Padding softly into spring

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)

Gill McEvoy

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.

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.

Peter Branson

Peter Branson

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.

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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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3 Responses to Padding softly into spring

  1. Mike Fuller says:

    I think that if someone writes a really good poem, it is immediately appreciated and agreed that it is good but then is soon moved on from, where as if a poet writes something challenging and contradictory to what people think is should be easily accepted or contradictory to general perceptions and assumptions or etc. it is discussed and reviewed far more than a poem that is generally accepted as very good. This is perhaps more rewarding and enjoyable to the poet than that which is easily appreciated as very good and quickly moved on from. Since it is easier to write a poem that arouses discussion than what is a masterpiece does a poet therefore choose to take an easier option of writing something easier for debate rather than a really good poem.

    “Agreement leaves us at rest but it is contradiction that makes us productive.”
    Goethe ( 1749 – 1832 )
    German Poet and Polymath.

  2. Mike Fuller says:

    I have told John Lindley, Peter Branson and Brian Wake this by email, that often at poetry evenings with people there drinking and wishing just to have a good time and relax and not wishing to concentrate perhaps too much, particularly in the second or third part of the evening, that a quickly written funny poem that is not intellectually deep or thought through can have a better response than a quietly spoken, very mature masterpiece by another poet that has taken weeks. This is further true based on delivery and personal charisma. However most audiences are for the main part fans of poetry and respect good poetry but the poetry can fall short of its true potential at such evenings but it is all very subjective and no one should complain about poetry being over or under appreciated. A good MC will always celebrate a good poem that tends to fall on deaf ears afterwards anyway. At the Leopard the poems are seen in a deeper light although perhaps on one hearing a poem or certain poems can be better judged? Some poems are just truly good performed live and otherwise anyway!

  3. mfuller810 says:

    “Perhaps misunderstandings and inertia cause more trouble in the world than cunning and malice. At any rate the latter are less common.”
    Goethe ( 1749 – 1832 )
    German Poet and Polymath.

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