Mind the Gap

Mind the gap
(Photo by Dave Bonta, from his blog)

I don’t quite know what was different. Maybe it was the tall candles on the table. Maybe it was the TV in the adjoining bar turned down low enough not to be intrusive. Whatever it was, it made for an unusually good atmosphere at the Sherston on Monday evening, and some especially good poems were read rather well! We welcomed a newcomer, Terry, and hope to hear more of his work in the future.

Ewan was in the chair and the theme was “Our home in Somerset”. Some poems embraced the theme. From Rachael, Terry, David, Ama, Ewan, Morag, Andrew, Ewa, Wendy and Karin we heard about the view from a house on a hill,  about Porlock, about traffic in Yeovil, about bus journeys across the Levels, about the Romans on Mendip, about one particular shed in Wells, about a difficult day at work in Somerset, about Somerset as a surrogate home and about homesickness and the loss of a homeland.

My title is taken from David’s English national anthem, an inspired collage of phrases from the shipping forecast, the football results and elsewhere.

Neil’s two poems were, as we have come to expect, witty and well-crafted. Jo wrote touchingly about articles of clothing, and we had some hard-hitting topical poems from Wendy and Paul. Jinny’s poems are always surprising, and deeper than they seem on the surface.

Ewa, who was not at the last meeting, read a “Desert Island” poem that she found on the back of a door in a health visitor’s office in Taunton – Please Touch Me, by Phyllis K Davis.

Congratulations to Rachael, who has had a poem accepted for inclusion in an anthology to be published in the United States.

Next month we shall meet at the same place on 7th March. The meeting will be chaired by Ewa and the theme will be “Spring is coming” – but don’t expect it to be all lambs and apple-blossom …

“I rarely think of poetry as something I make happen – it is more accurate to say that it happens to me. Like a summer storm, a house afire, or the coincidence of both on the same day. Like a car wreck, only with more illuminating results. I’ve overheard poems, virtually complete, in elevators and restaurants where I was minding my own business. When a poem does arrive, I gasp as if an apple had fallen into my hand, and give thanks for the luck involved. Poems are everywhere, but easy to miss.” – Barbara Kingsolver

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