100,000 Poets and 100,000 Musicians for Change at Heartlands

Tomorrow, around about 1.30pm, I will be reading some of my work in the totem circle at Heartlands as part of the celebration of the two international events 100,000 Poets and 100,000 Musicians for Change.  Hopefully, some of my friends will be there, too, and, if we are lucky, the sun will shine down on us.  All the same, it is a bit scary and I am perfectly sure that there are some people, especially those who are not used to performing in public, who will have spent the past couple of days thinking: ‘Why on earth did I say I would do this?’
There are several reasons why I will be turning up tomorrow but let me be clear and right up front about the fact that some of them are less than noble.  The first reason, for example, is exactly the same as for any other gig I turn up to which is that I have a natural interest in finding an audience for my work. The second reason is similarly selfish in that these things are usually fun and, most of the time, at least, I do enjoy attending them. Last week’s reading at the Penzance Peace Fest was very much a case in point. It was a lovely, sunny afternoon, the people were smiling; they were gentle and inclined to be supportive. I only read one poem that afternoon but it really didn’t matter a jot because I knew as I read it that these people really heard.

The final reason that I will be at Heartlands tomorrow (even though I think I am going down with something) is because I believe that, at this point in time, the world is in NEED of some CHANGE. We need to change our hearts and minds and find another way of living, one that does not depend on greed and an ‘I’m-alright-Jack-pull-up-the-ladder’ kind of mentality. There will be those, of course, who will say – and I cannot dispute with them – that, in practical terms, reading a few poems and singing a few songs won’t accomplish much.  On the other hand, though, this event will does offer a way of ‘standing up to be counted’.  My friends and I will be standing up tomorrow at 1.30pm.  We would love it if you could come along.


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