Saturday, November 25, 2017

I Keep Boris Johnson in the Fridge, and other new poems.

Today I've been to the Poetry Society Stanza meeting in Sheffield. It is held in the Library, and we get together with other poets to put our work forward for comment, and possible improvement. As there is a Harry Potter exhibition on at the moment, we were asked to contribute something on that theme. This is my effort, if you pass by the Library pop in, you may see my poem on display. Obviously, it is written from the point of view of a man. It's not all about me, you know. 

She Put A Spell On Me - Jane Sharp

The minute I saw the black cat, I knew.
I didn’t want to let on I’d clocked it,
so I feigned coolness, talked about the weather,
strange words tripped off my tongue.
latine loqui coactus sum.
The cat grew monkey bits,
a probiscus nose – Nasal Larvatus,
a long tail – Macaca Fascicularis,
and it’s claws began to morph into fingers.
I turned the conversation to philosophy,
‘You strike me as a very deep person’ I said.
Apparet te habere ingenium profundum.
I knew I was talking her language. And I could.
It didn’t go down well. The cat arched its back
like a medieval bridge, the Pont de Diavolo, hissed,
in cantatorum tuorum vehementem. Spells.
She must have sensed my fear, my battle with reality,
but she ignored it, handed me another cocktail,
saying, ‘Drink this.’ I knew I shouldn’t have, but I did. 
When I looked again, the cat was a tiger.
Et vidi cum Tigride Catus.
O Harrius Potter, ubi eras quando opus vestrum?
(Where were you when I needed you?)

Last week David and I did an Owl Walk with Steven Ely (brilliant poet) round Elsecar. We had a guided tour of the Newcomen Beam Engine and a night walk around the village. I fancy my ancestors may have been looking on, as I can go back four generations in Elsecar with my Royston blood.
 The next day, taking advantage of the bright Autumn weather, we headed for Birdwell woods and Rockley Iron Works. The colours were wonderful. There were lots of  ambers, reds, crisp golden browns and marmalade tinted leaves to crunch underfoot. And we were able to hike up a good appetite for lunch at the Cock Inn, before going home.

I also attended a poetry workshop which was about political poetry and how nursery rhymes are often based on politics, e.g. The Grand Old Duke of York, or Humpty Dumpty. It was a good chance to get together with other poets from the area, and hear their work. These is my 'political' poems, just to show I wasn't idle at the workshop.

Once Defrosted Use Within 24 Hours -  Jane Sharp


I keep Boris Johnson in my freezer
just on the chance I need a blond geezer
who, like a packet of deep frozen peas
survives quite well at minus two degrees

It’s a wibbly, wobbly packet, but then
he’s noted for being one of those men
who can be shaky, in fact, unstable
sure enough when defrosted he’s able

to cause chaos, mayhem, turmoil, it’s like
watching a whirlwind whip snow off a pike
Sometimes, however he’s just the right bloke
to serve at a party, crack a good joke


I keep Boris Johnson in my freezer,
along with Chris Grayling, and Theresa.
They came in a packet of frozen MPs
I bought, to de-swell my arthritic knees.

Some say, deep-frozen are better than fresh,
and, if you can find them, back-benchers are best,
but even though my MPs ’re high profile
they’re about as sweet as a crocodile.

They’re a moribund bunch, a misshaped mix,
effective enough for a short sharp fix,
but I doubt even these stonyfaced MPs
will ever relieve my arthritic knees.

However, I’ll keep them in my freezer -
Bumbling Boris, Cross Chris and Theresa,
their packet is near to its sell by date,
and I’ll throw it out soon, at any rate.

Next time I’ll buy Birds Eye frozen peas,
go au naturelle, take vitamin Bs,
fill up the freezer with iced G & Ts,
and forget all about my arthritic knees.

Close Encounter at the Ritz – Jane Sharp

Mary Jane went to the Ritz
For supper with her daughter,
When old Wino showed his bits
She said: ‘you shouldn’t ‘ave aught – t’.
Wino! Wino! We know you,
We know what you are after,
Mend your ways you fat gnu
Or be prepared for slaughter.’

