanced poignancy and humour allow readers to recognise such absurdity and laugh at it.” Is that how you saw it, Heather?

I did! I related to that bitter-sweet tale, and its poignancy engulfed me. Beautiful piece. That’s great! I didn’t know it was a winner too!

Spontaneious applause

Tell us the best poetry gig you’ve done so far – then the worst!

I think my best and worst gigs were one and the same – on the concourse at Kidderminster railway station, home of the Severn Valley heritage railway, as part of the Worcestershire literature festival. A group of us were billed as the Steam Poets, reading poems about railways throughout the day. Unfortunately only one chap had bought a festival ticket to listen to us, and he grew increasingly browned off as many of my poetry comrades – not obsessive railway enthusiasts like myself – quickly ran out of steam, as it were, and of train poems, and were reduced to recycling ones they had performed earlier in the session. I, on the other hand, had an inexhaustable supply. Then one of our number, a resourceful chap, Bert Flitcroft, had the idea of rounding up coachloads of pensioners who had arrived to catch a train, and persuaded them to sit and listen to us while they waited to get on board. At last we had a proper audience. The day was accompanied by whistles blowing, smoke, and the letting off of much steam. It was a marvelous place to read poetry, and as far as I know, was never repeated. The sort of poetry event that would have been closed down by Beeching.

Love it, Greg. Great story! I can see several potential poems about that day! And they look an impressive lot!

You and Rodney Wood seem to have a great rapport co-hosting Write Out Loud Woking. How did you two meet?

Rodney may not remember this, but we first encountered each other at the open-mic nights at The Boileroom in Guildford, which preceded Janice and Donall’s monthly poetry events. Pre-2010, certainly. I was immediately struck and was very impressed by the size of Rodney’s hat.

Subsequently we were regular open-micers in Guildford with Donall and Janice at the Bar Des Arts before Rodney took over the reins at Woking Stanza group. For a long time I had wanted to see an open-mic night in my home town in Woking. But it was an equally long time before it dawned on me that if I wanted to see it happen……Thanks to Rodney’s determined prompting, the two of us finally got it up and running, first for two years at the New Inn at Send, and since then at the Lightbox art gallery in Woking. Until lockdown, that is. Right now we’re Zooming!

Fantastic, Greg. You’ve come a long way from admiring that hat! Yes, I remember going to the New Inn for the first time. Early 2018, I think. What a remarkable story!

spontaneous applause followed by a standing ovation

Great interview, Greg. Thank you so much. Now, are you up for the discotheque later? Paper Lace and Candlewick Green had a real set-to last week, the Police had to be called! It was brilliant!

Actually, Heather, the last time I went there, I got mobbed! They mistook me for Bobby Crush!

Well, I warned you about that hairstyle and velvet jacket! Stop reading that Style column in The Guardian!

Goodnight, poetry lovers!

Audience go mad, Greg has to be smuggled out the building

To find out more about Write Out Loud click

https://www.writeoutloud.net/public/index.php

Wasn’t that a wonderful interview?! Stay tuned for more poetry antics soon!!

Hawkwind in a Frock….

Well, the clever poet, Trisha Broomfield has done it again. Another great poem, this time about an unforgettable era.

Now, Hawkwind. Didn’t people shake their heads to their music? Instead of dancing, they’d threw their head of hair around like Billy-O?! I mean, didn’t it hurt? Any thoughts on this, please write in.

Anyway, be blown away by this lovely, touching piece –

Hawkwind in a Frock

He invited her to a concert,

what to wear?

Night long, the sound of the Singer,

the slip, slide of material,

tension fraught, her foot on the treadle.

He called for her,

she noting his sneakers and jeans,

self-conscious, blushed,

pulled her deep purple maxi-coat

to cover the floaty floor length frock.

He parked the Austin under safe street lighting

hurried her to the hall.

The audience, beads, flared jeans, sat

cross-legged on bare boards,

she pulled at buttons to hide.

Hawkwind warped the walls,

strobed the ceiling, stunned the crowd.

Her high-heeled strappy shoes

squashed her toes.

In the dark she shrugged off her coat.

He shone blue eyes into hers and,

‘You look like a princess’, he mouthed

Trisha Broomfield 2020

What really resonated with me with this stunning piece, besides Silver Machine being one of the best records of all time, was the purple maxi coat. I remember having a beautiful one.

So, stay tuned, poetry lovers, we have another interview coming up with the wonderful Greg Freeman! So get your seats booked! Going to be fascinating.

Same place, same time, same channel!

Poetry Basket Review!!

Dobby! Whatever are you doing in the Poetry Basket?! Bring it over here straight away!

Grr! Asleep on duty!!

That’s better!

We’re looking at the Poetry Basket today because there’s a rather special poetry review in it! By, if I say so myself, a rather special poet. Yes! I’m in the Basket myself! Sharron Green has give my pamphlet ‘Bunty I Miss You’ a cracking review! Thank you for that, Sharron.

So flip over to Poetry Basket Reviews and prepared to be blown away!

Memory Corner!!

Here I am, about to return to Memory Corner. This time we go back to 1st December 2019 for Poetry at the Adelaide. A great evening of events.

That night, not only did we have the wonderful French Lessons playing, (see Anne Warrington on your right, the amazing founder of Poetry Performance) but we also had two incredible Lucy’s as guests:

The very talented Lucy Lyrical bowled us over with clever and witty songs.

I swooned over Ms Lyrical when I saw her at Soho Poets in 2018! Once I told Anne about Lucy, we nabbed her as soon as we could! Lucy is also a prolific writer, and her novel Three Women is a fantastic read!

One of the joys about this wonderful world of poetry is that you constantly get to know new and gifted people, and Lucy Gaster was one of them!

Lucy accompanied Lucy (Lyrical) on the cello and the rapport of the two artistes was quite tangible. Making it a vibrant and memorable night.

This was alongside a night of beautiful poetry, natch!

That evening seems so long ago, due to this bizarre switching off of life. Let’s hope the lights will go back on again soon, and we see the return of the Lucy’s!

Happy memories.

Whoops! How did this gatecrasher get in here?! Honestly, some poets are just ruthless!

Stay tuned for more poetry shenanigans!

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