Brit Mums Poetry & Prose Round Up

BritMumslogoBrit Mums are a collective of lifestyle bloggers in Britain.  I recently became connected with their poetry and writing representative Maddy Bennett who runs a fantastic blog and writing forum called Writing Bubble.

Maddy recently called for poems associated with love to appear in the Brit Mums February Round Up and I am honored to find that I am one of those poets who have been showcased in the Round Up.  It means a great deal to me to find a connection with so many other poets, some of whom are mothers,  as well as having a poem shared.  In my case it was one of my own favourites, Backseat Driver.

Please do checkout the link to the Round Up and have a gander at a wealth of talented lady writers who really do write from the heart.

Anna x

 

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Poetry for Mother’s Day and Others

What do you get mum on Mothering Sunday?  To be honest mums rock and deserve treats all year round, but for the sake of tradition and all the high street gaudy, garish pink satin bows and disposable greetings cards with “mum you’re one in a million” (which should more truthfully read “…one in millions”) that you are bound to be buying in some form or other, we have to do the whole singing and dancing shebang on just one day a year.  Sorry mum.

A few years ago I became acquainted with the passionate independent publisher Candlestick Press, based in Nottingham who produce the most beautiful poetry pamphlets that are keepsakes to be read time and time again.  They are far from disposable and mean a great deal to the reader.  Like greeting cards, they come with their own envelope and a bookmark on which the sender can write their message and can be kept on the bookshelf forever.

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There are countless themes on offer, from pamphlets containing poems about chickens, poems about ghosts and poems about gardens to poems about revenge, poems about bedtime and of course, poems about mothers, entitled Ten Poems about Mothers.  The range is huge.  I can highly recommend these as perfect, meaningful and affordable gifts that say a great deal more than chocs and cut flowers any day.

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Happy Mother’s Day mamas.

Anna x

 

 


Eggs, Fudge and Arctic Roll

bands only pic

Photo from BBC and The Joiners

Eric is an intern, yes he’s doing this for free
headset wrapped around hot ears
counting all the crates of beers
ripped jeans show his puny knee.

Backstage riders take the piss
Clipboard says an item’s amiss
The schedule’s tight; he’s been up all night
Too late to get it to the concert site.

Budgets are exceeded; the helipad’s all booked
Dressing rooms are ready; just hope it’s overlooked
The promoter will go mad as the pressure takes its toll
‘Cos it’s a long way to the shop, if you want an Arctic Roll

Egos he will massage; these artists he must tame
Remind them they were unknown once and hungry for the fame
Eric likes those little bands, who will be big some day
They just eat fudge and humus and then get on and play.

But a taste for headline hunting always makes them grow
And soon they start to ask for stuff like “frozen H2O”?
Demands for herbal tea and room for meditation
“Give it to me now, or else it’s cancellation!”

“I want:

M&Ms but no brown ones
Skittles minus the purple ones
a large supply of surprise Kinder Eggs and
Playboy bunnies with really long legs…

counsellors, oxygen and a lovely lady doctor
(in case my hip joint seizes with my foot upon a monitor)
two bottles of Absinthe; some chewy Gummi Bears
jugs of mountain spring water to wash my grapes and pears…

air con, fluffy black towels and gentle ivory soaps
fifty thousand live bees and permission to slaughter white goats
Bottles of brown mustard that must be VERY tasty
a good supply of bacon and a tube of KY Jelly

Make sure you’ve got what I require
These songs should state what I desire:

a Big Cheese Burrito with a plate of Pork and Beans
then Pour Some Sugar On Me Peaches and Cream
Poundcake, Hot Dog, slice of American Pie
Chop Suey, Curry Bun; and don’t ask me why
Finish with more Peaches, a Cake and Sodomy
then slam me a Tequila, because it makes me happy.”

An extra side of barbeque ribs should help save Eric’s soul…

but

“It’s the wrong tray of pork chops!  Now just get me Arctic Roll!”


Real Fans #3

Thanks for checking out my previous photos of fans.  Sometimes capturing the spirit of the fans either in words on in pictures is just as interesting as gleaning the passion and dedication of the artists themselves.

I’ve got a few more photos to share at a later date, and I dare say, I won’t be able to resist taking a quick snap of some others in the near future!

fan on shouldersHave a great weekend everyone!

Long Live The Fans!

Anna x

 


Real Fans #2

dressed up fans sonisphere

Fashion at its height, Sonisphere 2014 – Photo Anna Ghislena


Real Fans #1

sonisphere kilts

Sonisphere 2014 – photo Anna Ghislena


Shall I compare thee to…?

WONKA

Music fans, readers of poetry, viewers of art – do you compare?

Making comparisons in every day life seems natural.  People compare themselves to others all the time: judging their own performance at work or socially; judging their own views against someone else’s; judging their own appearance in comparison with someone else’s; judging their child’s progress at school against that of the neighbour,  the list of comparable situations is endless.

Read about new or up and coming bands and you’ll find they are always compared to other artists in their genre.  Is this fair?

Copy and articles in the media compare bands and music artists to each other.  Captions in magazines introduce groups with the words “For fans of…”, or “Sounds like…”, and liken them to other artists.  This gives the listener an idea, but the suggestion will always be embodied in the listener’s mind.  Why should a band’s sound be twinned to someone else’s in order to be recognised?

