I would like to start by thanking all the people at the Acoustic Festival for a good time last weekend. I have to say the highlight of the weekend for me was watching Robin & Bina Williamson on the Saturday afternoon. They were simply marvellous.
You can contact Robin and Bina here: http://www.pigswhiskermusic.co.uk/index.htm.
I am at the Fishguard Folk Festival (http://www.pembrokeshire-folk-music.co.uk/2012%20programme.html) this weekend as festival poet. I shall be running a poetry workshop on Sunday and appearing both Saturday and Sunday. Fishguard is a free festival and it takes place in the pubs of the town. The line up looks excellent and I am looking forward to hearing some great music.
I had some interesting ideas for poems last weekend but have not had the chance to do anything with them this week. As I keep stressing on this blog one of the secrets to good poetry is revision, you cannot expect it to leap onto the page fully formed.
Here’s a poem I have been working on for some time. The original idea came from a workshop I ran a while ago, the brief being to write a poem about a family member meeting someone famous and the poem had to illuminate the family member rather than the famous person.
I wrote about my father, Charlie, who as a member of the Labour Party committee in Widnes in the late 1960’s meet the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson. Charlie as the poem narrates was not impressed.
Harold Wilson in Widnes
November mist, soft orange street light,
Each Puddle satin, late nineteen sixties,
Widnes Labour Club on a midweek night,
And there’s Charlie, sharp suit and shy.
They’re all lined up and for one second,
He is back in Africa, Monty handing out fags,
A fixed smile and those cold eyes.
As insincere as the man before him,
Charlie shakes the cold weak hand,
Takes in the cheap suit and Oxford tie.
Everyman Harold condescending on Widnes.
Charlie left the Labour party soon after,
“The lot of them, no bloody good.”
The poem also mentions Montgomery, who had been in charge of the Eighth Army in Africa during World War Two. My father was in the Propaganda Section and met Montgomery on a number of occasions, he was not impressed. Both Wilson and Montgomery lacked the common touch, they struggled to empathise with the common person. It seemed natural to me to link the two people in the poem, as my father had mentioned them to me on occasion.