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For sale to a good home only
The last of a lovely litter
One male pure bred zombie

Doesn’t answer to the name Clive.

His favourite food is brains
Though he’ll eat anything
If left unattended.

Clive likes stumbling around
So he’s easy to exercise
But best kept on a lead
As he can be overly affectionate.

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Blairgowrie1I have been reciting and workshopping again. I was invited to Blairgowrie High School, to visit a S1 class in the Learning Resources Centre. The children hadn’t seen any performance poetry, so I recited a few examples to give them an idea of the variation in tone and subject matter than can be covered by performance verse. The pupils heard about a cat-eating cloud, a short-sighted rhinoceros, and an internet ordering mix up. Some of the poems had call and response lines to engage the children.
After the poems it was time for a “Descriptiveness and Performance Workshop”. I explained what similes and metaphors were, and then the pupils came up with a few examples, before writing a list poem using similes about a rainy Monday. As the workshop was taking place on a rainy Monday there was plenty of inspiration outside the window, and some excellent descriptions resulted.
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I have to say I’ve got a problem
With National Poetry Day.
The theme this year is the word Remember
Which fits with World War One okay,
But remember, remember barely rhymes.
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Daffadon’t

I spotted these in a neighbouring garden.

What kind of idiot decides, let’s breed Daffadont3daffodils with big showy double flowers on really thin stalks? Another triumph of design over utility.

Though I suppose the daffodil breeder is smarter than the punters who buy the bulbs, plant them, and then get this wonderful display.

I suspect these magnificent plants could be used as a metaphor about how modern life is rubbish.

What’s wrong with growing wild daffodils bulbs (available from all good wildflower nurseries) or just going to see them in the wild? View full article »

Most recently I have run slams and judged them rather than participated in them. So I was a bit nervous about competing in the Wenlock Literary Festival Slam. I don’t get anxious performing on stage, but after several bad experiences, I had stopped going to slams that were part of a literary festival programme.

For those that don’t know a slam is a competition for performance poets where numerous hopefuls recite a poem and the judges select the best ones to go through to a semi-final then a final before crowning a winner. The aim of slam isn’t to win (though that’s nice), but to make poetry entertaining for the audience. A secondary point that is often missed is that slam should also be fun if a bit nerve-wracking for the competitors.

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Have you seen the London Olympic Logo?

For me, it’s an utter no go

Epilepsy, you see

Runs in my family

And I don’t want to do the horizontal pogo

Oh no, and if you think the logo

Is a mucked-up corrupt pile of rot,

Have you seen the Olympic mascot?

It should have been an animal

Based on the reality

Of living in East London

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Now the dust has settled and the Eurovision has brought full free democracy to Azerbaijan by the medium of a song contest – or not. Here’s my take. So don’t worry if you missed the cheese fest. I’ve summed each of the 26 acts up in a line of verse so you won’t feel left out. And the poem is a lot shorter than the real thing.

 

Eurovision Entries 2012

 

Taxidermied crooner

Tick box electro pop

Bjork being tortured

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Cameron on his podium

Reassuring everyone

If you are passing in your car

And somewhat lacking in this commodity

Sidle up and try to aquire it casually

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Second Excerpt from the book. See “Into a Cursed Land” on the sidebar . Walking along a river bank, Edwy and his friends Wolcenfaru and Widnoth encounter a water monster called the nicor…

 

“Widnoth, I think you should look behind you,” whispered Wolcenfaru. “Mangling might be closer than you think.”

A large toothy head, and long worm like neck had appeared out of the water. The neck was as long as a giraffe’s. Unfortunately, unlike a giraffe, the creature had big claws.

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Below is the start of my novel. Publishing details on “Into A Cursed Land” link in right hand column. Enjoy…

There’s a lot of rubbish talked about magic. People like to make it seem more difficult than it is. They use swanky hand gestures, wear flowing robes, and shout incantations in magical languages that no one else understands without years of training. Yeah right! I knew it was all rubbish. Magic in this land was easy to do, which had saved my life more than once. Okay it had put my life in danger but here I was – fifteen years old and still breathing.

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