Tag Archives: David Green

Coming soon, in Wells

Noelle

Noelle de Burville and David Green invite you to

A Tapestry of Sound: Poetry and a dulcimer in harmony

Friday 6 March, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m.

SS Joseph & Teresa Church, Chamberlain Street, Wells

Free – a glass of wine and a couple of crisps

In aid of CAFOD

Pigeon Lock

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The Dancing Boy

“What a powerful punch of  heart-felt magic was created. My head is still buzzing but more importantly I feel my emotions were rattled for the better.”

“I am very glad indeed – as so many others must be – that her Mum did go to Kilburn.”

Dancing Boy

Here it is! Michelle’s wonderful pamphlet, from which she read at our meeting last Monday.

The Dancing Boy takes us on a magical mystery tour through Michelle’s life, beginning at the beginning with the benefit of rueful hindsight in “Do not go to Kilburn”: a troubled mother is addressed with tenderness and understanding. Other family members are remembered with great compassion. “A Birth Journey in Nine Movements” navigates the highs and lows of pregnancy and birth and the emptiness afterwards: I will never again know such intimacy. Michelle’s heart is big enough to take in a traumatised mother/ an alcoholic father/ a child without an off-button, and she has mastered the art of writing without sentimentality about deeply emotional subjects. “When I rehearse my deathbed scene” is a glorious celebration: all prayers are offered in dance, all tears in song … there is a ban on taking umbrage. Michelle ended the evening with a wonderfully positive, affirmative short poem “Trust your life”.

I’ve recently read a first pamphlet by a skilled poet who relied, I think, rather heavily on writing-exercises. The poems are technically good but many of them lack soul. The poet’s second pamphlet is full of fire and bite and black humour, a thrilling read. I mention this because every poem in The Dancing Boy burns with authenticity and originality. Michelle has no need to go looking for subjects to write about. She trusted her own life and imagination to provide all that was needed to write this most remarkable first pamphlet.

It was my unhappy duty to report the death of Paul Rogers, who until recently was a regular at our meetings, a fine poet and an even better short-story writer. He will be sadly missed. I read his story “A Feast of Memory” from our latest anthology, “Feast”. I plan to give the last unsold copy to his family.

The open-mic spots included nightingale poems from Morag and Ama, memories of childhood from Rachael, Jinny and Sara, playful double-dactyls from Wendy, a new sonnet from Mervyn, laugh-out-loud poems from David K and Paul, and well-crafted thoughtful work from Andrew and Steve.

We welcomed David G back after a long absence. We hope he’ll bring poems next time he joins us!

Poetry Competitions

Wells: (Judged by Simon Armitage) – see website

A Poem for Europe: (Judged by Gillian Clarke and Vanessa Kisuule) – see website

Mere Festival: (Judged by Rosie Jackson) – see website

Are there enough gaps in your poem for the reader to get in?

– Jane Commane

 On Friday 26th April Radio 3’s The Verb concentrated on gaps. Ama’s climate-change poem from Magma #72 was beautifully read by Fiona Moore. You can hear it here. Or read it here.

Next month we’ll be meeting on Monday 3rd June at the usual time at The Venue in South Street, and the guest poet will be David Caddy, editor of Tears in the Fence and author of several volumes of poetry.

It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating silences around things.
Stéphane Mallarme

Posted by Ama Bolton 19 May 2019

New clothes for a strange climate

Amaryllis

My Amaryllis has changed colour after 20 years. I’m told this is caused by warmer winters.

Seventeen poets met last Monday, chaired by Ewa. The topic was “Spring is coming”. Wendy responded with a springtime sonnet and a lovely poem in praise of birdsong. Paul wrote about the awakening of trees after winter and David C about Liverpool emerging from the smog – with lambs and apple-blossom! Mark celebrated the arrival of swallows, and both Rachael and Ama wrote about the arrival of March. Ama’s second poem was inspired by 29th February, Leap Day. Mark read his meditative poem “Good Friday”.

Chris, who has been pruning apple trees, read two new poems “This too will pass”, inspired by the mediaeval Persian legend, and another all about apples. Annette read an allegorical work linking motorcycle maintenance to the maintaining of a relationship. Her second poem, for Mother’s Day, was heart-felt and full of compassion. Ewa’s brave and beautiful poems too came straight from the heart.

My title is taken from Caroline’s moving poem about widowhood. Her second poem was inspired by the five Chinese elements.

Jo read two pieces that have recently been published on-line in Hedgerow – find them in issues 66 and 67.

Jinny read a vivid prose-poem about her grandmother, and a short and darkly mysterious domestic drama set in a wardrobe.

David G read a poem featuring the birds, animals and plants of an Oxford water-meadow, and Mo read one about an absence of gulls. From Terry we heard two nature-poems. David C’s second poem was an amusing villanelle – “Sauce Villanaise”.

Ewan read a very recent poem, “Sacrament”, and “Silent Feet” written out of sympathy with the refugees.

Tina from Wookey Hole came to tell us about a prose writing group that meets in The Fountain Inn on the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm.

The evening was affected by noise from the bar, and so next month we shall be trying a new venue, The Venue in South Street, which promises a quiet room! There is a bar and a fish-and-chip and pizza menu, and free parking very nearby in Bell’s Close car park. Monday 4th April at 7.45 for 8pm. Ama will chair the meeting and the optional topic will be “Sea”. Do come!

