John Hegley – Funny Animal Poems

It’s a pleasure to welcome John Hegley to Poetry Non-Stop. John has entertained and inspired many over the years with his poetry, wit and music. He will be discussing his recent book A Scarcity of Biscuit inspired by the life and work of John Keats, as well as a fun creative writing exercise.

Here’s a taste of his work to entertain and fire up the imagination.

www.johnhegley.co.uk

Picture: Polly Hancock

Pete Goodrum – A Marriage Through a Window

Pete Goodrum is a lifelong resident of Norwich with a passion for the city. Here is a poem from a set inspired by Norwich called City. You can hear him on the next podcast reading more poems and chatting about his varied writing career.

A Marriage Through a Window

The streamers and balloons were the obvious sign
that they were coming back, from honeymoon.

On autumn Saturdays the evening backlit windows
projected the parties. Sunday morning
bottles by the door and late drawn blinds said it all.

That first Christmas. The calmer gatherings as parents
visited. By spring one or other father was called on
to mow the front lawn as holidays abroad
became part of the new rituals.

A kitten appeared. Soon came the baby,
and the change in the rooms; piles of plastic toys
violating the holy beige of carpets.

There were women, and wine, in the afternoons
as she bonded with other mothers.
He arrived home later in the evenings,
and the weekend windows seldom showed much more

than the large tv screen and pizza boxes.
Most of the lights went out earlier now,
except sometimes the one by the side door that showed him,
late at night, with a cigarette and his ‘phone.

He comes by at weekends now. He drives a sports car,
and doesn’t stay. He looks worried.Torn somehow.
She has a four by four which she never seems to drive.
She stops smiling when he arrives.

Nobody hears them speak. Except once.
They were arguing, in the garden,
in front of the FOR SALE board

Pete Goodrum

Ken Cumberlidge – To Whom it May Concern

The next guest on Poetry Non-Stop is Ken Cumberlidge. Ken is a former actor with a lifelong love of poetry and the performing arts. This video showcases his brilliant writing, skilful stage craft and unshakeable opinions on poetry. Be sure to tune into the podcast later this week, when Ken shares more of his poems and wisdom from his lifetime as a poet and performer.

This video is also introduced by another former podcast guest Fay Roberts.

Service Announcement – Roger Hare

Here’s another poem written in response to John Osborne’s supermarket poetry exercise. It’s great to see the variety of responses to this exercise and all the places that poems end up from the seemingly mundane starting point of the supermarket.

Service Announcement

Could Jane take a pan and brush
and bucket and cloth 
to aisle two please. A jar of strawberry
jam has been dropped. I thought
you would be best as I know you have
a youngster prone to vomiting so
are good at cleaning up.

Your little one is three now, isn’t that
right? Four-&-a-half years on
from when we were an item, tho’ I had
quickly realised we wouldn’t be right
for each other
really. 

But I was surprised when James moved
in 
so soon after and more so 
when I found out you were to have 
a baby together straight away;
it was one of the things we crossed 
words about.

Could someone please go to aisle 4
before I give up the mic – and stop me
from buying any more
if I try to.

Roger Hare

Supermarket Sweep – Roger Waldron

Here’s a poem by Roger Waldron written in response to John Osborne’s writing exercise. We welcome submissions of poems written in response to any of the writing prompts or exercises on Poetry Non-Stop. You can submit poems here.

Supermarket Sweep

I met my love in the supermarket carpark.
She was reversing her vintage Hillman Minx
with such confidence I had to stand and applaud
She locked it and threw me a glance asked if I’d seen
enough or would I like to see her do her weekly shop
and make comment on the cleaning products she’s considering
before she made her final purchase I asked if I could push
her trolley She asked if I’d got a pound She smiled as I adjusted
my pockets held my hand and led me down the bright lights of the toiletry aisle

Roger Waldron

Wendy Hind – White Flag

Coming up on the podcast Wendy Hind from Lincoln, Nebraska, shares poems from her Tiny Poetry project and talks about how it was inspired by her son who was born with critical health issues. You can find more poems on her website.

White Flag
If you think I am going
to wave the white flag
you are mistaken.
If you think I am going
to retreat
you are wrong.
I may have to refortify,
I may have to bandage my wounds,
but I am not done fighting,
and I intend to win this war.
I will not surrender
to my pain,
nor to you.

Wendy Hind

Michelle Marie Jacquot – Future Libraries

Here’s a poem from forthcoming podcast guest, LA-based poet, singer, songwriter and actress Michelle Marie Jacquot. Her upcoming pamphlet DETERIORATE, criticizes and questions the digital age and the effects our modern world has had on humanity. Death of a Good Girl, her first collection, was released in the fall of 2019, becoming a Barnes & Noble poetry bestseller in America. She is currently finishing her next full collection, Afterglow, among many other creative projects.

Future Libraries

I would pay one million anything
to find one human staying sane
My soul is going broke
from meeting bodies missing brains
Robots seeking validation
for tickets they refuse to pay
Who can’t press a heart shaped button
if it’s not of someone’s face

If you’re not on top of someone famous
No one cares about your day
Shut up and show us what you ate for breakfast
Have no opinion on the way
Tell us what you look like
Not a word of what you think
Only tell me what your age is
Your sex
Your height
Your weight

The new training is as follows
I haven’t read it, but neither have they

Step one, forget how to live
Step two, unlearn how to read

I wonder what they teach in schools these days
and what kinds of robots
these robots
will breed

www.michellemariejacquot.com

Ted Sherman – The Gnome

Coming up on the podcast this week Bristol poet Ted Sherman talks about writing poetry for children and his new collection Dungeon Days for eight to 12-year-olds. Here’s the first poem from the collection, The Gnome, illustrated by Marcus Kielly and designed by Ollie Francis.

The Gnome

I wrote this book you’re here to read
a fact I’m proud of, yes indeed!

It’s true I am a tiny gnome
but the tales contained within this tome
are bigger than you’ll ever find,
these stories here will blow your mind.

I’ve written ‘bout a dungeon deep
where creatures lurk and monsters creep.
Ever since I was a lad
I’ve worked in here, it ain’t half bad

There is one thing I know is true
my tales are fun and fresh and new.
What I give is something real,
words to make you see and feel
all the struggles and the strain
of the average and mundane
the trials and tests which we all face
but set within a magic place.

So, to every girl and every boy
thanks for reading – please enjoy!

Stilton the Scribe
C/o The Dungeon

Adele Cordner – Lament of Mother Earth

Adele Cordner performs a poem from her new collection The Kitchen Sink Chronicles. The poems, written in the last year, reflect on the strangeness, fear and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic. But Adele also finds moments of hope and joy in these uncertain times. Look out for Adele on the next podcast when she will be sharing more poems from the collection and talking about how to write poems of hope and perseverance.

Adele’s book is available now. Copies purchased via her website support the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK www.adelecordner.com