We had a cracking Stanza session with Caroline Hawkridge on 22nd September – and we’re convening again at 7.30pm on Tuesday 13th October for more reading and discussing of poems. All welcome, admission free. Please bring 15 copies of work you’d like to read and discuss – you can be assured of helpful and constructive feedback.
Here are some poems from the last session.
First up, Becky Sowray
I breathe oceans,
soft-lit, hot landscapes of steam.
Forging raw substance,
into our joint creation,
Tonight I power the moon,
my arc lights fill her;
making this hour’s ecstasy.
I draw each surface sharp,
Men built my lungs,
while a community gathered.
Every one rode on hope,
the price-less tide
I have appetite, a beast;
not to be denied.
You; you want my produce,
but not my filthy self; dirtier
than the earth.
You say you want me,
but I know your lies.
Selfishness is all you know;
comfort, want and this hour now.
You are rotten.
Faltering and blind
you try to bury me;
you’d see me dead.
Your chorus is a litany
Your bleaching day denies me,
wraps me in grey,
it is the weight of your mind.
I exist here only, now,
in the dark.
It was Becky’s Leopard debut, we look forward to hearing more from her soon.
Malcolm McMinn considers what some have to do for a living:
TITAN THE BULL
Titan the bull, a magnificent beast,
Almost as tall as a man at the shoulder
And must weigh over a ton. Broad of head
On a thick short neck, his body is built
Like, —– well, he’s built like a bull. He has got
That macho charisma, his ego swollen
As big as a barn (and temper to match).
The cows all adore him, gaze with desire,
Cow-eyed, droolingly, but to no avail;
The cows and the bull are all badly cheated!
Titan’s the father of hundreds of offspring,
Many more are hoped for next year. You’d think
That a varied and vigorous sex life
Would keep him fully employed. Not a chance,
Nothing like that; Titan, I fear, is a
Virgin and may never know the real thing
For science, not nature, now rules supreme.
Men in white coats and surgical gloves come
Now and then just to extract Titan’s seed.
Gosh! What some men have to do for a living!
Karen Schofield brought an eerie poem with a sinister medical theme:
THE MYELOMA MOTHS
The moths came with a soft flutter
one night and buried into
the deepest recesses of cloth.
Their offspring had their fill, gnawed
the wool and cashmere mix of a coat
framed by a hanger, shaped like you.
They punched out tell-tale holes, some like stars
which later grew, coalesced into craters.
Silver dust littered the wardrobe carpet.
They were driven out, killed off a few times
but resistant reinforcements arrived,
attacked the arms, shoulders and back
until the coat was held together by threads.
Shrunken and spineless, its days were numbered
and it shed bits of blue wool like tears.
Steve Savage also brought a very evocative poem, this one based on a visit to an art-installation.
BATTLESHIPS IN THE CLOUDS
(After visiting a balloon art installation project at Tate, St Ives in summer 2011)
They gather overhead
Line up to cruise inland
Like great grey battleships
Remember when you were young
Finding faces and shapes
Amongst those massive marshmallows
Time would stand still for an afternoon
As the cowboys and indians of youth
Drifted across our child’s minds’ eye
Over time thoughts get clouded
By things not known as children
No string left to ravel ourselves up in
Yesterday we played amongst Tate’s balloons
Today there are battleships in the clouds