Three Wise Dimensions

We had a most enjoyable meeting on 5th December, with supper beforehand for those who came early.
Our guest was Isabel White, a remarkably good performer whose meticulous and playful use of words is illustrated in this post’s title, taken from her poem Making sense of Miss Babs (Barbara Hepworth). Her readings covered a wide spectrum of styles and subjects. How many of us knew that Robert Burns had intended to emigrate to Jamaica? Isabel made this the subject of a poem in a mixture of Scots and Jamaican patois. Dazzling!

Isabel is the latest subject of the Bard Window podcast. You can also read some of her poems there. Do have a look at this excellent resource for poets. Membership is free.

Contributions in the two open mic sessions were well-wrought, thought-provoking and in some cases rather dark – I’m thinking of Beth’s Confession, Fiona’s My Deathday, David G’s Mortal Memories and Pamela’s Separation, which I read in memory of her – see below. David N and I read ekphrastic poems written during a recent Poetry and Art workshop in Wells Library. Steve picked up the word-play theme with Jack (part 1), prompted by a jackfruit curry. I’m looking forward to Part 2!

I am sad to report that Pamela Coate, who used to come regularly to our meetings and entertain and enlighten us with her light-hearted/serious poems, died at the end of November. She would have been 91 on Christmas Eve. She was creative in so many ways, a poet, painter, ceramic artist, musician and prolific knitter of unique and colourful garments and animals. She was also a very dear friend who will be badly missed.

Our next meeting will be on Monday January 2nd at 7pm, upstairs in The King’s Head in Wells High Street, conveniently close to the Union Street car park. There will be no guest poet, so come prepared to read a couple of poems, your own or anyone else’s, seasonal or otherwise.

Separation        by Pamela Coate

He said it was here in the woods
that he let the squirrels out
didn’t she recall how
they used to raid the swallows’ nests
became real pests

She sat there in the car
remembering those times
saddened at the thought
of all the lost squirrels
searching for their families

And what must it be like
for people to be separated
after sixty years together
taken into different homes
confused and alone

Now she hears from her friends
it is illegal to transport
squirrels to new habitats
better to shoot them
no law against it

Writing is a never-ending apprenticeship … it’s an addiction – Ian Gouge 


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