Tag Archives: Priddy Folk Festival

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

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The ten-thousand-mile stare

eyes

Eighteen poets and two listeners crammed themselves into the small cocktail bar at the Rose and Crown on Monday night to share poems on and off Ewa’s chosen theme “All About Eyes”. Ewa started us off with a poem about being stared at by her mother’s cat. Rachael’s “Still seen” also featured a cat closely observing a human, while Mark’s “If you stare right back” dealt with the experience of being stared at by a child on a bus, and the likely perils of staring back. Wendy read “Night vision” and “Can it be paranoia?”, a poem about being watched.

My title is taken from Andy’s “Reflected back”. Chris’s “Eyes are a gift” and “Eyes of Islington” had some strikingly memorable lines too. Karin’s fragments of memoir “Eyes wide shut” and “Shore-lands” were quietly beautiful pieces of writing.

Poems dealing with blindness, both literal and metaphorical, included Ama’s “The legend of St Odelia”and “Two eyes”, Mark’s “Love is blind”, Richard’s “Flirting with blindness” and Andy’s “Blind to the suffering”. Mo’s poems were “Open eye” and the powerful “Gaza sonata”.

Caroline and Jo contributed haiku. One of Jo’s has just been published in the on-line journal Hedgerow. We heard some erasure poems from Neil and Jinny. Jinny’s other poem “The art of staying dry” suited the weather, and Neil, a master of the sting in the tail, surprised us in the last line of his poem “Better”. Paul read two topical poems, “Redress, or Death by pole-axe” concerning Richard III and “Beltane in Victoria Park”. Ewan read “A kind of peace” and “The stage”.

It was good to welcome Claire Coleman back. She read “Extracting sunbeams” and an untitled poem full of colour and light. Rachael brought an effective surreal prose-poem “Evolution is hard”.

Mo let us know about an offshoot of the Tears in the Fence Festival – a free day of poetry at the White Horse in Stourpaine on Saturday 4th July. Some of our Fountain Poets will be reading on that day.

The six of us who performed at the Bath Litfest will be presenting a second performance of “Waterwoven” at Priddy Folk Festival on the evening of Friday 10th July.

We do like the cocktail bar, but it is clearly too small for our group. The Sherston Inn has re-opened, so we’ll be meeting there (not in the skittle alley but in the dining room) next month, on Monday 1st June, when Jinny will be in the chair and the topic will be “Power”.

Uttering a word is like striking a note on the keyboard of the imagination.
-Ludwig Wittgenstein