The Leopard will take a Christmas break, watch out for our Christmas message though … coming soon.
Meanwhile, here are some more dates and poems from one of the liveliest poetry/spoken-word groups in The Potteries.
We had a great time with John Ashbrook on 19th November and there are more sessions with guest poets to come.
On Tuesday 21st January 2014 we have Tom Wyre, the Staffordshire Poet Laureate coming to read to us. If you’ve not heard Tom, you’re in for a treat. There’ll also be an opportunity to read and discuss your own work.
Then on Tuesday 18th February Paul Fox, a Leopard regular, launches his new collection Strangled Egg and Dalek Bread. Wit, words and wisdom not to be missed.If you can’t wait that long there’s the Alsager Poems & Pints hosted by Phil Williams at The Lodge pub, Alsager on Thursday 5th December at 8pm. There’ll be an open-mic, live music and spoken-word sets from Stoke poet and story-teller Alan Barrett and Phil’s twin-brother Mark from South Wales. Tidy.
Before you can say Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch
– check out Mark on You Tube.
John Williams – no relation – has submitted the poem below:
Three weeks on the diet, they send you an email
showing your body-mass, placing you
on a pie-chart and bar-graph,
saying we can all be Wendy the weather girl
whose every act has glamour.
Or Bill on sports reciting the golden verses,
the football scores and news disasters.
In the age of techno – globalism
they return every day, Wendy, Bill,
tornadoes and tragedies,
mixed-salad sunsets and pizza-sized storms
that stir, pour and beat
and whisk us into Hurricane Suzie.
Jenny Hammond, another Leopard regular, brought this poem on the 19th November and has refined it since.
The flint and chalk of Salisbury Plain,
dotted with tumuli,
moistened with dew ponds,
hides a village with Domesday memories.
Generations knelt in its church,
their bones blessed and buried,
tombstone names lichened
in swirls of grey and gold.
They lived when Imber thrived
and Imber Dock flowed free;
metal-on-metal rang from the smithy,
shrill voices clashed in the school yard.
Farmers and carthorses worked together;
women gossiped, men drank at The Bell,
doffed their caps when the Squire rode by,
worked at The Court.
Now open only once a year,
ugly ruins recall the day Imber died
when World War II was born.
Village evacuated for troop training,
with empty promises of an early return,
the people packed, locked up –
left Imber to cordite fumes, snipers,
hand grenades, unexploded bombs;
their homes destroyed for target practice.
Heritage erased, they never returned,
their village now rubble and weeds,
with the taste of decay merging into dust.