Hey up, youths and lasses, ow at?
Since my last blog: I emailed my World Environment Day poem to Anne, of the CCC, ahead of the day and waited to get some reaction but ................................ NOWT, my mates, NOT A THING.
I was hoping to raise a bit of debate with this one because, as I mentioned in a previous blog, I suspect the WED thing to be another bit of double-talk - SINCERE apologies to all well-meaning people involved and to W E Day itself if I've got it all wrong. Trouble is, as far as I can see (and maybe that ain't very far cuz of all the pollution that's about), the people best placed to save our planet from further damage are the very people who have a vested interest in keeping things exactly as they are and therefore LIP SERVICE is what one tends to get, I think. And that's a worse thing than these people doing nothing at all cuz they seem to be kidding us into believing they are doing something to clean their shit up and address all the anti-life stuff they do, mainly but not exclusively, in the cause of capitalism, when the fact is they are very probably not.
I mean, be serious for a moment, capitalism is, by its nature, abusive because it relies on profit being generated by giving a lower than a true or proper market value for 'goods' received and for people's time.
So, with all that in mind, my commissioned offering for World Environment Day was this:
QUESTION FOR WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY:
Do colour me green and forgive me if I
Ultracrepidate, but how many city mayors,
Precisely, does it take to fly from around the globe to
Luxuriate in San Francisco conference suites
In the cause of collectively forging a path towards
Cities greener enough to compensate at least
In so far as the environmental damage incurred by flying
To San Francisco city mayors from around the globe
Is concerned, in their much-publicised pursuit of
Environmental policies engendering advance, in
So far as city mayors can, on World Environment day?
W. Terry Fox
Those of you with a keen eye will see at once that this is an acrostic (I know, it's all right for me, I planned it). None of you will fail to notice that the eleven lines go all round the world and disappear up their own jacksy.
Ultracrepidate? Yeah, what a great word! Chambers Dictionary has it: 'to criticise beyond the sphere of one's knowledge'. Don't get many chances to use it although it could probably be used against me several times a day.
BUT, NOT A BLOODY WHIMPER, boys and girls. Evidently the commission 'collapsed' (and before my poem not after it). What that means I am waiting to have clarified and hope to let you know.
Anne of the CCC, she under whose wing the Cheshire Poet Laureate shelters, has effectively gone part time. A pity because it must mean less time available for this CPL. I thought I could feel the rain.
While on the subject of CPL's: a former one, Jo bell, www.bell-jar.co.uk/4598/18801.html is a friendly sort of poet who is kind enough to give me a mention now and again (she and the other formers share a dressing room under the name of 'Bunch of Fives' and good they are too, I've been and gorn and taken meself out to see em at Keele university - that seat of learning in Staffs what I taught at once: Short and Sharp - Writing The Short Story; European Classics in English Translation; Detective Fiction. It all seems like someone else. Weird - but my Google Alert tells me she has got SUMMAT WRONG that I would be lacking in my duty if I did not correct. Jo has stated that I am to be Cheshire Poet Laureate only until March 31st, 2009.
HEY NONNY NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Jo is right in so far as I am officially contracted by the current CCC up until the end of March. This is because that is the last possible date they can contract me to. After that date, a new structure of local government is going to be introduced for Cheshire. My position in this is, to me at any rate, v. v. and v. interesting.
Two possibilties exist and, mates of poesy, these are they:
Possibility 1) The new regime will choose to maintain the CPL scheme, in which case I will remain as the Cheshire Poet Laureate until the end of December 2009 - a full two years.
Possibility 2) The new regime will decide to let the CPL scheme go, in which case I will remain as the Cheshire Poet Laureate for the rest of me wrinkly life.
I've just got time to tell you about the Congleton Garden Festival: Fantastic! Soopadoopa weather, bundles of nice smiley people, great organisation, a neat day altogevver.
Midsomer Murders without the slaughter/Just William without the annoying little prat.
If you want to make your own, the ingredients are:
Lovely English Summer's day
Striped marquees, white tents and blue tents
A Lord and Lady (Wilbraham) to open the proceedings
Music over a PA system
Gardener's Question Time
Art Display and participation
1,000s of visitors
Me and Lynda shared a tent. She did 'Play with Clay' (I ain't the CPL for nothing) and worked non-stop all day from 10am to 4pm with the kids, getting them to make all kinds of stuff from yer actual old mother earth. Wonderful. Working clay in this way seems so theraputic. 'Naughty' kids got chilled out within minutes and all the kids were blown away with what they did. Lynda is BRILLIANT with them too. I would have had them all lining up to attention, policed by a few bouncers before I felt I could cope. Lynda knows just when and by how much to guide them by. Result was, they ALL had a terrific time - loose and creative and free. A woman with amazing qualities.
Lynda also had a small exhibition of her own work that attracted a lot of attention. Nice photo of her with a couple of her pieces in the ol' Chronicle.
I did 'Grow a Poem' - visitors to the tent added a couple lines each to an on-going poem; 'Plant a Poem in Your Garden- - a suggestion that gardeners should put some poems in amongst the flowers, either their own or their favourites of others, with examples; 'e.poems' - visitors could choose a poem, from a folder of my poems, that they wanted emailed to themselves or a friend. I also had 'Dance of Fools' sale. Everything was a hit. I had takers aplenty for everything. I was so glad to have been part of it. Well done Congleton Community programme and fanx Jo Money.
Hey, must make time for a couple more things: Went to former CPL John Lindley's book launch at Congleton library on Monday 16th - the day after the Garden Fest. What a turnout! The room was packed and John gave a knockout presentation. Naturally, I bought a copy (John bought a copy of my 'Dance of Fools' at the G. Festival). It's good, very good, very unusual - poetry/social history/entertainment. Cool. John always gets it right. His new book is called: 'House of Wonders'. Get a copy. Mind you if, like me, you haven't got much money then buy a copy of 'Dance of Fools' instead.
Amy tells me that her 'Twizzle Bird' collection of limited edition prints is still selling steadily. Wonderful, eh? They were only originally going to be on show for the Bristol Arts Trail. Then proprietor of Massala asked to retain them beyond the Arts weekend and they've been selling ever since. Me and Lynda are the proud possessors of a hedgehog one.