So it’s five years since I started this poetry blog and to my surprise despite the odd gap in poetry production it’s still going. So as I said yesterday I’m not going to go into detail about my journey instead as is traditional on fifth anniversaries I’m going to give you a wooden gift.
On a fifth anniversary it’s traditional
To give a wooden gift.
So I have chosen for you
Not solid dependable oak poetry.
This is Ikea poetry.
Poetry you need a screwdriver to put together,
Words that should come with instructions.
This is old-fashioned wooden jigsaw poetry,
Poetry found in the loft with pieces missing,
Words that don’t form a picture
No matter how hard you stare.
This is poetry you can burn.
Release words from wooden embers.
Poetry that generates no heat,
But just turns quickly to ash.
Ash that as if on cue
Is blown away by the wind.
This is poetry you can throw in rivers
To be enjoyed as it floats away.
This is poetry that no matter how hard you try to be rid of
Your dog will always bring it back.
This is poetry you can save for Bonfire Night.
Rhymes roast as marshmallows toast.
Next year comes iron.
Poetry formed from blood and metal.
If I’ve finished my jigsaw.
As the fifth anniversary of this site fast approaches – it’s tomorrow – I decided that rather than write a long piece about my unexciting journey from there to here I’d do something different. So today I’m sharing a poem from my good friend and poet Matt Humphries.
A Black Country Ode
There’s a place I know
Called the Black Country, see
It stretches to Stourbridge
Up to Walsall in the North.
We often get confused
With our cousin the Brummie
But the accent is different
Where else in the world
Would you get to be called yampey?
The people are proud, friendly and warm
But don’t upset the old lady
Or you’ll end up in a brawl
The pubs they are full
Of colourful characters
All with tall stories
Of legend and woe
The women are pretty
But don’t upset your wench.
Cos if you do
Your life won’t be worth living, and
Her brothers will seek
A suitable recompense.
Yes the Black Country is different
But it’s the place we call home
We’re proud of our heritage
The factories and furnaces
The canals and the industry.
We were built on hard work
And even harder play
On a Saturday night
Everyone comes out to play.
There’s the darts and there’s football
And betting on slow ‘osses
Dancing and drinking as we
Try to score with the wenches.
The Black Country is wrong
On so many levels.
But like I said it’s our home
Of which we’re rightly proud
I just thought I’d say.
Want to know more about Matt , here’s a quick bio written by the man himself
My name is Matt Humphries and I’m a poet from Walsall. I have only been writing poetry for a relatively short space of time, I tend to write in a retrospective way a lot of the time and take my inspiration from things that I see or read. I hope you enjoy this poem. If you have any feedback my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks Matt, hopefully he will have a poetry book out soon which I will cover here.
Fancy a guest slot here? Just email me to discuss.
Come back tomorrow for my fifth anniversary poem.
There seems no better way to start the run up this week to the fifth birthday of the site than by celebrating World Poetry Day.
The part that caught my eye reads as follows..
“Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings.”
So here’s a poem I wrote in 2011 on the theme above – sort of.
Chip Shop Philosophy
“Life is like a kebab.” My friend said.
“It looks like you have it all wrapped up.
Then as you prepare to enjoy it
Things start to become unstuck.
Pieces start to fall away out of control
Your once firm hold begins to slip.
What you were just about to enjoy
Escapes your eager finger tips.
But you carry on with it anyway
Although you may feel quite bereft.
Because if something is missing
You simply enjoy the bits that are left.”
Come back everyday from Tuesday to Thursday as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of this site with a guest poet and a new poem.
I remember our eyes meeting across a graveyard,
Then as we both stopped to pick them up.
Rotting desire gripped our putrid bodies,
We were both stricken with undying love.
I immediately asked you for your hand,
Which I still keep in an old green pickle jar.
When you asked me for something in return
I was happy to give you my withered heart.
You promised me you’d run away with me,
It started well, until your leg rotted.
So I gave you one of mine to take its place,
I don’t mind hopping, I’m besotted.
I said I’d love you until my last breath,
Then I realised my lungs stopped last week.
You said it was the thought that counts,
As you gnawed romantically on my cheek.
I’m sure our undying love will last forever,
We won’t part no matter how much we rot.
Because when we finally decompose I’ve chosen,
To have us both recycled as organic compost.
Here’s a couple of quick verses on spring.
A Short Spring Poem
Today I think I will put away my winter coat,
I think spring’s here, it feels less cool.
So hopefully tomorrow when I wear shorts,
My knees won’t freeze and turn blue.
Spring has sprung out from hiding,
Giving me a terrible shock.
My sweat drips through my winter woollies,
Filling my wellies drop by drop.
Needless to say we’ve had another cold snap here since the nice weather at the weekend but I remain optimistic spring is nearly here!
Poetry is a weapon that I always have ready.
My brain is fully loaded with verbal ammo,
My tongue is always keen to open fire,
I’m ever ready to deal out poetic justice.
I know my combat drill, let’s do it.
I visualize my verse.
I ready my rhyme.
But most importantly,
Once I pick a target,
I don’t recite until I see the whites of their eyes.
Then I never hesitate to unleash poetry,
I let slip my words of war,
Savoring the impact of each phrase fired,
I empty my verse into the target.
Watching them fall with a poem between the eyes.
As my mouth begins to smoke I halt,
Then I flick the safety catch on my couplets.
Pausing my performance,
But remaining vigilant,
Poetry is a weapon and I always shoot first.
I’m pleased to announce that my poetry collection “Beer Froth” is now available on Kindle, meaning it should be available round most of the world at a reasonable price.
Here’s a couple of links…
If you are kind enough to buy the book and you enjoy it please let me know and maybe think about leaving me a review on Amazon, If you’ve already bought a copy then thank you and I hope you enjoyed it.
Last year I was proud to be asked alongside Bryan Griffin to support Juniper training providers in Walsall by delivering poetry/English workshops for some of their students.
So earlier this week it was great to attend the Juniper Star Awards, where they celebrated and rewarded those pupils who not only passed recent exams but also went above and beyond during their time with Juniper.
Here’s a couple of pictures of Bryan and I awarding the students with their certificates and trophies – pictures courtesy of Juniper.
I look forward to carrying out more workshops with Juniper this year and i wish them and their students continued success with all they do.