The kindness of strangers, hospital happenings and a patchouli poem – Chesterfield blog – Stop 3

Poems about hospital and kindness swamped this night and this was not surprising a week after an election shock and in a Labour Club. More poems about the good and the kind, I say. More poems about the good and the kind, I say. Yey! for nourishers and everyday heroes and random acts of kindness. Ailsa Holland: In her poem about the uncelebrated heroes and things not in the news specifics add to the news report feel along with formal language. The roads and names of those involved make it feel possible, not just an imagined utopia. Someone stole into a garden on Paradise Street/discreet as an assassin/ took down the clean washing/folded it with cold-blooded precision/ and left it in a basket under the back porch/just before the rain started./ (from ‘Fixer’ Strikes at Heart of Community) Find Ailsa here: Midnight Shelley: In her poem Come scream with me she spoke of “words dedicated to those whose mouths never allow them to share their story.” “Come scream with me!/Clockwork the hand/heartbeat the rhyme.” In her love poem to a best friend Alex Park in the Early Hours: The Forever Space: ‘A piece of me will always be in the forever space with you.” is an interpretation of space intertwined with memory. Charlotte Ansell: addressed the post-election malaise with: “This is why we can’t have nice things. It took just weeks to demolish the Bohemia… They will smash up what even in the first place wasn’t much…” then a line about the management “preferring to announce the problem than mend the broken glass. Maybe it is also an epitaph to hope.” I do so hope not. Charlotte’s two collections available here: John Mills: John introduced Parkinson’s Disease at the outset and the fact he might ‘vibrate gently’. Little Louis, a poem about a brain-damaged child was tough on the audience and performer. The sing-song rhythm of it made the truth even more shocking. The damage happened because his Dad hit his head against a wall when he was 12 days old. I have written in my notes BASTARD!!!!! John and Liz are in this video: Sarah Thomasin: I loved “The Quiet Woman’ and the story about the bus-stop being labelled the The Quite Woman and the reason she was Quiet is because her head chopped off. One way of stopping a compere going on, I suppose. In her space-themed poem, Horoscope, we are instructed to “look up at the sky/past the sequins in velvet./Just try it.” Her poem about misogynists wasting away because they can’t make sandwiches without women brought some levity the room. Mavis Moog: While listening to her poem Plum Sunday I could smell the mint at my feet and the feel the weight of the plums as I reached up to test their ripeness. I also like to learn things and the Araucaria Monkey Puzzle tree cross-words poem captivated me. No Link Available. Ruth Aylett: Ooo! The scale of space here: “The long exhale of the universe/always moving apart/never coming back together.” And more space in Ruth’s Turing poem : “Write space and space and space. Where logic is not decidable. Death is.” Joy France: In Joy’s set we received broken biscuits and patchouli soaked poems. The poem is in my notebook and I can still smell it now. I loved the fact Joy had done a haiku for both themes – Volume and Space. I had included both 2014 and 2015 theme in the email (Oops). See Joy here: Chris Woods: Chris read two poems about not being there. Firstly, a space-themed one On not seeing Halley’s Comet and later on in his set about turning up the wrong week for a poetry event ‘enjoying the wrong time again’ Spontaneous nights are often the best. In Black Holes he described people who are “taking everything from everything.” No link available. Claire-Jane Carter could not make the event due to a last minute emergency. I read a few more poems to fill this time. The audience enjoyed the mix of styles and themes. After the event and a pint with poets and punters I started looking through 100 photos of Mid Shelley for one where she is still. I bought an extra half while I laughed to myself in the corner of the Labour Club about how blurry she could be.

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