The Quality of Mersey Film The Quality of Mersey project stems from the creative groups that attended the Everyman Bistro spoken poetry nights during 2018 and 2019. First the anthology of 36 poets and now the short film that was created as lockdown restrictions were easing. The Quality of Mersey, the collection that details the cultural, spiritual and physical journey of the river from mouth to source, was curated from many submissions by Birkenhead poet Barry Woods. Woods says; ‘It was exciting to see the high quality, diversity and range of submissions we received for this book – we were overwhelmed with the response from such a poetic city. John Gorman and myself have been regulars on the local open mic circuit for a long time in Liverpool and he came up with the idea of having poets write about their respective areas and to give us some shared sentiments.’ Film makers Tristan Marshall and Leonie Abisgold-Rayner showed a keen interest on developing the idea and so the project was taken on visually. It has drone footage by Paul Conlin and a musical score by Dora Kmezić. The film has both shades of light and dark, with 8 poems from the anthology that we felt contrasted each other.
At this time of year, grain is ripening in the fields, there’s crops of fruits ready and gardens are lush with colour. This first harvest is celebrated as Lammas (also known as Lughasadh) and takes place on 1st August in the Northern hemisphere this year. The word ‘Lammas’ comes from ‘loaf mass’ as traditionally bread would be taken to the church to celebrate the grain harvest.
There’s a lot of folklore associated with the Corn God who dies with each harvest to be reborn in future harvests. In some traditions this is symbolized by Demeter, the Corn Mother, who represents the ripe corn of the harvest and her daughter, Kore/Persephone who represents the grain-seed who lives in the dark through the winter to re-appear in the spring as new growth. This dual aspect represents both the harvest which will sustain through the winter months and the seed which will grow…
Stones Have Their Own Language INSIDES (2)
This anthology has been published to celebrate the past and present of this medieval church and is available from the church St. Helen’s Whitton Church Northwich, Cheshire. I have the honour to have a poem included. Click on the link for further information
the Amazon burns! No one
quells the fires
air; knowledge is lost in the fire.
Waters run polluted! No one
seeks to free fish
or children drinking poison.
Air spins in cyclones
destroying all under its twisting cloud
flooding the earth.
Metal is used to make war
are called predators by those who’ve only known comfort.
Are we but people
whatever language colour, creed
we came from one source?
But will expire
in our own detritus
unless we care for our planet
which will spin
into the void of extinction
unless we care for it and others.
This anthology confronts something difficult: when our news bullintens reel off disaster after disaster, how do we respond to voilence and tragedy? It takes a poet to make sensce of it. In this document for troubled times, contempory poets offer their response in various ways – grieving, consoling, protesting questioning and measuring losses.
Profits will be donated to Médicins Sans Frontièrs
I feel honoured to be included thanks to Moria Andrew and Susan Sims
A Poem from my collection Timelines was selected as one of the April poems of the month on Second Light Live. I feel honored to be chosen. This is the poem
Diamonds fall on glass, rain on the window
patterns of water shimmering in the dawn
not precious gems, eternal settings of graphite
pressed for millennia beneath specific rocks.
Worn by women as tokens of affection, pride
of their menfolk as they sport rich gifts,
the carat of a poor man pledging life
a bauble cast unheeding by the oligarch.
One set of diamonds a young mother wore
token not of love but duty to be done
her pledge no to a single man but
to a race she never wished was hers
and on that day the diamonds were returned
to wait in silence for another’s brow,
now a lifetime’s past, children then undreamt
walk streets changed beyond concept,