Friday, 24 June 2022

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE VIOLINS

The other week on Instagram Annabelle Chvostek posted a photograph of her violin in front of her face and entitled it The World Needs More Violins. The phrase struck a chord within me. I wrote to her asking if she would mind me using it and she did not. This is what I came up with.

each day the edge draws nearer

the world needs violins more than ever

bone and bow to dance on strings

generate vibrations in the air

that tell us change is still possible

- if we act now

It's a simple little poem. There is time to change, to pull back from the worst effects of climate change, but we have to want to. Music brings us together and can act as a catalyst, and though I sometimes despair there is always hope.

Here's the woman herself in conversation.

And here she is with a recent song.

Until next time.

Friday, 17 June 2022

DRINK IN THE BEAUTY

I've been in two minds whether to share this poem or not. I think I am too close to it to see it clearly. So you get to be the judge.

the spot was idyllic and

I had been happy enough

looking at the wrong tree


elaborately inventing signs

of how your ash had fed the forest

then Nigel pointed out


a wet grey streak on the soil

ten foot from where I stood


that’s life you whispered

in the rain drops that watered the velvet moss

drink in the beauty

It is based on a true incident. I did misremember where we had scattered the ashes and I think it doesn't matter. Rejoice for the gift of a life lived well and the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.

Leyla McCalla has a new album out. I cannot recommend it enough. 

Until next time.

Friday, 10 June 2022

JUST OPEN A WINDOW

There are some poems I repeatedly return to. I am not sure if I make them better, perhaps I overwork them? Here is one I have been revisiting.

he exists inside of the event

unable to find the thread to follow to daylight


finding letters then words he speaks


imagine

staring at the world

through a letterbox

set in a stout locked door

and having no key


I reach for my metaphors lock pick

just open a window nip out the back


but he will not budge


my words merely the clatter

of cutlery poured onto quarry tiles

The final image is powerful. I hope the sound conveys the stuck nature of the interaction. You can lead a horse to water and all that. For change to occur the individual has to want to change. You can read the earlier version here.  

The poem is laid out differently and many of the lines have been altered. Which do you think is the better?

Here's Footshooter featuring Albertina.

Until next time.


Friday, 3 June 2022

EYELESS IN AUTUMN

I have spent the last two weeks cat sitting for my daughter in London, hence no photographs of the latest Ryley Walker concert. I wrote the last two post in advance as I tend to do when I am away. I travelled to London by train and as I approached Wellington, near Taunton in Somerset, I saw an abandoned factory with most of the glass missing from the windows. This set me thinking...

summer project


we broke all the glass

in all the windows


no one stopped us

it took time


but the sounds were so addictive

the crack and cascade of glass


eyeless in autumn

the snow went wherever it would


when summer cam round again

there was nothing to show it had ever been there

The poem wrote itself. I liked the idea of the building leaving no trace, although the hardest lines to write were the last couplet. I suspect it is complete.

Ryley Walker was amazing, on top form, just wonderful. But I leave you with a new single by wondrous Pollyanna.

Until next time.

Friday, 27 May 2022

I WOULD STEAL YOUR BODY LANGUAGE

As the first lines of this post's poem states a sign on the back of a taxi set me thinking. 

DASHBOARD CAMERA IN OPERATION

I clock the sign on the back of the taxi in front of me

I think about all that found art

hour upon hour of unwitting testimony to being alive

if I were an actor how I would crave access

to such a store house of raw material

I would loot each shrug each sigh

I would steal your body language

and employ your every nuance

to make mine real on stage

All those hours of footage of people being themselves. Someone told me that Marlon Brando used to stand in phone boxes pretending to have a conversation so he could watch people, see how they moved. I think that all actors people watch. I am not sure if the poem is quite there - watch this space.

Here's The Zombies from the 60s, psychedelia never dies.

Until next time. 

Friday, 20 May 2022

700 STEPS

I do not have a photograph of the Coronavirus Monument in London. It did not feel appropriate to take one. It did inspire this poem:

snapshot 2022


the Coronavirus Memorial

is 700 steps long give or take a few


there are more hand painted hearts

on the bricks than I can count


each written in by a person who mourns

a memory of someone special


on the Thames side of the pavement

tourists stop to have their photographs taken


the Mother of Parliaments

their chosen backdrop


the present incumbent and his cronies

partied their way through the pandemic

I have utterly no respect for the present government. I shall say no more. 

Here's Ryley Walker. He is playing London this Saturday, be there or be square.

Until next time.

Friday, 13 May 2022

TOURIST STATISTIC

I  was in Amsterdam recently, it was the result of train tickets being on hold throughout the pandemic. I went to the Van Gogh Museum and wrote this as I wandered around.

Van Gogh Museum Tourist Statistic


she has her vision

he is directed to position her on the screen

The Sunflowers on her shoulder

she is the centre piece


he presents the result

she shakes her head

two more attempts are needed

before she smiles


I continue to watch as

twenty other people photograph

the painting in their turn

all vying for the best shot


then I snake through the crowds

to catch glimpses of paintings

no one wanted to buy

when the artist was alive

Please do not think I am critical of the couple, I am not, I was just fascinated by their vision. I don't tend to take photographs of paintings because my efforts are no where near as good as the real thing. 

Amsterdam was fun, it is a very beautiful city. I was taken with the illuminated trees as you can see.

Pollyanna is just presenting her labour songs project, sadly I cannot find any videos of it, but from what I've heard it sounds boss. Here's an earlier video.

Until next time.