Tag Archives: poetry

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.

candlestick-press-logo

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.

poems about mothers pic

Happy Mother’s Day mamas.

Anna x

 

 


The Cucumber Plot

cc-cucumber1

I have a large knife in my hand
and I’m not afraid
to skin this mother
to sliver away at the
stiff upper lip of a
toughened epidermis
banish wrinkles, dents and prickly bits
and behold it
cleansed, stripped, unveiled

If you ask me again
I will plainly chop
the thing in two
while I wonder what I could be

This repast, the fourth of the day
mentally diarised between
broken blinds and fresh air
changing light bulbs and toilet bleach
interrupted by
pencil shavings
polka dancing
a stubbed toe for you and an ice pack for me…
will be ready when it’s ready

If you ask me again
I might lose my thread
while I wonder what I am

Where was I?
The uses of a cucumber
Well, it’s staggering
With a whole one
brought to room temperature
there’s no guilty sniff of an affair
grate it for tzatziki
slice it into Pimms
twist a piece to garnish
baton lengths to dip
pickle in a jar or two
refresh tired eyes
pack on shine
pack on an allergic reaction
like mine

This repast, the fourth of the day
mentally diarised between
identity cravings and learning to share
bathroom scum lines and out of reach
interrupted by
dead batteries
sing-along-songs
a melody for you, a harmony for me…
will be ready, when its ready

I have a large knife in my hand
and I’m not afraid
to dice this mother
expose jellied innards
vital organs
seeds of life
while I wonder what I was

And when you’re ready
I’ll see waves of laundry
finally dry up
breakfast and supper
mute on Sunday
the last marmite stain
wiped from the wall
that secret bogie stash cemented
to your bedroom shelf
I’ll post off to your house
cucumber cool
with a note that says, touché


Write Out Loud

I have recently joined the online writing platform, Write Out Loud and wondered if any of you, my friends, were already using this most excellent avenue for displaying and sharing your writing?

If you have not heard of this before, I would love to recommend joining.  It’s free and it takes no time at all to become a member, develop your profile and create your WoL blog space which can be read by all members, share comments etc, just like your own WordPress or other blog.

Write Out Loud describes itself as a national hub for participation in poetry, encouraging everyone who writes poetry to share their words with others in friendly, welcoming open-floor read-around, open-mic events and on-line on the site.  They support individual poets, poetry organisations and groups across the country, via a monthly newsletter and the website.

They champion performance poetry by providing a way in which poets can talk and listen to each other.  They explain that their approach has captured imaginations and enthusiasm of many people through both the website and events. The site gets over two million hits a month.  So, definitely worth joining!

Let me know if you are already there or if you plan to become a member.  I’d love to know.

Anna x

http://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/annaghislenahttp://

http://www.writeoutloud.net/public/background.php:/


Time for…

Time has truly been skipping by, all caught up in the “live for the moment” ethos.   It has been waving cheerily at me at every turn and I’ve been waving back with the notion that every day is special, wondering what it might bring and if it’s not much, then I’ll make it one to remember or worthwhile at any rate!

This notion is targeted at my young family and not on the notebook consciously stuffed, with good intentions, into the bag that accompanies me everywhere.

I’ve been to a few gigs over the last three months, Black Spiders, The Darkness, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Foo Fighters.  The occasional three or four hours away from the fam keeps me sane and cements my belief that I am still me.

Then, 1, 2, 3 *click* and you’re back in the room, from whereon time gallops into varying, spectacular juggling acts which involve the zillions of little things that every working mum has the pleasure of performing with on a daily basis.  Reviewing gigs or crafting a poem, falls far behind on the all important Things To Do list.

That’s life I suppose and whilst I pile a few ideas, week by week into the bubbling creative writing cauldron of good intention, in the hope that I may have a new poem ready for National Poetry Day on 8th October,  I thought I’d do the easy thing and share a few photos of some of the gigs I’ve been along to.

So, wave cheerily at time, as it passes you by every day – live in the moment, have a little song, have a little dance, love a lot and don’t put too much on the Things To Do list!

black spiders MK

Black Spiders at The Crauford Arms, Milton Keynes at the end of May 2015

This stoner rock band play hard but they just seemed so physically tired that night.  I wanted to go give them all a hug and a nice cup of tea at the end of the set.  I did give them a copy of my poetry pamphlet “The Will To Gig” though, in the hope that it’s title would cement their faith in what they do.  Not sure if it’s still on the Black Spider coffee table.

 If not, #FUBS #ETSL

(F**K You Black Spiders / Eat Thunder Shit Lightening) – (Their words not mine)

darkness dingwallsJustin at Dingwalls

The Darkness at Dingwalls, Camden, June 2015

What an amazing treat this was.  Launching the new album “Last of Our Kind”, The Darkness, complete with new drummer Rufus Taylor, son of Queen’s Roger Taylor, played a truly intimate gig in the low ceilinged sweat box by the canal at Camden Lock.  Determined to get a better view, my gig buddy and I slunk into the shadows by the side of the stage, hence the dominating presence of the guitar tech in both photos.  We really shouldn’t have been standing there at all and security didn’t make any attempt to move us along until, glammed up and gorgeous though we were, it became obvious that we were nothing whatsoever to do with the special guests in whose “zone” we had ambushed.  But Roger didn’t seem to have noticed us particularly despite us standing right behind him as he scrutinized every beat his drummer son played – yes, picture proof  below of the ledge that is Roger Taylor!!

roger

Next up was:

frank carter

Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, The Horn, St Albans – June 2015

I was a bit scared of Frank Carter when I first saw him sing with punk rock band Gallows at Download Festival a few years back.  He was a menacing little wiry young man, a bundle of taught aggression and as nimble as a feather weight boxer.  Then he left Gallows and formed Pure Love which saw him conquer a more pop rock sound and admit that “I’m so sick of singing about hate” on the song Bury My Bones.

