Dónall claimed to be haunted by his own ghost – by a lucky chance the video of his five minutes was salvaged from the technological wreck and here it is.
In her second set, Becky was in poetic mode. I loved her updating of William Blake’s poem about London, in which she regretted the loss of fields and open spaces that used to be available for children to play in when she was a little girl. Becky’s performance presence is amazing. Her larger-than-life smile captivates any audience.
In Drip Feed an "unsummoned philosopher" harangues the narrator as she sits reading and waiting for the library to open. "Why you bother, he finishes / and the small craft in his angry mind / tacks off as he lurches / into the unresponsive ocean of Russell Square." The image is of ships 'passing in the night', each on a course, as she continues the "slow drip-feed of knowledge, bot'h bound for oblivion by their own route.
Hannah's poems range wide in their subjects and inspiration. The Compleat Angler, based on the book about fishing by Isaac Newton is, surprisingly, about another journey - the progress of a love affair in terms of the jargon of fishing (the hook, the lure, the bait).
Bobby-Jo Dearnley had a confessional poem which moved from a list of topics that “I’m supposed to write a poem about” – and the reasons that these are not available to herself as a privileged straight white person - to affirmation of the subject available and preferable to all of them – love.
Richard Williams spoke knowledgeably, entertainingly and lyrically of The Success or Otherwise of Disposable Barbeques, and had a true tale of Almost Meeting Di in the Connaught Arms”, an account of The Feng Shui Shop on Fratton Road and some advice about memories – “Nurture your future”.
Andy B J Low read on the same topic, from his sequence-in-progress about Body and Soul.
Jeremy Loynes’s take on memory was Take the Old Road (a landscape poem, literally a trip down memory lane). He mourned the problem of plastic pollution in Throwaway Society and with his third poem he was Welcoming the Spring.
Isabelle Kenyon spoke of humanity as Top of the Food Chain and explored Reason and Uncertainty.
Geoffrey Pimlott read three poems on the themes of injustice and war, which are his principal source of inspiration. Details of his reading were posted on Geoffrey’s Facebook profile on Tuesday 8th May . Thank you, Geoff, for permission to use your photo at the head of this post. https://www.facebook.com/geoffrey.pimlott
Lorri Pimlott’s poem on Courbet’s 'Liberty Leading the People; made excellent points about the female personification of Liberty – where was she really leading the people? Exorcising her demons – or exercising them, rather – brought smiles, and in her last, lyrical poem she asked –
“What did the Moon say to the Sea / that made the waves giggle?”
Ray Pool read Housewife, Sweet Morag (surely another memory) and Skeleton Staff. Drily humorous as ever, Ray gave us all a smile.
Next month on June 5th we feature J S Watts, whose pamphlet “The Submerged Sea” was published last month, and Bryan Baker, an old friend who as well as writing rather surreal poems is also a talented painter.