Happy Black Country Day


 

Happy Black Country Day, and what better way than to celebrate than with a poem about my home town of Walsall which is a proud part of this great region.

 

My Roots are Showing

Air cushioned souls
descends a cobbled hill.
Worn stones with tarmac patches
wind past a church that
casts a shadow
over a town built before it,
But now living in it.

A town built on
lime and leather,
saddles and soot,
an arboretum and an art gallery,
Highgate mild and pork scratchings.
Foundations built to last.

A town where we’re not scared
to roll up our denim sleeves
to show our tattooed hearts.
A town I joyfully bounce through
pen in one hand, pasty in another
trying to capture its soul

Diverse Verse 2 is ready for launch


Late last year I launched a call for poets for a poetry anthology for charity entitled “Diverse Verse 2.” I’m pleased to say the book is at the printers and we have a launch date.

On the 27th May as part of Southcart Book’s open mic “Diverse Verse 2” will be launched. The official Facebook event is here if you are interested, it should be a great day with lots of superb poets reading and hopefully I’ll sell a few books for charity.

Help Support Southcart Books


Southcart Books my local bookshop and supporter of the arts in Walsall needs your help. I’ll let them explain and introduce Project Mayhem.

 
WHAT IS PROJECT MAYHEM ?

Right then here we go with an explanation , apologise for it being overlong but I feel a proper explanation is needed.

Here at Southcart books we have constantly been bombarded with stock both paid for and donated and we feel it’s getting out of control , I’m giving 100s of books away every month & we still can’t cope , we now have about 3 times as much books in the storeroom & kitchen than whats on display on the shop floor & we would love people to eventually get to see them , no good having all those books if they can’t be seen is it ?

What we would like to do is open 3/4 of the storeroom (an extra 200sq ft ) , to customers as additional shop floor space , as you can imagine this comes with considerable cost so we are hitting it 3 fold.
1. a long running online sale to raise extra capital
2. seeking community based funding from the government ( blood out of a stone I know )
3. launching a crowdfunding scheme to raise capital.

What the money would be spent on…we have a couple of plans depending on how much we get.

Low funding…block off the kitchen and fill the storeroom with bookcases.

Medium funding…make the storeroom look the same as the main shop floor , bookcases plus all the additional trimmings.

High funding…remove part of the shops wall to really open up the shop space.

We are not asking for money off you directly in this economic climate and we fully understand that some people do not agree with crowdfunding businesses so if you can’t help us financially we would really appreciate you sharing our ideas and funding links.

If you can help financially we are offering you stock for pledges like we did last summer plus people/businesses can sponsor areas and bookcases.

Many thanks for reading & we always encourage your feedback , here is the link.

http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/southcartbooks

plus here is the link to our online sale with up to 95% off some higher priced items

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/m.html…

So can you help? You don’t have to donate money – though that would be cool – even if it’s just liking the Facebook Page and spreading the word every bit helps. At the same time why not support your local independent book shop, pop in and see what you can offer.

 

Unfathomable


Walsall Arboretum lake

One of the lakes that inspired this poem in Walsall Arboretum

In a quiet corner of the park,
Lies a lake with water dark.
Surrounded by stooped trees.
Which guard it from the breeze.

If at its shores you stand there,
It seems no matter how long you stare.
The lake’s depths defy your gaze,
Whether you look for minutes or days.

But be patient, stand very still,
Put away your phone, wait until.
Very slowly before your eyes,
The lake quietly comes to life.

The surface ripples, then breaks,
As a water boatman skates.
Then a branch shakes and sways,
As a squirrel makes his way.

But as soon as nature comes it goes,
Your spectacle draws to a close.
Nature again hides away,
To perhaps return another day.

The trees seem to close ranks,
As you steal a final glance.
Then the lake’s water fades to black,
As you turn and don’t look back.

 

Jessica’s Doll


I’m pleased to announce that I have written a poem which will appear in the soon to be released horror film “Jessica’s Doll” by Walsall film director Andy Simon.

Jessicas Doll Movie Poster

Here’s the film’s chilling plot taken from its Facebook page.

Jessica’s Doll is about a young Girl called Jessica, an orphan and homeless girl who’s only friend is her Doll (Also named Jessica)

Lost and homeless, walking the streets, she comes across her childhood home, and takes shelter inside from a thunderstorm.

She heads to the Cellar and discovers a chest and hides inside away from the storm. The lid closes, the lock clicks, and there she is trapped.

She has one last wish before all the air is used up, before she dies. She wishes she could become a doll like her own…

Here’s the poem which I composed for the start of the movie taken from the introduction Andy had written for the film and turned by him into the excellent picture below. Click to enlarge.

In the film itself the poem is read by Andy’s talented daughter Anya, who also composed the movie’s soundtrack as well.

poem revised final

You can find more about this exciting film on the soon to be launched website here

Or get the latest news via the film’s Facebook page here.

Or follow the film on Twitter here.

I’d just like to take this chance to say massive thanks to Andy for letting me work with him and I hope the film does well – I’ve seen a clip there’s no doubt in my mind that it will.

Bloody Weather


bloody weather

Bloody snowy weather go away
Don’t you know it’s nearly May?
I want to shelve my winter clothes,
Plus turn off the heating in my home.
I’m so fed up with being cold,
Bloody weather do what your told.

The Walsall Poetry Society’s charity anthology “Diverse Verse” is now available


Diverse Verse

Today the Walsall Poetry Society is pleased to announce that its charity anthology of poems from the West Midlands and beyond is available to buy.

Featuring over 100 pages of poetry from a variety of talented poets the book can be yours by following the link below.

CLICK HERE TO BUY THE BOOK

Part of the money made from the sale of this book will benefit a local charity, details of the recipient to be announced soon.

Please feel free to reblog this post or if you came across this announcement via Facebook a like and share are much appreciated.

Pub Cat


Albert Colpitts

Pub cat
Arches back.
Looking sleek
Furry cheek.
Tail flicking
Lip licking.
Ears alert
Mouth purrs.
Feline plea
Fuss me.

 

Dedicated to Albert Colpitts

Photo courtesy of Albert Colpitt’s Facebook page.

 

A Black Country Ode by guest poet Matt Humphries


Matt Humphries

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 matthew_humphries2007@yahoo.co.uk

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.

Spring Thoughts


Spring in Walsall Arboretum

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 Surprise

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!