When the energy stops, stop. – Kathleen Jamie

Often the poems that end best are the ones that don’t. – Judy Kendall

 

 

 

 

Always in need of a conflict

Fifteen of us met on Monday evening to share poems on and off the topic of “Belligerence”.

Andy, chairman for the evening, read Fragment #9 of his evolving magnum opus “Power Politics”. Mark dealt obliquely with war and its aftermath. David Green’s poignant first poem recalled two interwoven acts of belligerence, and his second investigated possibilities arising from “… the aggravating folk next door …” Jo wrote of belligerence, chillingly, from the point of view of the one on the receiving end. Sara’s two poems looked , one touchingly and one zanily,  at the belligerent possibilities of cooking and eating. That’s quite enough adverbs for now – ed.

Rachael read one poem meditating on the contents of a wardrobe after a death, and another observing belligerent bird behaviour. There were more birds – puffins this time – from Ewan, and Morag read a passionate comment on what’s happening to the bees.

I have taken this post’s title from one of Pamela’s poems “The Way it is”. Her other was a hypnotic chant, “All Eyes”.

We have come to expect rich, raw, fine-tuned autobiographical fragments from Karin. Her poems  had us listening spellbound. Wendy’s poems, too, are always firmly rooted in the real world and always beautifully written.

Jinny’s poems tend to sound straightforward but often have a sting in the tail. Her poem about decorating the Christmas tree was a good example. Her second poem was an erasure-poem from a scientific paper written by her son. Alchemy!

Ama read a quasi-sonnet about an unwritten ballad, and “Biographie” an erasure-poem that can be read here.

The Wells Litfest competition was mentioned after the meeting. The deadline for entries is the end of this month. We decided that we would each enter at least one poem or story. Read about it here.

The six poets of “Waterwoven” will be performing this collaborative sound-collage at Priddy Folk Festival’s Word Tent tomorrow evening (Friday 11th July) at 8pm, and at the Bristol Poetry Festival in late September – date tbc.

Next month we’ll be taking a break, but we hope to be back in the Sherston Inn on 7th September, when Karin invites readings on the topic “Fifty”, and on 5th October when Ama will chair a session on “Light”, the topic for National Poetry Day Thursday 8th October.

Fountain Stars

Rachael and Jinny have poems in the current issue of The Interpreter’s House and Rachael is in Reach Poetry UK. Rachael’s poem in the webzine Three Drops from a Cauldron has been nominated for Best of the Net. Ama’s “Post-election Blues” was posted on The Stare’s Nest on Sunday. David has sent his two poems about the Queen to Buckingham Palace, and has received a thank-you letter!

“Accuracy, Spontaneity, Mystery.” These are the three qualities Elizabeth Bishop admired in the poetry she liked best, according to her essay, “Writing poetry is an unnatural act…” (702) from the collection Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose and Letters

Mind that road!

It was a quiet night at The Sherston Inn last Monday. We were therefore invited to hold our meeting in the dining room instead of out in the skittle alley.

We welcomed a newcomer to the group, Karin Baynes, and look forward to hearing some of her work in future.

Paul was in the chair and had chosen “Speed” as a theme. This post’s title is taken from Sara’s first poem. Other poems on the topic came from Paul, Andy, Mark and (memorably) Neil with “Edwin Morgan at Brand’s Hatch”. Neil’s second poem, “The Art of Marking”  (with more than a nod to Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art“) was a beautifully-constructed and very funny villanelle.

Off-topic, we had poems about mothers from Ewa and Ewan, a couple of tender funny and insightful poems from Annette, a wry look at overheard mobile-phone conversations from Pamela, closely-observed birds from Morag and Pamela, and a memory of a landscape-changing event from Paul, “When the Pipeline came”.

Rachael was in lyrical mood with “The Veil” and “Paradise Recalled”, David G’s poems included “Contemplating the Tower-clock”, and  Ama wrote about time and distance, which she hoped would somehow produce speed! Jinny’s short poems have a knack of taking us by the hand, leading us into another place and then leaving us with a line that reverberates like a struck bell.

Wendy’s “Dinnahefta” was a very entertaining poem in her native Geordie dialect in the style of Longfellow’s “Hiawatha”. I think there may be requests for a repeat performance! Wendy has produced another book! It’s just as delightful as her previous works.

Wendy001

On Thursday Rachael’s “Redpoll” appeared on the Stanza blog’s Poetry Map of Scotland.

Next month (March 9th) the theme will be “Water” and Sara will be in charge. By then the six Fountain poets who are also Bath Cafe poets will have performed their sound-collage “Waterwoven” at the Bath Litfest on March 7th.

We are here to cultivate the marvellous, to woo the new from ourselves, to commune with otherness. – Dean Young

Pigeon Lock

Pigeon Lock016

I have just received a copy of David Green’s first collection, Pigeon Lock, published by Silverwood Books. It is a beautiful little book with very attractive illustrations by David’s daughter Anna and a cover image by Abigail Baker.

I enjoyed reading these honest, well-crafted poems. David has an eye for landscape, whether in the Middle East, Africa, India or closer to home, and writes with a deep love and knowledge of the Oxfordshire countryside where he grew up.

He observes war and injustice with passion and compassion and often with a touch of irony. His interest in wildlife is evident: lizards in Java, black-throated divers “sleeking through the sea”, the “dervish geometry” of massed starlings on the Somerset Levels, the “protecting song” of cicadas in Accra. He delights in the details of daily life and the quirks of human nature.

David can turn a perfect sonnet but is not afraid to experiment with form, metre and rhyme, giving a refreshing variety to this impressive collection.

This post was written by Ama.