‘Words and Music’ at The Melting Pot Cafe, Krowji, Redruth

This evening, at The Melting Pot Cafe in Redruth, David and I will be hosting the second ‘Words and Music Performance Evening’.  The first of these evenings took place in May and was a great success with both musicians and poets saying how much they enjoyed it. I hope that in a day or two there will be photographs to post but, just to give anyone reading this, some idea of what goes on, here is a review written by Peter Jenkin of ‘Cornish Literature’.

Spoken Word Success at The Melting Pot Café

A large gathering enjoyed a mixture of serious and humorous verse at The Melting Pot Café’s new Spoken Word night.

After an opening musical interlude from David Rowland, Abigail Wyatt was the first to kick off the evening’s poetic entertainment. Performing two poems covering both the serious – the miscarriage of justice that killed Carlos de Luna – and the playful – George Galloway’s recent election attempts, she set the tone for the eclectic and high quality work that was to follow.

Duncan Yeates then took to the stage, opening with his poem: “A Small Work of Questionable Worth” which examined the sincerity of poetic declarations of love. This was followed by a poem looking at the same theme from a different perspective, reflecting as it did on Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s artistic reactions to the death of his wife, Lizzie Siddall.

The serious and intellectual tone of proceedings was reinforced by the anti-capitalist rhetoric of Craig Taylor-Broad’s poem, “Creation for Currency is Corruption” which was followed by some ribald but direct examinations of a failed relationship.

Craig was followed by Lorna Hosking who performed her understated and atmospheric poems entitled “March Moody Blues” and “January 2012” which received a warm and appreciative reaction.

Rather than taking to the stage, Sue Farmer offered an engaging mix of ukulele playing and political commentary from amongst the audience, causing many amused smiles with her forthright opinions on “The Sun” newspaper.

Other literary highlights included novelist Patricia Finney’s humorous but acute take on everything from the appeal of chocolate to the responsibility of bankers for Britain’s double dip recession. This more playful approach was also developed by Collette Loftus who managed to entertain the audience with some amusing personal reflections whose wittiness and insight was a refreshing change from the solipsism that can be found in more personal poetry.

Finally, all credit must go The Melting Pot Café’s house band: Mr Bones Presents as their lounge style musical productions never fail to delight. In addition to this, David Rowland, Aston Drees and Ice ‘n Slice all provided diverse and engaging musical interludes in a variety of styles.

The next Spoken Word night is scheduled for 22nd August. For further information, please visit the website at http://www.themeltingpotcafe.co.uk.

‘Safe Harbour’

‘Safe Harbour’, written in November, 2010, is the first poem that I have recorded to SoundCloud.  I have been meaning to experiment with this for some considerable time but I confess I have been apprehensive about using a technology hitherto unknown.  As it has turned out, it really couldn’t have been easier and I have to say I am more than pleased with these very early results.  I am also confident that a little more practice will see an improvement in the quality of the recording.  My grateful thanks go to Aaron Kent who gave advice and inspired by his example. All I need to do is work out how to get the SoundCloud recordings up on here.  As you can probably tell, I am not a natural at this.  Still, onward and upward.


‘Dark Days’ is published in Poetry 24′ or ‘Killing Us Softly’…

Today, Thursday, 3rd August, my poem ‘Dark Days’ is has been published by that excellent online poetry mag ‘Poetry 24. This poem is a response to the present government’s cynical and unprecedented attack on the chronically sick and disabled. Having suffered a period of ill health myself I am all too aware of how stressful – and, indeed,  further debilitating – it can be to find one’s illness in the public domain.  I found, for example, that I quickly became the object of patronizing – and sometimes snide and nasty-  remarks that implied, or even openly suggested, that what I needed to do was ‘man up’, stop ‘making excuses’, and, of course, in the words of those two wonderful old chestnuts, stop ‘taking things so seriously’ and  ‘pull myself together’.

That was bad enough.  Such attitudes made me thoroughly unhappy and did nothing to aid my recovery.  Now, however, we are hearing that some people whose lives are already made difficult by the effects of sickness and/or disability are encountering abuse from strangers in the street who call them unpleasant names and suggest that they are ‘fakers’ and ‘scroungers’.  I find it difficult to avoid the conclusion that such cruel and inhumane behaviour is a direct consequence of a) the attitude of our present government towards the sick and disabled and b) the damning tone of some ‘news’ reports that have appeared in the popular press. It was partly in an effort to counter such attitudes that I wrote and submitted ‘Dark Days’ which you can find at Poetry 24 by following the link provided to the right.