Well, I had lots of fun writing those. I hope you had fun reading them.

We are on the run up to Christmas, and I have written a little verse for my cards. All in all it has been quite a productive week. I'm going to relax now with a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones before bed-y-bies. 

I hope your weekend is going as week as mine, and that the sun shines on us all tomorrow.
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Friday, October 27, 2017

Poetry Reading at the Rutland Alms, Sheffield

Well, here it is. Sorry about the quality but the room was very dimly lit, and the camera man could have been better positioned. It was a good evening though, and the audience was appreciative. I am now looking forward to Saturday's Stanza meeting in the library in Sheffield, where I have a new poem to present to the group. 

The sun is shining in Birdwell, today, very pleasant. I have my lesson plan to sort out for class this afternoon, other than that it will be an easy day. And it is Friday, so maybe hubby and I will push the boat out and see what's going on at the Cock, this evening.

Have a lovely weekend, dear reader,
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sheffield Stanza Poetry Reading in Sheffield

 The Poetry Society

Sheffield STANZA presents an evening of poetry.
7.15pm, The Rutland Arms
Monday 23rd October, free event
Readings by:
Debjani Chatterjee
Britain’s best-known Asian poet.
Cora Greenhill
 Recent collections “The Point of Waking,” “Far from Kind,” and “Artemis, The People’s Priestess.”
Julie Lumsden
who recently appeared in a Shoestring anthology called “Strike up the Band.”
Kate Rutter
Published in Magma, The Rialto and The North. Bridport Prize shortlisted.
Jane Sharp

as featured in The Yorkshire Anthology. and on BBC radio.

I'm looking forward to Monday evening. It's the first time I've read in Sheffield. Hope you can come along to our free event.

For those of you who can't be there, I will blog about it next week.

Have a good weekend lovely people.
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Sunday, October 1, 2017

National Poetry Day

To celebrate National Poetry Day we decided to take a day trip to Marsden. Why Marsden? Well it is the village where Simon Armitage was born and brought up, they do seem to be promoting poetry in the pubs and shops, and it's a little place in Yorkshire that we had never been.

So, without further ado, we hopped on a train to Huddersfield and changed there for Marsden, arriving about mid-day. We were pleasantly surprised by the location, a village cum small town in a basin of green hills. Just below the railway station the Huddersfield Narrow Canal wends its way between Huddersfield and Ashton-Under-Lyne, crossing the Pennines by means of 74 locks and the Standedge Tunnel.

We found Marsden, on a beautiful autumn Thursday, to be a sleep hollow. There were a few hill walkers passing through, locals walking dogs, the occasional cyclist, but the best buzz by far was in the Riverhead Tap where we settled for lunch and a pint.

 After lunch we took to the streets to search for poems which had been displayed in the shop windows.

 This is just one of the many poems we found
 Railway and canal run side by side at this point.
We took the tow path walk (15min each way) to the entrance to the Standedge Tunnel.

 Goodby, Marsden after a great little visit.

Later the muse did descend. Here is my poem set out a la Marsden shop window poetry.


In year dot, well before dinosaurs
When the earth was not much more than a fluid snowflake
And protozoa had to cling to pondweed
And baffled molluscs lived and died without knowing why,
An orbiting satellite, an un-mined asteroid
solid as a diamond brick, black as anthracite,
The size of the Great Pyramid of Giza,
Mystifyingly shucked off its course
And began to hurtle through the firmament
In the general direction of down.
Down, down, down it fell
Blazing through the heavens
Down down down, casting a momentary shadow,
before blinding the icy soup,
Down down down, with a blasting punch
That ripped into unseen sphagnum,
Blitzed spirogyra, and annihilated all the, who knows what,
sensory inhabitants of moss, that might have clocked its brilliance.
It fell like God-plop onto a slop of earth,
In a rise of steam, in a hiss of vapor, in a press
Of unheard sound, that wouldn't have been out of place
in Bank Bottom Mill. Death interrupted life.
And a great hole smashed through the liquid slush,
and blasted into smithereens smaller than protons.
And it was gone, a flash, a explosion, then nothing.
A chip off a planet’s block,
Or so the legend goes, that made a dint where otherwise
There might have been a mountain.
Eons later, eons and eons later, the locals called that place
Den o’ t’ Mars, knowing that the lay of their land had been
Moulded by some extraterrestrial collision.
Marsden to you and me.
They passed on the secret down the generations,
Druids whispered it to trees,
Poets came.

