June Leopard

The next Stoke Stanza session at The Leopard pub, Burslem, is at 7.30pm on Tuesday 16th June.

picture of John Williams

John Williams

The redoubtable John Williams will be launching his latest collection, On Lipstick Beach – and there’ll be opportunities to read and discuss your own work. All welcome.

As a taster, here are two of John’s poems from that collection and some of the poems read and discussed at the last Stanza session in May.

PRACTICAL CLASSICS

Belly-up under his car, my neighbour’s
doing up a Zephyr from the ‘fifties.
His legs poke out and the bumper bar’s off.
He lies in a mesh of cogs like an accident.
Once a nut gives, a love song drifts out.

Other gods have been through the garage,
Orion, Clio and Xsara, queen of Babylon
with clouds of nubes. Now it’s a Zephyr,
fresh wind of the west, bringer of spring rain
between the living and the dead.

He comes back to life for a sandwich
and flicks through Practical Classics
to find his next rusty clunker, a Mondeo,
the dangerous beauty and death trap
that sounds like moneo, a Roman word for ‘warn’.

Z TILE

They’d gone for good, the dodo and the auk
except in Scrabble where they score.
A plastic backbone snakes across the board
like scoliosis, smart word for bent spine.
A blank tile brings a flowering in the mind,
an easy Buddha shuffles in, lies down
between the booby and boxer.
What smarter way to lose, the single Z
pulled from the pile by fingertip?
I look along my cuticle and see
the words move up and down, not left to right.
Stories start and vanish, stick out like broken bones.
I show my ten-point Z that none can use
that slid around the board and slithered back
and called to me to put it on my rack.

Jenny Hammond read some short poems in a double tetractys form – one ‘invented’ by Ray Stebbing, a Quantum Leap poetry magazine subscriber. The form consists of at least five lines of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 10 syllables.

ADDICT

She’s
tattered
polythene
snagged on rusted
barbs, wired tight to a threadbare existence.

A tarnished drop-out craving tourniquet,
welcome needle,
heroin,
final
fix.

DESOLATION

Past
slides to
present, the
future as large
as forever and empty as nothing.

Deep sighs fill a void whose only purpose
is to catch the
falling tears,
drop by
drop.

Finally, Malcolm McMinn has the following offering:

BIG ASS LADY

Big ass lady filling her face

Big ass lady filling her face,
Doughnuts, chocolates, lots of cake
All disappear, leave no trace.
She’ll never be as thin as a rake.

Doughnuts, chocolate, lots of cake,
‘Cos she the biggest lady in town.
She never be as thin as a rake,
Can’t ever wear a slinky gown.

‘Cos she the biggest lady in town
Nobody loves her, she’s so fat.
Can’t ever wear a slinky gown.
She wanna be thin like ol’ Jack Sprat.

Nobody love her, she so fat.
Night after night she lie and cry.
She wanna be thin like ol’ Jack Sprat,
Tenderly kissed by handsome guy.

Night after night she lie and cry.
Asleep she has such lovely dreams,
Tenderly kissed by handsome guy.
So much nicer than custard creams.

Asleep she has such lovely dreams,
(All disappear, leave no trace)
So much nicer than custard creams.
Big ass lady filling her face.

Does anyone recognise the form? If so – let us know – either way, you’d be very welcome on Tuesday 16th at The Leopard or the regular Alsager Poems & Pints at The Lodge pub, Crewe Road at 8pm on Tuesday 23rd June. It’s a Nantwich night, with ‘Dabber’ poet Helen Kay and singer-songwriter Jonathan Tarplee.

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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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