My plate

Here’s a poem I wrote in 1993. I was reminded of it by Helen who, like me, is exceedingly busy. Since my mother reads my blog (Hi Mom!), I will explain that the child is an amalgam of me and a boy called Tom whose dad will probably also read this ….

My plate  

Scene of many a tortuous battle.
Odds against me from the start.
The adversary –
A battery of broad beans.

Negotiations abandoned.
Under attack from the air.

Enemy circling to reload.
Bring on the bread sauce.
Smother the opposition.

*****************

Nothing’s really changed.
Still got a lot on my plate.
Still trying to hide my broad beans
Under the bread sauce.

Heather Wastie

from The Page-Turner’s Dilemma, available from Lapal Publications

(It’s much cheaper to buy direct from me – bring your copy to one of my gigs and I’ll refund the difference.)

Performances coming up

If you’d like to find out about some of the work I’ve been doing as Worcestershire Poet Laureate since I was appointed last June, go to http://worcslitfest.co.uk/worcestershire-poet-laureate/heathers-wpl-blog-january-2016/

To find out what I’ve got coming up, read on ….

A week on Saturday I’ll be at the National Waterways Museum performing Idle Women and Judies and some new poems, all of which tell the stories of women who worked on the canals during World War 2.

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In March I’ll be featured poet at Howl in Moseley with a 15 minute set of performance poetry and in July I’ll be presenting an hour-long family show of poetry and music based around my book The Page-Turner’s Dilemma (poetry & tales from behind the music stand) in Evesham.

TPTD cover cartoon by Jules

Cartoon by Jules ~ cartoonist

Right now I’m working on a project about Black Country dialect. It’s called Where’s Our Spake Gone and I’ve been commissioned to work in Cradley Heath which is where I grew up. I’m having a wonderful time collecting together dialect words and phrases so that I can write new pieces to be shared at an event in April. I’ve you’d like to get involved, do come to my drop-in session on Thursday February 11th (see poster below).

Details of all these events are below.

Saturday 13th February between 10.00 and 4.00
Idle Women and Judies
National Waterways Museum Reopening Weekend
South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire CH65 4FW

https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/museums-and-attractions/national-waterways-museum

Wednesday 9th March 7.30pm
Featured Poet – Howl
The Dark Horse, 145 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8JP
Free entry

https://www.facebook.com/howlspokenword/
http://www.darkhorsemoseley.co.uk

Where's our spake gone drop-in

Wednesday 6th April 7.30pm
Where’s our spake gone?
Cradley Heath Library, Upper High Street, Cradley Heath B64 5JU
http://ourspake.co.uk

Sunday 3rd July 3.00-4.00pm
The Page-Turner’s Dilemma
Evesham Festival of Words
Unitarian Chapel, Oat Street, Evesham, Worcs WR11 4PJ

http://eveshamfestivalofwords.org/programme/

 

 

Wild Man Dances

On 27th October I travelled into Birmingham for a lunchtime concert of music for 2 pianos performed by Andrew West and Ronald Woodley at the Adrian Boult Hall. My reason for going was because my good friend Liz Johnson, a composer based in Malvern, invited me to hear the premiere of her piece Wild Man Dances. Liz was delighted to see me and said that of course I would be writing a poem about it, wouldn’t I? The thought hadn’t crossed my mind, but I listened intently to her exciting piece, watched the performers and took in the spectacle of two shiny black grand pianos wrapped around each other so that the pianists faced each other, each with the silent accompaniment of a page-turner ….

I love the piano. It’s a wonderful instrument to play and to listen to. My third collection of poetry, The Page-Turner’s Dilemma, has a cartoon of a grand piano on the cover with a sweating page-turner suspended mid air, hovering over the head of the pianist. The title poem is written from the point of view of the page-turner worrying about all the things that can go wrong and is based on personal experience as pianist, page-turner and concert-goer. You can see the cover and an extract from that poem on my website www.wastiesspace.co.uk

But I digress. My Wild Man Dances poem does not feature page-turners. On the train on the way home, I began by jotting down words and images suggested by what I had seen and heard. The poem I ended up writing is nothing like anything I would have written without the stimulus of Liz’s brilliant piece which will be up on YouTube at some stage so I’m looking forward to hearing it again, though you really can’t beat a live performance. Liz has posted my poem on her website with a link to my site. I have also posted it below. Do go to Liz’s site and listen to some of her other pieces http://www.lizjohnson.co.uk. And I recommend writing using other artforms to inspire different ways of writing.

Wild man dances
for Liz Johnson

Cell walls sweat,
drip mercury,
muscles twitch,
throb against blood

a flash mob of corpuscles
hammers on lungs,
polished black boots
stamp on the heart

tendons and ligaments
check like chains,
nerve endings clench
a furious flamenco

strictly self-contained,
rib cage rattling,
inside each measured man
a wild one dances

© Heather Wastie
October 2015