There you have it. Where shall we go to next? I have a hankering to go to Holmfirth, I did spend the morning with poet friends at Sheffield Library on Saturday. It is so good to mingle now and then. David and I went to the Civic Theatre in Barnsley last night. It was what they call a Scratch night. Basically would be drama buffs trying out their abstract work on a freebie audience. We did have a laugh, pity the chip shop was closed when we came out, a bag of chips would have been the highlight of the evening. We ended up getting one packet of crisps out of the vending machine at the bus station, and sharing that, it didn't quite top the bill.

So, till next time dear reader, I hope you are well and have more exciting things to do than eat a packet of crisps. Happy days!
Love and hugs,
Jane x

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Light Verse - Never Stick Anything Smaller Than Your Elbow in Your Ear

And after yesterday's angry poem, here is a bit of light entertainment.

It has been a quiet Sunday, but I have managed to do some piano practice (always good for the soul) and read a little of Jane Austen's Emma (just a tad boring) and make a few notes for a new poem (always satisfying as I never know where the next one is coming from).

Now to send a few e-mails, and then it's feet up and watch Fake or Fortune followed by Far From the Madding Crowd, a book I read fifty odd years ago when I was at school. 

I hope you have had a pleasant day, and wish you a lovely evening. Talk again soon.

Love and hugs,

Jane x

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Angry Poet

Sometimes the words just overflow and have to be spoken out loud.

There’s good - And there’s bad

And there’s angry
I’m angry
I’m angry inside
Deep inside
Where hurts I never imagined could happen
Are happening 
Even the infinitesimal spaces
The cavernous hollows
Of what makes up me
Are hurting
I’m hurting Heather Hyer
I’m hurting for you
I’m hurting with anger,

I’m livid, incensed,
Fist clenched,
Heart racing,
Teeth grinding
Fuming to boiling over,
Furious from the inside-out
So heated I’m in meltdown,

And I know shouting won’t help,
Screaming won’t help
Throwing objects across the room
Smashing devices
Ripping up newspapers,
Burning books,
Getting hold of a picture
Of Donald Trump
Screwing it up into a ball
And setting fire to it
Won’t help

You haters of this world
You nasty people
You who like to bully
You racist thugs
You destroyers of lives
You vile, offensive,
Nauseating bigots
You foul mouthed xenophobic
Extremist right
You Nazi flag flying
Demolishers of society
You have made me

And now this
Innocent people killed in Barcelona
Terrorists shot dead in the street
Echos of Westminster Bridge
Manchester kids blown to pieces
Sunbathers machine-gunned down
German Shoppers annihilated 
Je suis Charlie!

And this is only a fraction of it
This is only recent memory
This isn’t going back to bandstands
In Hyde Park
To double decker buses
To underground trains
This isn’t going to Syria
Afghanistan, Turkey, Israel
Ghaza, The West Bank,
Chechnia, Ukrain, Pakistan
Yugoslavia, Croatia,
And when it seemed like the whole world
Was against Blair going to war in Iraq
Nothing could stop him
No amount of ‘plaques for peace’
No amount of anger 
No amount of love
Well that’s what it feels like now
Like the love in my body
Is under attack

So get this, body
Get this world
I’m telling you to get a hold
I’m telling you to stop hurting
And to replace that rage 
With something constructive

Replace the anger
Replace the clenched fist
Replace any trace of venom

And You
What happened to human kindness?
What happened to a sense of decency?
What happened to conscience?

Don’t tell me God wants
you to be the way you are
Don’t tell me that

Figure it out

There’s good
And there’s bad
I know where I stand

And now I'm going to bake a cake with lots of love in it. 
I'll be right back when I've calmed down a bit.

Love and hugs,
Jane x

Tears From The Sun - The Story