Monday – sat in the One shop to get a ticket to London along with others hoping their trip to the panto was not on a strike day! Even today potential cancellations so decided to leave early to get the train up to the pre-Christmas poetry event at Troubadour in Brompton Road!
Troubadour poetry nights have been my favourite destination for three years. The venue was an early haunt of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Jimi Hendrix, Chris Barber and the Dubliners and has long been a meeting place for writers, artists, actors …
Anne-Marie Fyfe has been running this event for years gathering all those keen on poetry, including students studying and writing poetry, as well as well established poets including a few from Ireland and the US. Tonight her info. says ‘hear invited guest poets’ favourite odes to the small hours, their own or by famous poets… Enjoy a little night music, test your night knowledge with our Hard Day’s Night, not too literary prize quiz & join in the excitement of hearing who gets chosen as winning ’Night-Poem’ of the Night.’ etc.
Yet another excuse for some inky pics from the files…
My train was on time even if we had just three minutes to get on it! However not far into the journey a signal failure! Not a good sign, but I had with me a toothbrush, blanket and a spare pair of pants just in case I was doomed to kip on Victoria Station! Southern has had a mind of it’s own for several months already.
On arrival station packed and cancellations already being announced and even the C1 buses were few and far between. Usually get of the bus at this time of year to see Harrods Christmas windows. One glance and decide not to bother…no animated displays so splendiferous last year, no sign of tinsel or Christmas mice, just a well known mac firm and upmarket white cut outs! Shame!
But nothing can dispel my high spirits! What’s more I am on the list to read a poem too, I think it’s a loyalty thing but that will be if I actually get there!
But hey I do, with enough time to chat to fellow poets in the upstairs coffee shop and restaurant. I am even moved to give an admirer (ok he could have been faking it ) a copy of my new book…but then he gives me a wonderful box of posh chocs in return! Think I may have got the best deal! Sadly can’t remember the guy’s name but know he likes to lay on his tummy at workshops to pen his poetic creations.
Spotted Alex Josephy just before the main event, she is on the list to read too. We haven’t met since our mini-residencies in London Parks in the summer. Meeting up with people unexpectedly is another bonus.
A musical interlude from C.L. Dallat followed by intros from Ann-Marie and we were away. 30 or more poets several from the US, each taking the stage to read just one poem on the theme ‘Here Comes the Night.’
Yes, of course, in this company a huge range of talent! Fantastic poems full of eloquence, mystery and/or humour.
When my turn comes launch into the only poem I currently have on the theme. ‘Afraid of the Dark..’ think it went OK..
Too soon it’s the first break and I know I’ll be slipping out early and missing the last few poets and results of the quiz .. trains wait for no man!
I resort to a taxi where the lovely driver decides he is on a mission to get me to the last train before substantial delays take hold and before the strike time and no trains at all!
Luckily get home into a warm bed, my toothbrush, blanket and spare pair of pants are intact and a super-duper box of chocs. looking so beautiful that they deserve to wait for a special occasion.
P.S. But come to think of it there would have been loads of inspiration for poetry curled up on Victoria Station and I did have those chocs for a midnight feast!
Pics on the theme of darkness…
Anne-Marie is a poet with an international reputation perhaps one day she will have a poetry night just for herself!
Recently received the Avon brochure and Anne-Marie and Dallat will be teaching at one of venues next year.
Arvon is a charity set up to run courses for writers but still pretty expensive these days, grants however are always available.
Lastly as most of my followers know I am a late start poet but for the record this was my tuppenceworth as my old granny used to say!
Afraid of the Dark
From my bedroom under the eaves,
in total darkness I creep down
the tiny wooden staircase, clinging
to the banisters to reach the landing
below, feel the flecked wallpaper
bubble beneath my fingers, cord carpet
teases my toes, reach the bathroom,
turn the handle, hear the door creak
a weary welcome, trace my way
along the cold copper pipes,
until I see the flicker of light
from the ancient ascot water heater
as it groans alone in the green
tiled bathroom. I move forward
to the lavatory door, into the dark
damp room. I hear the wind whistle,
the howl of ghosts
that linger on the coal shed
in the blackened night.
I take the last desperate steps.
Just in time,
I let the icy pan numb my bum
as the hot pee makes
a comforting ring falling
into the waiting pool.
Tearing one sheet of wickedly
sharp toilet paper,
my hand swings out
to the wooden handle
of the heavy chain,
pulling it down so hard
that if it were Sunday church bells
would surely chime.
Note – I was six and it was seventy years ago.
Yes I know it’s Wednesday but only just woken up!
http://www.annemariefyfe.com/ readings – workshops etc.