Pure Love dissolved and now Frank is back in punk with Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and a new album, called Blossom.  They played The Horn, my local music bar and I thought, c’mon Frank, you have got me interested now, scare me some more.  So, I bought my ticket and witnessed the best gig I have been to of the year so far.

With his mum sitting at the back of the venue overlooking a sea of sweaty heads, Frank played with passion and displayed fire and menace mixed with deepest sincerity and compassion.  On the shoulders of the punters he spider man scuttled across the low ceiling to the bar where I was standing and stood above me, tears pouring from his eyes as he sang about his losses and loves – and blimey, hasn’t he got little feet!

Love you Frank.  You still scare me but I would ask you round for tea and cake any day.  Oh, and bring your mum.

John Cooper Clarke

Dr John Cooper Clarke, The Alban Arena, June 2015

Ok, so I have to admit I have never seen John Cooper Clarke, ageing punk poet extraordinaire.  The audience was a modest size, I was expecting more, but the die-hard fans who had come proved themselves, knowing nearly every word to most of his poems.

I loved the way he took the piss out of himself constantly, the skinniest man I have seen for a long time in this world of fat fighting hugeness, calling himself a “fat fuck” constantly.  He also promoted the possibility of him being on the verge of senility, forgetting his stage times, getting a little flustered occasionally and then admitting to the audience that there were three good things about dementia:

1. You can hide your own Easter eggs.

2.  (sorry, I can’t remember what number two was – looks like I’ve gone that way already!)

 3.  You can hide your own Easter Eggs

Lastly:

foos

The Foo Fighters, Milton Keynes Bowl, September 2015

Well, I decided to stand a little way back this time as I had bagged a comfy spot on elevated ground in bright golden rays.  In hindsight though, I would have gone right into the crowd for some body heat as elevated means flippin’ freezing on an Autumnal evening when the sun has gone down.  Now known as the Break A Leg Tour, Dave Grohl performed the entire set from his bespoke designed mobility scooter. I can only think that it must be the most frustrating way to perform a heavy rock show – on your bottom.  It was a stunning show with support from Brighton duo Royal Blood who played many of the songs from their debut self titled album, and from Iggy Pop, who, at the same age as my own father, skipped continuously about the stage, long blonde hair flowing out behind him, leathery torso as lean as ever – he never changes.  Now I wanna be your dog.  Go Iggy!  Don’t stop!


Joolz

joolz

I found this book at the weekend,  “Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know” by cult performance poet and writer, Joolz.  I was prompted to hunt around my storage boxes for this when I recently heard her being interviewed for Stand Up And Spit by poet and radio presenter Laurie Bolger.

I’ve seen Joolz perform, watching in awe of her striking stage presence; a lioness, High Priestess, a woman.

Although her work depicted life far from the world I knew back then, set against the harsh backdrop of poorer towns in North England, whereas I was growing up in the comfortable Home Counties, I was transfixed by her controlled delivery and deeply impressed by the raw and hard hitting stories in her poetry.  So impressed was I back then, that on the day of the school Variety Show I took it into my head to stand up on stage, in front of every pupil and teacher, and perform two of Joolz’ poems that I knew off by heart, dressed in a red ball gown in honour of my favourite poet (well, I wasn’t allowed to dye my hair red).  Joolz’ poetry is written in the style that I connect with best, plain speaking, no nonsense, no frills.  So, I expected that everyone in the hall would understand every word of every line. I knew I was taking a big risk, and when I had finished reading you should have seen the faces before me, jaws were almost dropping and for a moment, I wondered if I had launched myself into the chasm of social suicide. However, the applause that followed was uncertain but it grew and grew until I had finally trotted off into the wings.

Joolz now writes under the name, Joolz Denby and has published books of fiction and further poetry which she takes all over the world.  “Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know” is still available via the New Model Army band website.  My copy will stay firmly on my bookshelf.


The Will To Gig on Soundcloud


Backseat Driver on Soundcloud

Thanks for listening 🙂 xx


Piss Might Fly

Previously written for a friend heading to Sonisphere Festival 2014, this versatile poem instantly becomes a bespoke ditty for anyone heading to any music festival.  Just replace the name in the first verse with that of your own or a friend and subsequently the “she” to “he” if applicable and change the title of the festival to the one you are lucky enough to get time off work for and Bingo!  The verses are yours!

A nice pint of refreshing beer

A nice pint of refreshing beer

Kitty went to Glasto

to see her favourite bands.

She spied a flying pint of beer

which sprayed her hair and hands.

It was no beer, this was clear,

but toxic waste and human,

a frothy bevvie, she did fear,

brewed by a desperate fan.

The crowd then parted like the waves,

and Kitty gained some extra space.

She couldn’t damn that reckless man,

he’d really made the perfect land!

The stage was clear and in her sight;

now she needn’t push or fight.

Thanks to the fan who’d relieved his gear

(At least it wasn’t from his rear!)


Secondhand Merchandise on Soundcloud

Finally had some recordings done – hope you enjoy.  Feel free to comment.  Thanks for listening.

Anna x