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[email protected]   - editor David Wilson  07714772707 -   Journalist, [email protected]     07917730238

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The Spoken Word

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6

SAILING BARGES OFF SOUTHEND

 

Drifting on a tide from long ago

They swing at anchor silently

Wreathed in early morning mist

Like ghosts grown mellow with antiquity.

With names like Gladys, Will and Edith May

Heroic legends motionless on ancient bows

They are waiting for the breeze, patiently

Submissive to the whims of air and ebb.

Later with windlass rattling as anchors are raised

Sails set at the stirring of wind over tide

They bear away a pageant of remembered trade,

A flock of stately seabirds through the lanes.

 

© Adrian Green

WALKING ON THE ESTUARY HILL

 

The curlew and the heron call,

the hissing mud and whispering wings

beat eery through the idle air

until the moonlit midnight silence falls

and then the tide flows softly

through the gut and sluice of estuary sands

and dark against the dreamlit sky

the trees arise from hedgerows,

and the hills

alive with monstrous shapes

are menacing with soundless fear,

and still below the blundering man,

the beery and uncertain head,

the stubbled fields hold secrets now

and silence fills the river bed.

 

 

© Adrian Green

1-Adrian Green July 2006

Adrian Green

 

 

Adrian Green lives overlooking the sea in Southend, Essex. He has been reviews editor of Littoral, a magazine featuring poetry and articles of nature and the spirit, editor of SOL magazine,

and has published 2 pamphlet collections - Beachgame (1977) and The Watchers (1987) - as well as poems and

reviews in a number of magazines and anthologies.

Chorus and Coda is a retrospective and contemporary selection of work by a writer who has been described as “a careful exact craftsman” and “not one

who rushes everything into print” (Essex Countryside).

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For the Love of Poetry

Poetry and thoughts of writers

                        Locked Down with Dementia

 

My world had changed,

Although I can’t be sure

I can’t remember how it was before!

People here have half-faces,

And touch with smooth blue hands.

I cannot hear what they say;

Their muffled voices come from far away.

They ease me into a chair with wheels

And push me where I do not want to go.

A little screen they put in front of me,

Look – your daughter; she’s waving can you see?

Daughter I wonder what that is …

I see a woman I do not know,

Perhaps I ought to say hello.

I want to lie in bed and gaze at a cold white moon

I want to snooze in sun that warms my bones.

Half-faced monsters go away!

Take your moving chairs, plastic hands, strange screens,

Leave me in the sun  – that at least has stayed the same

That at least, I know its name …

                        A Memorable Year

 

That was the year that was, that was – a strange and crazy time,

That too many other poets have described in verse and rhyme.

But I’d like the fated numbers, the 2020 year,

To magic up a memory of something special dear …

 

A path that I discovered, just a mile from my home,

A tiny trace of countryside that I had never known

Existed but I found it, and with curiosity

I ventured down its winding way to see where it would lead.

 

The twisty route ran parallel to a tiny tinkly stream

And ferny fronds tickled my skin as I wove inbetween.

And overhead great beech and oak made glorious vaulted ceiling

Where sunlight filtered leafy gaps, made patterns so appealing.

 

My spirits soared to find this gem – a special secret space.

Nature’s own cathedral, a holy private place.

But all good things come to an end, this path sadly the same

A sign-post marked the other end and named it ‘Rebel’s Lane’.

 

Then how I smiled for now I knew this lane belonged to me,

A rebel since my childhood, a lifetime proud and free.

And for ever I’ll remember this year with memories fond,

And Rebel’s Lane will be my lane, to love and walk along.

Lockdown Blues

 

‘ Got the Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues

Can’t see my friends or family too,

Run out of jobs don’t know what to do;

The Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues.

Go out for a run, the same old views,

Coffeeshop’s shut and the pubs are too,

Death toll’s rising in the news,

The Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues.

Managed to get loo roll but no flour

Two people in the supermarket, wait for an hour,

Stand on your own in the snake-like queue,

The Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues.

Bored of Netflix, bored of books,

Can’t get ingredients to bake or cook

I long for a holiday abroad or a cruise,

The Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues.

What shall I do? How to pass the time,

Til evening when I’ll treat myself to a wine,

Be thankful because I can still get booze,

The Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues.

And now it’s Easter it’s such a shame,

I phone my friends but it’s not the same,

I’d do DIY but I can’t get the screws,

The Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues.

I’m thoroughly sick of living like this,

It’s weird and it’s horrible there’s, so much I miss,

So Boris get better and open the door,

Give us normality back just like before!

But wait the sun’s shining and it could be worse

I could have no garden that would be a curse!

Or what if the people I love become sick,

Snap out of this misery, don’t be so thick!

We’re in this together we need to stay strong

So many worse off, don’t whinge, you’re so wrong

Just look on the bright side, make sure you don’t choose

The Lockdown blues, the Lockdown blues.

 

As with most of the arts, projects, and productions have been put on hold, has this been the case with you?

