The Poet's Bridge, Rotherhithe

Cross-posted from Southwark Heritage.

On Tuesday 5 December, the footbridge over Salter Road was named ‘The Poet’s Bridge’ in a short ceremony which also involved the unveiling of twi

The Poet

Once I sat down and told myself,
‘Just write what comes. Don't make it happen -
let it.’
The Awen is meant to be breath
or flow,
couldn't I let it breathe through me?
Couldn't I let it flow through my pen?I went out to check the traps of my imagination-garden,
To see what had caught there lately.
I wrote about checking the traps.
And in one of them was a leopard,
so I wrote about the leopard.
And the leopard was black with soot,
so I wrote that it was black with soot,
And he asked me to brush him,
so I wrote about brushing him. I just did as I was told.
I just watched.Who put the leopard there?I wrote it.
Who was the poet?

'Love Rules' - a verse for cross-border couples.

These few lines were composed for Stephen and Sandra Cole, members of the Bardic College of Ynys Witrin, on the occasion of their handfasting on the Fair Field at Glastonbury Tor today. They are pictured here 'jumping the broomstick' as part of the ceremony. Stephen is British and Sandra is from Mexico - by extension, this short verse is meant for everyone in a cross-border relationship.

This love has beaten national notions
This love has overcome the ocean
This love has defeated Theresa May
This love has conquered all, today.

The mention in the third line of this short verse, of the name of our current Home Secretary in the United Kingdom, Theresa May, has a particular relevance in this country and at this time - but I hope that Bards and others will feel able to recite these lines at all times and in all places to honour the additional challenges that couples in cross-border relationships must face. The name 'Theresa May' here stands for all national officials and bureau…

MM Case

Sat in the court room
Where they were deciding
The immigration status of our distant family members,
All I could think was -
The animal carvings,
The stained glass windows,
The dignified procedure,
The grandeur of the court... I wished she was there to see it too.

Bardic and other dates for your diary

Saturday February 6th - National Libraries Day
Lots of things going on in Somerset Libraries and around the UK for National Libraries Day. As Bard of Glastonbury, I'll be reading poems from the books on the shelves in Glastonbury [Public] Library all day. Come and find me for a one-to-one reading (or one-to-several if I get a crowd). 10am - 4pm (but I'll take breaks when I feel like it!). Street Library is also launching a creative writing competition the same day, which I'm picking the poetry winner for. From noon on the same day there is a fundraising tribute to David Bowie taking place in the shop window of Cancer Research UK on Glastonbury High Street. I'll be reading 'I Was Pianos' - my cut-up tribute to Bowie - as part of the event.
Wednesday February 24th - Read Aloud Day
I'm taking part in World Read Aloud Day for Library of Avalon. I'm not sure exactly what format this will take... but it will definitely involve me reading aloud...
Wednesday Ma…

I Was Pianos: a cut-up for David Bowie

“This is the way I do cut-ups - I don’t know if it’s like the way Brion Gysin does his, or Burroughs does his, I don’t know. But this is the way I do it” - David Bowie I Was Pianos (After W.H. Auden's 'Funeral Blues') Coffin, doves, black and dead, Cut off the wood, Pour away the mourners: Everyone's in gloves tonight And every dog's in love. Would the stars see me now? Pack up the traffic. Bring out the ocean. At noon I want a juicy rest With nothing overhead. Let the white necks of policemen Sing songs to my wrong. Stop the turning circle, Put out my telephone. Silence all the midnight, The midnight from my bone. Put crepe bows round the message: "Can Sunday come?" I was pianos. Let aeroplanes wear moaning, With a sky-working week. I thought: South, sun, Cotton, West, my East, Scribbling on the clocks, And my public He was good, and... With my muffled talk, Dismantle the moon. For now, prevent the last. Come North, barking, and drum f…