It feels as if autumn is here. From that misty smell in the air to the webs hanging between shed, wall, bench and plant pot to the earlier dusk and later sunrise, the year has turned. What a summer it has been, with intense heat here in the east and days that seemed luxurious while they lasted. My garden has been a source of constant delight and distraction, evolving and changing over the months. It’s beginning to look a little weary and it is time for bulbs and autumn planting to take over from the summer blooms.
This can be a melancholy time, looking back over the adventures of the summer. I think of the lovely Verdi Cries by 10,000 Maniacs (give it a listen here if you don’t know it – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1dQRgtUxu0 ) and the tender, sad words evoking a summer holiday and its end as well as something deeper and ineffable.
My summer has included some get-away time to beautiful places where the environments have been restorative and full of peace and wonder; from gardens full of statuary and majestic trees to canal walks and the signs of autumn in the hedgerows.
As the autumn settles in I am thinking about new work, poems, songs, gigs, partnerships and productions, much of which is underway. I am glad to have had such a fine summer in so many ways and glad to have been able to walk in the sunlit uplands with my best human.
Together in Grant Thorold Park for the East Marsh Community Day
We are pleased to announce our Autumn Tour for 2018 with a series of dates in North East Lincolnshire.
Friday 14th September
7.30 pm at The Globe in Cleethorpes. This lovely new coffee and book shop is an intimate venue with very welcoming hosts. Entry is free. Signed copies of Poems from the Swamp will be available to purchase At £7.50
Poems from the Swamp
Saturday 29th September
7.30 pm, The Steel Rooms, Brigg
Myths of Birds and Water: An evening of Poetry and Jazz featuring a spoken word performance from Steve Meek.
The theme of the evening is birds and water and the myths that surround both.
Saturday 27th October
7.30 pm, The Steel Rooms, Brigg
An evening of Poetry and Jazz featuring a spoken word performance from Steve Meek. With special guests David Power and Ken Marley.
Thursday 1st November
7.30 pm, The Albert Room Cleethorpes Library
£5.00 – Tickets available from Cleethorpes Library.
An evening of Poetry and Music featuring very special guest, internationally renowned bass player, Dave Green.
Internationally renowned bass player, Dave Green
Over the past 18 months I’ve been working on a new collection of poems and I am delighted to announce that Poems from the Swamp is now available to pre-order for just £7.50. Orders received before midnight on June 30th will include an additional free signed copy as a thank you and in the hope that those purchasing will give the second book away to a friend or loved one.
Working with a Framing Device
This collection is unusual in that it has an experimental framing device. The poems belong to a fictional world in which a cast of characters find their way through their own swamps. Some of these characters are poets and in this collection, the poems have been assigned to them. To know more, buy the book and enter the world.
The Nature of Swamps
The word swamp can be seen as pejorative. Indeed, my swamp can be a dark and often unloving and unforgiving place. However, the swamp is also a place of genesis and renewal; it is the place where unconscious impulses exert their great influence. My swamp is geographical and psychological, emotional and material.
These poems take me deeper into the themes and ideas that fascinate me the most; myth, psychology, the esoteric, liminality, worlds within worlds. However, the Zeitgeist is also present and the dark forces of the real world are explored: mobbing, violence and terror.
Buy the Book
You can pre-order Poems from the Swamp from me via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and pay via PayPal. Or leave a request here on the blog.
For the forgotten people of the swamp
For those forced to wear the scarlet ribbon
I had a dream when I was about seventeen in which the most beautiful music was playing. It was the song of the morning and I could not recall it when I woke up but I knew that song connected me to everything that lived. In the dream I was in my favourite place in the world, the river Tamar looking out towards Landulph and into Cornwall. The sun was bright, the Tamar Bridge and Brunel railway bridge were there, sturdy and strong.
But as in all the best and most memorable dreams, the landscape was both familiar and unfamiliar. The bridges stretched for miles and miles into the distance, and a train was standing still, not on the track, just on the hillside, packed with brightly dressed animals all wishing me well on my long journey ahead.
I was travelling far away, deep into the heart of the countryside, a long way from everyone and everywhere. I knew in my dream I was walking from one reality to another, one state to another and that I had to say goodbye to everything I thought I knew in order to make that journey. I was not afraid or excited, just peaceful. With the song in my head, the good wishes of the strange animals in my heart and the beauty of where I was going to guide me I was ready for what was to come. At the time of the dream, I believed I had glimpsed heaven.
That dream is what Wordsworth called a ‘mansion of the mind’ in his sublime poem Tintern Abbey. Mansions of the mind are interior places to visit when they are needed. They are to be recalled in loving detail and held in reverence. I visit my dream when I need to, when I am thinking about bridges, about transcendence, about the unfamiliar and the familiar. Once again today I tried to hear that music but it is gone, only the trace memory of it remains. And oddly, that is enough.
‘A Fish Tale’, the poetry collection is now available to buy as an attractive, limited edition pamphlet. Make your order via the secure Paypal link on the contact page.