More from The Leopard – June 2014

There are more poetry events coming up. At 8pm on Thursday 3rd July there’s the Alsager Poems & Pints at The Lodge pub on Crewe Road, Alsager, hosted by Phil Williams, one of the Stanza members from The Leopard. The guest poet will be Rob Dunsire, a performance poet from Leeds and there’ll be music from rising Alsager star Maddy Gregory, Narn and Andrew Leese-Dixon as well as an open-mic. All welcome.

Grevel Lindop poet and literary critic

Grevel Lindop

The next Stanza session at The Leopard in Burslem takes place at 7.30pm on Tuesday 15th July when we’ll be joined by Grevel Lindop, an accomplished poet and literary critic. Grevel’s major collection,  Playing with Fire is published by Carcanet. We look forward to hearing Grevel read and sharing in the discussions and critiques that make the Stanza sessions such a vital part of the local poetry calendar.

Meanwhile, here are some poems read at our previous Stanza session on 17th June.

 DAD FANS | John Williams

John Williams

John Williams

Alert to the slouch and nerdy kick,
they urge everyone to get a move on,
to head up the field and make a cross.
Frustration weaves them into knots,

frantic on the touch line, bawling
in deep belly breaths as if it’s Wembley.
What a gift to the game: first to spot a foul,
claim a goal and tell the ref he’s blind.

Forget the games on Sportsnight on TV
for the split lip, studs in the shin,
elbow in the eye and taped-up knee.
They have special words to the keeper.

You find them at the tennis nets and ice rink
pointing out the crappy serve and lousy loop
and sifting from our gene pool
those with two left feet and specky eyes.

Last out through the turnstile,
they wave their scarves on the car park
or leave in a huff because they’ve seen
there’s love and sport, and sports dads in between.

SECTIONED | Andrew Phillips

It was men in suits who came,
No white coats,
With blueless twoless Police
On silent approach.
A gentle knock, soft voices,
Please come with us
The straight-jacket threat unspoken.
So she went. We said
Tearful goodbyes in our pyjamas,
And like divorced parents
Got to see her every other weekend.
I didn’t know nurses could be warders,
Keys on long chains echoing
Endless corridors
Punctuated by rubber soled squeaks
Between locked gates and bolted doors.
On bad days, she didn’t know us,
Sat unvoiced, empty eyed, chemically coshed,
On others, talked
Streams of looking glass consciousness.
We understood one word in ten of.
When at last she came home,
Somewhere a light had gone out,
A facaded ghost at the dinner table.
She tried to hide it,
The dissident’s dread of night time knock,
Don’t let them take me,
I’m alright really,
I’m alright.

THE HAIKU INDEX | Bo Crowder
Nasdaq Dow Jones Nikkei DAX Ftse Hang Seng CAC

Bo Crowder

The colourful Bo Crowder

Night fades the sun peeps
Bright day wakes our bleating sheep
Fight lids resist sleep

In narrative space
Between the left and right ear
What a performance

I click help you click
Meaningful relationship
We meet and we click

Change the traditional
Blur the definitional
Cut what is written

Stamped Made in Shelton
On a bridge at Arramanche
Das ist wunderbar

Midwinter presents
The pedigree of sadness
Ho ho leaves me now

Haiku in the head
Some of those that work forces
Poetic dum dum

SHOPS | Paul Fox

Paul Fox poet

Paul Fox

My cobbler’s doesn’t sell cobbles
But this is the least of my worries.
Selfridges doesn’t sell fridges
And you can’t get a curry in Currys.
You cannot buy millet in Millet’s
And that doesn’t bother me much
But my chippy is not at all chippy
And my butcher is not very butch.
You can’t get a tail at the tailor’s
And frankly I don’t give two hoots
That you can’t get a book at the bookies
And they won’t sell you wellies at Boots.

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About theleopard66

I am a member of the Stoke Stanza of The Poetry Society and run a bi-monthly Poems & Pints event in Alsager.
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