Solitude

Tonight’s Speakeasy theme at the Park Tavern is “Solitude” and Zoe Quinlan led a well-attended workshop a couple of weeks ago for Macclesfield Creative Writing Group to draw in the crowds with lots of relevant material. Here’s what I’ve written for the theme.

Solitude   

(After “Daffodils”by William Wordsworth)

I wandered lonely in a crowd,

whilst posting thoughts unveiling ills.

I walked along and talked  out loud.

Aren’t earphones great! They’re really brill!

Beside the bank, through shopping malls

whilst still on line with website pals.

 

Continuous as the stars that tweet

or presidents at 4 am

their every thought quite indiscrete.

Oh how I do so envy them!

Ten thousand followers at a glance

each logging on at every chance.

 

My Facebook page where I lay bare

the trivia of each passing day

is where I live or simply stare

or turn to online games and play.

These habits steal my days. They filch,

so social intercourse is zilch!

 

For often on my couch I lie

and nothing much comes on TV,

I sometimes ask myself just why

I am so crap at being me.

But then my heart with pleasure fills

until I get my broad band bills.

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D-Day (Jour-J)

Today is the 73rd. anniversary of the D-Day landings. Here’s a small tribute to those who died and to the survivors, most of whom will be well over 90!

D Day (Jour J)

June the 6th. was D-Day way back in 19 44

when Allied troops disembarked on Europe’s bloody shore

and France’s liberation began the day they call Jour “Jee”

and many a soldier lost his life that day in Normandy.

so whether your name was Hans, my boy, or Jean-Pierre or Tom,

it’s History repeated a stone’s throw from the Somme.

It’s History repeated a stone’s throw from the Somme.

 

The five pronged thrust from Neptune was planned to make a breach.

They came from Canada’s wheat belt to die on Juno beach,

whilst Yanks who left the mid-West, home states both near and far,

perished under machinegun fire at Utah and Omaha,

so whether your name was Hans, my boy, or GI Joe or Tom,

it’s History repeated a stone’s throw from the Somme.

It’s History repeated a stone’s throw from the Somme.

 

The Brits were asked to play their part at Gold Beach and at Sword

to establish a bridge head in Operation Overlord,

but mothers grieve on both sides having lost their pride and joy

for Lebensraum’s worth nothing when it takes away your boy,

so whether your name was Hans, my boy, or Fritz or Franz or Tom,

it’s History repeated a stone’s throw from the Somme.

It’s History repeated a stone’s throw from the Somme.

“Mine” or “O Mine Papa”

Here’s my attempt at a mining folk song.

Mine (or O Mine Papa)                                                                        

When pithead wheels still turned each shift

to drop the cage and then to lift

the colliers from their daily graft,

a mile deep buried down a shaft,

each man was 50 years condemned,

with two short weeks to rest and mend.

 

Chorus:

Repose and convalesce from earning

for the sunlight daily yearning.

Digging coal required no learning,

back when the nation’s home fires burned

and our satanic mill wheels turned

before our mining jobs were spurned.

 

Both my granddads, dad and brother,

all the family save our Mother,

uncles and cousins, neighbours too,

they shovelled coal the whole day through

or all the afternoon or night,

lit by a headlamp’s ray of light.

 

Chorus:

Repose and convalesce from earning

for the sunlight daily yearning etc.

 

Their lungs were clogged up with coal dust.

They sweated cobs and swore and cussed.

Back up on top, they’d wash t’muck off

and smoke a Woodbine, hack and cough,

and breathe the air, so fresh, so sweet

and feel the grass beneath their feet.

 

Chorus:

Repose and convalesce from earning

for the sunlight daily yearning etc.

 

Our sweat shone black for old King Coal.

He had us body, mind and soul,

but for our kids we wanted better.

Education could unfetter.

Down the pit they won’t belong,

just sing about our lives in song.

 

Chorus:

Repose and convalesce from earning

for the sunlight daily yearning.

Digging coal required no learning,

back when the nation’s home fires burned

and our satanic mill wheels turned

before our mining jobs were spurned.

“Mine” (or “O Mine Papa”) and 2 Guest Poet appearances coming up in early June.

I was lucky enough to be at the Dog and Partridge, Bollington, on Friday 26th. May for Bob Fox’s guest singer night. He’s an accomplished guitarist with an excellent voice, very much at home on the stage and  very entertaining and well worth a detour. (He was “The Songman” in “Warhorse” and will be again soon at the Lowry). He’s from a mining village in the North-East which immediately took me back to Mansfield Woodhouse and our local Nottinghamshire pits. Bob is one of “The Pitmen Poets” and reminded me that we’re both the first generation not to “go down t’pit”, though he does earn his living singing about it! It prompted me to have a go at writing a folk song (“The Folk Song with No Tune?”). I’ll post it separately after the commercial break.

As it happens, I’ve a couple of 10 minute slots as Guest Poet coming up myself at 2 open mike events locally. Both are free entry (but a fiver to get out – JOKE!). Come along and read something of your own or by AN Other or just come and listen.

“Poetry and Prose”

at the Petersgate Tap

19, St. Petersgate, Stockport

7-30 pm Wednesday, 7th. June

Open mike free event

Guest Poet: Phil Poyser

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Spoken Word”

at the UBAgene bar

61A, London Road South, Poynton, SK12 1LA

7-30 pm Monday, 12th. June

Open mike free event

Guest Poet: Phil Poyser