   NO! I have had a lot more time to write, especially in the first lockdown working  from home and cutting out the travel times. Self-publishing on Amazon can take place anywhere there's the internet. ALSO the completely weird circumstances inspired me to write 16 poems! Two attached below. It really helped my mental struggle with the complete change to everything I had come to know as normal to express myself in poetry - a kind of catharsis.

 

Did you read a book or watch a film that you always wanted to, but never got round to it?

 

   Yes I reread 'Sons and Lovers' one of my favourites from my student days. It's a paper copy and I read almost totally on kindle now so I took the time to do this.

 

Have you found any new hobbies, or taken up old ones?

 

   YES! I got my guitar restrung and had a little strum. I'm not good but it really lifts my mood to sing and play.

 

For the coming year have you got poems awaiting to be published or hopefully, aired to an audience?

 

     I regularly perform at open mic events around Southend (Peggy Sue's Railway etc) and am looking  forward to doing so again at some point! I am not aiming to publish my poetry as I also write novels and have my fourth coming out in a few weeks.

 

I'd be happy to supply details of all my publications, two are set in Basildon and one is being sold to raise money for Safe Steps (the women's refuge in Southend)

 

Sue Lesser <[email protected]>

Sue is a writer and was born and raised in Brighton, Sussex but moved to Essex in 2000. She now lives in Southend-on-Sea, which she describes as her ‘second home’. She brought up four children, mainly on her own, as well as working as a teacher.

 In 2017 she took early retirement from her job as a primary head teacher, to support her mother who had been diagnosed with dementia. This also allowed her to focus on writing, which she has always dreamed of.

suelesserwithbook-1

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Q and A for writers under lockdown - Sue Lesser

In 2018 she published a slim volume of her own poetry ‘Take a Poem with Breakfast’ (available on Amazon and from [email protected]) which she has sold to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. To date she has raised over £1500. This is her second novel; her first ‘Alright as We Are’, tells the stories of a boy and girl, growing up in contemporary urban Britain. They are both faced with different but serious challenges and strive to overcome them. The book is available in both paperback and kindle editions and is published by Amazon . In her third novel, which will be published in 2020, Sue departs from realistic fiction and ventures into the world of historical fiction, with an added time-slip element. Easy Money, describing the life of a Victorian prostitute, will be published in 2020.

Please note my mother is living with dementia. During lockdown her condition deteriorated significantly and she couldn't see any family. 'Locked down with Dementia' is about her experience as I imagined it.

Sue Lesser 

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What an amazing month it has been for the Southend Poetry Group. Despite a severe and restrictive time, poems and correspondence have been flowing in to our Poetry Facebook page.

 The winning poem of the Troubadour Competition, ‘Entre -Deux-Mers’, promoted much debate over what poetry was all about with 65 poets joining in and giving their views. Peter (Stafford) was up for the challenge and sent in one of his own: ‘Not Art’. This also had 65 views and comments.

 I just had to mention my father’s favourite saying ‘horses for courses’. Variety indeed is the spice of life!

  One of the most striking features of the month for me was the on-line Littoral magazine presented by our gifted and generous member, Mervyn Linford.  The hours of work and dedication Mervyn devoted to this work, to showcase new poetry on the theme of Nature and the Spirit is outstanding. Mervyn, we thank you so much!

 Many poets answered the challenge of ‘Bubbles’ this month . First to send in was member David (Timmins) with his poem starting - ‘See this child’s face’ which immediately brought us in to the atmosphere of bubbles.

 Others followed. :  Peter Stafford, Joy. M. Louisa, Irie with her lovely photos and poetry, plus due recognition of Remembrance, Robert ( Hallman) again with beautiful photography and words, Sue ( Lesser) performance poet and instigator of the Bubbles theme, Maddi Crease and her very brave poem of survival, Donatien Moisden  with his outstanding work, and Denis Ahern who has encouraged us to keep the Group going by sending in his poems which are sheer little gems.

 

We also had a first visit from Val (Riley). Welcome Val! Like Irie said, you will soon feel at home in our Poetry Group. We are all very welcoming here and I am always pleased to see poets sending in who have never written poetry before. Poets such as Sally and Melissa and others. Poetry is needed in the world today, especially in these strange times.

 Of course we also value our commentators, such as Lynda Duffee, Ann (Hilton) Isobel , Bernice,  Zita ( very valued!) ,Celia, Jackie and others. Although we enjoy writing poetry, it would not be the same if no one read it or commented on it!

 On another topic, did you know there is another source of information for poets and authors.? This is ‘The Southend Community News.’  Worth a look at if you get time and want a bit of publicity etc. [email protected]

 News on the Anthology front. 52 books now sold. 90 still unsold. Our thanks to Dorothy and Andrew for dealing with  sales and deliveries. Christmas is coming so please see if you can afford a few more, they do make nice presents.

 

 Oh – nearly forgot. This month’s challenge – write a poem on the subject of ‘Waiting!’. Dorothy and I immediately agreed on this one as it gives plenty of scope. Don’t forget though, poems on other subjects are of course equally welcome.

 

Keep writing! Shirley ( Secretary)

DECEMBER 2020 NEWS LETTER FOR ALL FRIENDS AND MEMBERS OF SOUTHEND POETRY GROUP