March they say ‘comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.’ There’s certainly been some sound – but not necessarily fury – at The Leopard and not ‘signifying nothing’ either. (Or ‘not signifying nothing neither’ if we wanted double negatives)
We’ve had a terrific session with Grevel Lindop and there are promises of further great evenings to come. Don’t miss Gill McEvoy as guest poet on Tuesday April 19th at 7.30pm upstairs in The Leopard Hotel, Burslem – lair of the Poetry Society’s popular Stoke Stanza.
Regulars and those who have been involved for some time, may remember Drew Nuttall who used to attend in the early days. Sadly, Drew has moved from the area and, it seems, taken regular Leopard attender Paul Freeman’s copy of Michael Symonds Roberts’ Corpus with him. Rather than simply asking Paul where to return the volume, Drew’s written him a poem – or rather a ‘poemail’.
Corpus: a poemail by Drew Nuttall
I have uncovered a book, a Corpus
buried in a mound of fellow works.
The shroud reads Michael Symmons Roberts
but I know it to be yours,
Lent, but shamefully unreturned,
even after forty days were up.
I am leaving this town this week,
this less-than-week (this Saturday),
and I have felt in this untombed tome
this same desire for a tomorrow life.
Tell me where this book may find its home
and this Corpus will rise again before Easter.
The Leopard sends best wishes to Drew wherever he has moved and our appreciation for his contributions during our early days.
Leopard regular Maurice Leyland has submitted this poem with an Australian bush theme — with a twist.
NEVER LOOK UP
I live on the road, wherever it goes
leading to work and grub and life.
I wear what I’ve got to ride, to sleep
and mend it – not having a wife.
My hat’s wide for the sun, the wind and the rain,
keeps off flies and any old weather.
When I come across water it fills my billy –
you can’t beat waterproof leather.
My shirt and my pully look after my skin
against flies and dust and whatever.
My trousers are tough for many a mile
and my braces hold me together.
When young l could walk but I like my bike
it trebles the load and the miles.
You can’t beat a saddle on a long day
but I’m not saying it’s good for my piles.
I try my best for my bum, high on my swag
which does get rather too wide.
When mounting my bike and cocking my leg,
I need post or a rock close beside.
Tucker bag at the front as big as you like,
while, at the back – my best friend,
my billy-can, with lantern, all useful things,
with Catty there watching my end.
I bake my damper in the campfire ashes
with flour and soda for leaven.
I cover my bread with Cocky’s Joy –
syrup sweet – I’m in swagman’s heaven.
The road to the horizon never ends,
wherever it may lead.
You pedal on, one yard at a time;
never look up, is the swaggies’ creed.
We look forward to seeing regular or new attenders on 19th April. There’ll be another opportunity to hear Gill McEvoy at Poems & Pints in Alsager at 8pm on Thursday 12th May upstairs at The Lodge pub on Crewe Road. There will be an open-mic and live-music as well as Gill’s guest slot.
Then, at 8pm on Thursday 9th June Peter Branson will be reading from his latest collection at The Lodge, Alsager when there’ll also be an open-mic and support from folk-duo Brennan and Buchanan and singer-songwriter Chris Algar. He’ll also be at Alsager Library from 11am – 12 noon on Tuesday 3rd May and at The New Vic Theatre with folk-band ‘Parish Lantern’ and cellist Sally Walker on Monday 16th May 7pm for 7.30pm.
We look forward to seeing you at The Leopard or at other poetry events around The Potteries and beyond.