There can be no denial that similarities can be identified.  Take Australian rock band Airbourne, notoriously likened to AC/DC .  Lots of the components are there including two brothers, copycat riffs and a lead singer who appears to model himself on a mix of Angus Young’s lead guitarist antics and Bon Scott’s loveable cheek, wit and raspy vocals.  But take away those saleable characteristics, put on to entertain the crowd, and it’s the music that is different.  They do have their own exciting sound, despite it being peppered with something familiar.  Examples of other bands in multiple genres could be dragged up for pages and pages to come, but every one of them is different on some level, it’s just discovering how the sound affects the ear on a personal  level and subsequently how it moves the listener.  Surely that’s what it takes to be a true fan?   I like Airbourne.  I like AC/DC.  I don’t like Airbourne because they have been likened to AC/DC.

Can poets be compared to each other?  Look at the current poetry and spoken word scene, huge and ever growing in popularity.  Many London poets have been witnessed ranting along in monotone modern London  dialect, a little bit street, a little bit middle class, sharing messages about political concern, personal opinion, dilemmas, glitches in our social systems and either make light of them or or target the audience with soapbox fury.  The familiar strain seems to be, who can shout the loudest?  Then again, all their words are valid and their work is listened to and applauded, because they cannot be compared.  Each one has something different to offer and listening hard, or reading close, will open minds and stimulate.  The beauty in each one can be identified as something unique.

Can authors be compared to each other?  Can painters or designers be compared?  Probably, but please try to ignore the comparisons dictated by someone else, it’s lazy.  In writing about bands for the last three or four years, I have been guilty of making a comparison or two myself.  I will do my best not to in future.

There will always be something in a style that stands apart in each group or individual.  That style will catch the eye if we want it to, regardless of any similarities marked alongside anyone else.

Long Live The Fans!

Anna xx


Sons of Icarus – Barfly, Camden

So while the kids are on a sleepover at a friends, I’m off for a little loud music therapy.

Freezing cold, wet Camden on a Saturday night – love it!

Warm, boozy Barfly – love it!

Upstairs, cramped space, low ceiling, PA buzzing – love it!

Earplugs in, Pepsi in hand (I’m such a rebel!), band are on! – Love it!

sons of icarus 2

Sons of Icarus, hard working young guys with a set full of chunky riffs, play to a happy crowd and show off their long awaited debut album.  This album, Beyond the Sun, has been in the pipeline for years.  Sons of Icarus first came onto my radar when they became the first ever competition winners of the Marshall Ultimate Band Contest back in 2010.  I then interviewed them after an intimate gig at the CroBar for Stereoboard in 2013 when they told me their album release was imminent!

Over two years on and they have just released it!  Obstacles get in the way all the time for these bands, but determination and hard work plus the will to achieve drives them along.  And you know what?  They are good!  The place isn’t exactly heaving.  These guys need a little recognition.  The album sounds great.  I’ve played it loud in the car already (yes, the kids needed stimulating after their “all nighter” at the friend’s house) and I shall be reviewing it soon, track for track.

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I can’t take my eyes off those silver boots

silver boots

I’ll let you into a little secret…TOPSHOP 😉

The moment I saw these beauties I thought of 1. Starman.  2. Noel Fielding.  3. Give them to me nowwwwww!  And then I thought of this – ENJOY!

I will wear them down the pub
I will shop in them at Sainsburys
I went to a book launch in them last week
I hoovered in them yesterday
I’ll ride the Northern Line tomorrow
Keep crossing my legs for effect
and tread the escalator stainless steel
Absorbing the stares that follow
The kids shall feel exposed
When I wear them at the school gates
and a gaggle of gossiping fishwives
bitching behind each other’s backs
will stare at my feet and wonder
who the hell does she think she is?
and then go home and Google
Starman, Noel Fielding, must haves
 


#RIP Heroes

So, happy new year everyone!  What a way to start.  The funeral of Motorhead’s Lemmy took place yesterday and David Bowie died.

I can’t quite believe I just wrote that.

DAVID BOWIE DIED.

“Don’t be too sad.” said my kid, shutting the car door.

“Don’t worry, I won’t.” I said, and returned from the school run this morning with tears rolling down my face, snot pouring from my nose, the roads, flooded by the rain.

I’m still leaking now, as I write.  I can’t bear to play the radio because it’s all Bowie stuff and I will only make this post short as I will probably short circuit my laptop if any more water gets in between the keys.

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THE HUNGER, David Bowie, 1983, (c) MGM/courtesy Everett Collection

I am so pleased to have grown up in my teens listening to and watching David Bowie.  He influenced my love for music.  I was fascinated by his ever-changing style and my friends and I were besotted by his screen performance in The Hunger, a film that we would watch over and over again, never tiring of his soft voice and exquisite looks.  Probably one of my most guilty Bowie pleasures was The Laughing Gnome, that my friend and I used to listen to back at her house on a school lunch break, and we would wonder, why did he do that one?  But it had us in stitches every time.

Lemmy’s passing, now that was a sad day too, but one that I had seen coming having read reports of ill health during 2014/15.  It is, however, a sign of time moving along, little bits of our present that, beyond our control are now past and I feel a little panic at this.

I saw Motorhead play a few times, loud and fast.  Too loud.  Very fast.  The last time I saw Lemmy in the flesh was at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards in 2013 when he received the Golden Gods award from Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, and Loaded bassist Duff McKagan.  I and all Lemmy’s fans can be comforted now knowing that they will be seeing him again soon in the forthcoming rock and roll movie (the loudest silent movie on earth) Gutterdammerung, due to be released at events this year.

lemmy

Thank you Bowie for giving me a love for music and creativity.

Thank you Lemmy for giving me tinnitus, I will cherish it forever 🙂

Long Live The Fans

xxx