Friday, 24 June 2011


I just caught a glimpse of a piece on bbc breakfast. If it's on again before I have to leave I'll pay more attention, but the gist of it was this: 

Some woman, talking about education, was saying that our children should be educated with the purpose of feeding the machine. Well, obviously she didn't use those exact words, but that is what she said. Schools, teachers, the education system should tailor what it does to the needs of business. I think she used the word 'responsive'. Business has a duty too, of course, she acknowledged- to identify and communicate their projected needs. TO ASSIST THE EDUCATORS IN FEEDING THE CAPITALIST MACHINE. Well, of course she didn't say those words, and she didn't shout them in capital letters. But that is what she meant. 

Our education system should NEVER be dictated to by business. Our education system should be teaching children to be creative. To think for themselves. To ask questions. Our children should be taught philosophy. And that if we don't look after the planet we live on, nothing else will matter anyway.

Of course, they will say that it's about skills. But you can learn wonderful, real, important skills whilst having a rich education. Children can learn to think and to communicate. To read, to write, to calculate, but also to be confident, innovative, adaptable, thoughtful. To work together or alone. ALL OF WHICH ARE IMPORTANT LIFE SKILLS. Children should be taught the essential skill of critical thinking. To enjoy every day. To be happy with who they are, and how they look, and that to be different is not to be wrong. Yes, they can learn science, and history, and geography, and mathematics, and literacy, and literature, and art, and craft, whilst learning how to live their lives to the full. 

And they should learn that they are not, and never should be, living their lives as fodder for someone else's enrichment. 

Well, I told you it was a rant.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

The Museum Muse

Yesterday I took part in a performance poetry workshop at Bewdley Museum with the very wonderful Heather Wastie and Emma Purshouse. We took two poems to perform, one of our own and one written by someone else. I used the as-yet-untitled first poem I have ever written especially for a Love Slam (competitive poetry event) so that I could try it out on an audience, and also chose a poem by the incomparable John Hegley entitled 'Coming for Christmas'. I thought that it worked for performance and was quite challenging. 
We also got to look around this lovely museum and write something inspired by the objects, displays, interpretation or surroundings. I wrote two poems, using different voices (we performed them later).

The first was the voice of an elegant two-piece ladies outfit from 1895:

I have taken afternoon tea, 
with ladies of high quality,
I'll have you know, 
and even though
I've now been put on show,
a relic of those bygone days,
I don't mind being subject
to your gaze.
From what I see from here
the clothes you're wearing 
wouldn't last 
a half a year.

The next poem was inspired by the stocks, and a story about two boys caught playing marbles in Wribbenhall Parish Churchyard and put in the stocks as punishment. The vicar took pity on them, as it was snowing, and sent someone out with a rug!

It was only bleedin marbles after all...
not as if I swore or somethin
now me feet are bleedin freezin
why they gone an put us ere?
Ere's the vicar, 
come to let us out.
Oh no, 
it's just to put a rug 
upon us. 

I also started a poem about slaughterhouses which I'll finish in due course as it's a very strong subject so I'd like to take my time and do it justice.
I'd like to thank Heather and Emma for a great day, and everyone else who attended for being such good company. Oh, and do visit the lovely Bewdley, and its Museum, if you haven't already (and if you have, why not go again?)


Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Hello, thanks for dropping by. I'm taking a short break from writing for a couple of days, I hope you take a look back at the blog archive and take in all the 140 Twitter poems plus extras. Please feel free to share or comment. I'll be back soon with 'What I Did On My Holidays'!

Monday, 13 June 2011


Compelled by primal instinct to verify existence, 
a plaintive paean broadcast forth 
for all to know and understand. 
I tweet, therefore I am.


Sunday, 12 June 2011


Manifesting first in dread it ranges into mellow, 
becomes serene yet cliché-simple blue, 
listens to mood indigo, 
stops just short of violet.


Saturday, 11 June 2011

The Reluctant Poem

Hold a pen above the page, shake it like a ketchup bottle jolted o’er a plate and hope the blob of words that oozes forth is worth the wait.


Friday, 10 June 2011


ABCD, free, key, bended knee, 
coffee, tea, killer bee, 
sweet pea, referee, 
Japanese pagoda tree,
first degree, 
absolute insanity. 


Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Man on the Jeremy Kyle Show

He wrecked his life, destroyed his home, terrorised his wife. Then came an explanation with no irony. “I only start creating when I’m drunk”


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Oh No! It was such Fun!.

Disappointment’s definition really ought to read: finding you can’t zoom around hovering above the ground, as you did in last night’s dream.


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Once upon a time...

They ply us with their lies, even as babes, evil’s always punished, good prevails. How cruel the day we realise real life isn’t fairytales. 


Monday, 6 June 2011

Feeding Fastidious Micro-organisms

I’ve got a microscopic pet, he’s quite a fussy eater, yet this brain heart infusion broth is ideal food for Daniel, my streptococci spaniel.

I read the following (don’t ask me how or why) and was determined to use the information in a poem:
Brain heart infusion broth is a highly nutritious general-purpose growth medium for fastidious microorganisms, such as streptococci, pneumococci and meningococci. It is made by the recuperation of nutrients from boiled cattle hearts and brains. Soluble factors are released into the broth during the boiling procedure. The broth can then be turned into powder for easy distribution.


Sunday, 5 June 2011


Mighty monsters whistle, whoop and screech 
as I cower, fearful, in an alley. 
Oh actually, my mistake, 
it’s just the Steam and Vintage rally.


Saturday, 4 June 2011

Oh look, there’s the Queen...

Don’t let fashions, frocks and hats distract, nor seeking out a famous face, just remember- Derby Day is all about the horses, and the race.


Friday, 3 June 2011

A Question of Sport

Is moral virtue driven out by self enrichment, avarice and sleazy greed, or does the black hole moral vacuum pre-exist, and suck in bribery?

In full and fair acknowledgement that there are many, many people in sport with their morality still intact amidst the sleaze of others. I salute them all.


Thursday, 2 June 2011

Make Her Stop...

After death come clichés, 
prosaic or profound, 
in speeches, verse or song. 
Some bring comfort, maybe, 
but Celine Dion 
goes on 
and on 
and on.


Wednesday, 1 June 2011

How to Anger a Poetry Critic

This attempt to be poetic isn’t very energetic, so I hope you’re feeling really sympathetic. If it makes you apoplectic I am most apologetic