All the windows in my head are open

Twenty Fountain Poets met last Monday to share recent (and not-so-recent) work, with an optional theme of “Computers and the Internet”. This proved to be a catalyst for some exciting experimental work. Mo and Joan performed a circular dialogue “My e-mail’s not working” on the model of “There’s a hole in my bucket”. David Cloke enlisted the help of Google Translate to create barely-recognisable versions of well-known poems via Polish and Japanese and back to English. Mo used early voice-recognition software to record her poem “Language”, which suffered surprising changes, some absurd and some strangely poetic. The title of this post is taken from her second poem, “PC”. Annette gave us “Soul-mates or Hell-mates”, her take on internet-dating. Rachael’s “PC” described a power-struggle between machine and user. Mark’s poems gave us entertaining glimpses into computer-literacy classes at a local library. Rosalie’s first poem “MRI Music” dealt movingly with the experience of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and her second poem was a chilling cautionary tale of a virus that arrived in an innocent-looking e-mail. The opening stanza of Andy’s first poem was written entirely in binary code …

Mentions of cherry blossom were not unexpected – it is April after all – but more surprising subjects were slugs, turtles, head-lice and a giant squid!

We welcomed two newcomers, David and Kate, and hope to see them again.

We congratulated Paul, who has had a story short-listed for the Jeremy Mogford Prize, and Ewan, whose poem “In Love with God” has been set to music by George Odam, formerly professor of Music at Bath Spa University.The first performance was in Denmark, and the second was in Wells Cathedral last Saturday.

Our next meeting will not be on the first Monday, but on 19th May. Wendy Nicholson will take the chair and the theme she has given us is “A Sense of Place”. The meeting after that will be only two weeks later, on June 2nd. Paul will be in the chair and he has asked us to write protest poems  in the tradition of the late, great, Pete Seeger. There seems to be much to protest about even in our small corner of the world – fracking, Hinkley C, building on green fields, the proposed relocation of “our” bishop. I’m sure you can think of plenty more!

It’s always because we love that we are rebellious; it takes a great deal of love to give a damn one way or another what happens from now on: I still do.
Kenneth Patchen


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