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Village Art & Literature

Poems in the park

Posted on June 28 2013 at 11:46:44 0 comments

Withybed Poets

Visitors to the Alvechurch Big Lunch on may have noticed a new stall this year. The Withybed Poets were celebrating their seventh year by holding a “Poetry on Demand” event in which people could commission a poem to be written for them, on whatever theme they liked.

All you had to do was talk to the poets, so they could take your words and use them.

The Withybed Poets were founded in Withybed Green in 2007, and now have members from all of Alvechurch and beyond. They meet and write poems, sharing their love of words, as well as of good food which also features in their Poetry and Potluck sessions!

All kinds of poetry are welcomed, as the group believes everyone has a voice worth hearing.

They also love reading their poems to local audiences, most regularly at the Alvechurch Social Club on the Acoustic Roots evenings. For these evenings, they often write poems specially to fit in with a musical theme.

Five of the 20-odd Withybed Poets took on the somewhat daunting task of writing instant poems. Megan Brain, Holly Timmermans, Mary Green, Linda Williams and Sue Phillips all said afterwards how much they enjoyed it.

Sitting in the sunshine talking to local people was a joy in itself, but hearing the various stories and getting them into words was even more rewarding.

Altogether, 30 poems were written, on themes as diverse as dogs, children and the local environment – and a bonus one by a granddaughter!

Now they are offering to write poems for other individuals and organisations – Alvechurch’s answer to the Poet Laureate!

They want people to feel that poetry isn’t just something for “slim volumes” which are rarely opened, or for school lessons, but for sharing as part of a celebration of life.

At the Big Lunch the group invited donations for The Lounge project, raising more than £60. Previously some of their poems appeared on the Village calendar for 2013, also sold to support The Lounge.

If you are interested in joining, or having a reading at an event, or having poems written, contact Mary on 0121 445 5957.

A selection of the poems written on the day:

Cameron by Holly Timmermans
I’m Cameron, good friend of fireman Sam
I’m three years old and boy can I run,
which comes in handy when fighting fires
Or kicking a ball with my Dad.

I can rescue people from burning buildings
then bake a cake with Mum for tea
a muffin is a fine thing to munch
even if I’ve had a jolly good lunch.

My pet tadpoles in our pond will, one day, grow legs
and hop off into the garden to eat the slugs.
My family has two horses, my pony’s called Princess
when I’m in the saddle I ride the wide wild-west.
But in my dreams, with Bella I fly
above the starry Alvechurch sky
We soar high over the rooftops of the town
to touch the stars before we come down.

I’m Cameron, three years old,
Good friend of fireman Sam.

Alvechurch’s Picnic in the Park by Linda Williams
Called by music to the Fields, signposted
through the Meadows by patriotic-coloured
bunting, beneath the year’s uncommon
blue and clear sky, here all is different
from the grey and empty road I
left.  Here are the spectrum’s colours,
cheerful chatter, games, fun,
stalls – at one a group is scribbling –
Alvechurch playing, in the sun

Isabelle by Mary Green
Izzy stands on her head. The world is dizzy
But Izzy isn’t. She balances, like on her bike.
Grass tickles her nose. Underneath are worms
Waiting to be rescued and given homes.
In the gym she doesn’t waver, standing tall
Then sliding to the floor in splits
On the island with granny and grandpa
Standing tall on the mountains, balanced.
The world is not pink enough. Let’s make
Pink cup cakes and paint a pink picture
Turn up the car radio and listen to Robbie
Singing Candy and then to Pink, sing along.
The world is full and vivid, laughter
At her own bad jokes, the brightness of India
Giggling through a rickshaw ride.
One little empty space where she will
Draw a dog. When she grows up, she will tattoo
The whole world with dogs, mountains
Worms and all the colours of India

For Julian by Sue Phillips
Julian, son of John
with your cheery smile and loud hello.
You sit in the square
with your fag and your grin
giving blessing to all who come.
The Lounge is a place that you go in
for a coffee and friends who care.
Julian son of June
the good book in your hand
the bench your seat,
as all you greet
with a nod and the shake of your hand

A poem for Simon and Jo by Megan Brain
Four years together now
And a new arrival due
A baby boy is on his way
So buying all things blue
A little friend for Tyson
I know he will adore
And love and protect him
And keep from harm I’m sure
He’ll probably come out singing
And strumming a guitar
For all the joy he’s bringing
Daddy and mommy’s little star


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