Poetry and Performance

I have always written poetry, had work published in anthologies and magazines and done a few readings. In 2015 I started writing poetry for performance.

DON’T – a poem listing all the ways our language has to warn you not to put yourself out there, was the first poem I performed at an open mic session as my ‘return’ to live poetry. It’s basically about being scared of messing up.

#HASHTAG is a poem people seemed to like.

The Front Page is a long narrative poem I wrote quite a while ago now

Breath[e]:LESS is a show I made with fellow poets Ralph Dartford and Tom Hunt, music producer/ DJ Kwah and video and lighting designer Al Orange. It is a performance/ gig about our response to climate change and threats to the planet, and the most recent version includes material I wrote in response to the floods in Hebden Bridge in December 2015.

Here is an excerpt :

Drops of uncertainty, deluge of doubt,
it takes cow-arsed courage to be out
in this weather, four days and counting
of storm and rainfall, amounting
to a season’s water in a week.
On the moors above the cruise-ship houses
it drops, makes place, seeks
entry, moves down
from sodden earth, finds space
for congregation, a peat-brown
army yomps through scrub and heather.
In Dermot’s house, they’re on their second bottle.
Windows moan blindly at uninvited weather.
Victor carries on, full throttle.
“The alarmists have invaded
the media, they have mobilised, persuaded
All these groups to tell the same lies.
Yes, it’s an emotional story. Polar bears.
Stuff that hits the gut.
They want to believe, the more you rebut
The more the believer swears
On his climate bible of doom”
A curtain falls, a night-drop gloom,
clouds hurl exclamations of sky-strewn
Water. Battalions of quicksilver tunes,
horde of molten, migrant throngs
Marching to their fury songs.
Water. Displaced, moved on,
by rock and root, a rude
insistent, shouting multitude
what once were paths are streams, fast, violent, spouting,
binding in a thick and liquid plait .
Falling down the shoulder of the hill
Running past the new converted mill.

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