Archives for the month of: February, 2015


Another great Poetry with Friends session at The Mission last night. No theme but we talked rock and roll, teenage years, Laurel and Hardy, childhoods, crows, Hank Marvin, education, French Hugenots, life stories shared at bus stops on Tyneside and the concept that we’re all “from somewhere else.”

Three friends shared their own work with the group and there were three poems by Martin Newell, two by Roger McGough plus poems by Ivor Cutler, T.S Eliot, Mary Oliver, Colette Bryce, Chris Harland, Pam Ayres, Ted Hughes, Lavinia Greenlaw, Patti Smith and Wilfred Owen.


Miners by Wilfred Owen got to me:

There was a whispering in my hearth, A sigh of the coal, Grown wistful of a former earth It might recall.

I listened for a tale of leaves And smothered ferns, Frond-forests, and the low sly lives Before the fauns.

My fire might show steam-phantoms simmer From Time’s old cauldron, Before the birds made nests in summer, Or men had children.

But the coals were murmuring of their mine, And moans down there Of boys that slept wry sleep, and men Writhing for air.

And I saw white bones in the cinder-shard, Bones without number. Many the muscled bodies charred, And few remember.

I thought of all that worked dark pits Of war, and died Digging the rock where Death reputes Peace lies indeed.

Comforted years will sit soft-chaired, In rooms of amber; The years will stretch their hands, well-cheered By our life’s ember;

The centuries will burn rich loads With which we groaned, Whose warmth shall lull their dreaming lids, While songs are crooned; But they will not dream of us poor lads,

Left in the ground.

John said he missed having a theme and the majority agreed so the theme for our next sesh on Tuesday March 19th is Numbers, suggested by the legendary Ken Creen.


I’ve been involved with Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC for eight months and thoroughly enjoy our Poetry with Friends sessions in North Shields and Whitley Bay.

On Thursday I accompanied Happy Planet’s Gail Curry to the Ixion Business Awards in North Tyneside. Happy Planet had been shortlisted for  the ‘Community Impact Award’ and I held my breath when the Duke of Northumberland read out the Runner-Up prize-winner….Happy Planet Creative Arts CIC! Ta Dah!!

award pic

I clapped long and hard as  Gail went up for the award. What a thumbs up for a CIC less than a year old!! Gail has written on her blog:

A big THANK YOU to all of our ‘friends’ @ Happy Planet, as well as the organisations and individuals who understand and facilitate our participation in community life. I am constantly inspired to do more and grow our little creative planet because of you all. This is ‘our’ award and you can all be proud of the part you have played in the journey we have undertaken so far in our first 11 months.

I look forward to talking about the award ceremony at our next Poetry with Friends in Whitley Bay Library session this coming Thursday 19th at 11 am.

Happy Planet

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