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SOME POEMS: that I wrote

I started writing poetry in April this year. Or, possibly, in April I started realising that some of my existing writing was already poetry. In fact, both. Either way, since then I've read poems at several live events, which has been a lot of fun. The first was a words-and-music workshop run by the amazing Tongue Fu as part of Bristol's Lyra Poetry Festival. The second was Weston-Super-Mare's Rhyme Against The Tide poetry slam, run by the remarkable poet, single-handed-re-launcher of Weston and talented maker-of-events, Sophie Shepherd (and/or look at this). The THIRD, within the space of a few days, was Shepton Mallet's monthly Art Bank Voices, beautifully hosted by Polly Hall at Art Bank, which really is a gem of a venue. Lastly, I was back on the Bristol Channel, a little north of Weston, reading at an open mic event that was part of Clevedon's yearly literary festival, More Than Words (many thanks to the lovely Ed Spangler for managing this).

It wasn't until I arrived at this last event that I discovered it was being held in an Anglican church. If I'd taken a moment to reflect on the name "Saint John's" I probably would have figured it out but at the time I signed up I wasn't paying attention to things like this because I had become addicted to reading my poems live and I didn't care about anything as long as I had the opportunity to stand up in front of people and say things. This venue (beautiful, quiet, echoey, serene) had two implications. First, being in Jesus' house made me think twice about reading one of the poems I'd brought with me, which ended with the phrase 'think of me when you wank'. Second, it meant the event's acoustics were spectacular. Which meant the recording I made on my phone sounded WAY better than the ones I'd made at the other events, which were full of fluffy background noise.

Poetically, and by coincidence (?), I have also been taking a daily infusion of St Johns Wort. And it is this and reading poetry live, that seem to be remedying my symptoms of medium-to-long COVID. I can't explain why these two things should have this effect, and I do not offer it as medical advice, but I like it. Thank you Saint John (as painted by Aelbert Bouts, c.1500):

And thank you, Wort (as supplied by Star Child in Glastonbury):

And thank you to Tongue Fu, Sophie Shepherd, Polly Hall and Ed Spangler for creating situations in which I could read. So here goes, recorded at Saint John's church, Clevedon, a couple of weeks ago, two poems. I hope you like them:

(Oh, one last thing, right at the end of the first poem, ‘Tennis Competition’, when you hear me say ‘yes’, you have to imagine me doing Jesus eyes.)

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