So it’s now the end of the Easter holidays. Tomorrow school starts again – although I don’t because it’s my day off! It is however, the first rehearsal for Barrow Shipyard Junior Band in the evening, so it’s not a full day off.
On Friday I went to Liz Venn’s in Glossop and had a lovely evening talking about poetry and drinking red wine. The next morning we were both going to the Advanced Writer’s School workshop in Sheffield at the Poetry Business, and as I pulled into the car park my car stopped working. Cue much ringing around, as of course I didn’t have the details of my breakdown cover – I knew it was through my car insurance, but I couldn’t even remember the company I was insured with. I cursed myself lots for being so disorganised and swore to change in future.
Eventually hubby found details to discover I’d been stingy and paid for the lowest level of breakdown cover which would take my car and leave it at the nearest garage – which would be no good as it was Saturday. I don’t know what my logic was when I bought this – especially as I am flying up and down the country so often in my car.
I was also giving Jennifer Copley a lift back to Barrow and I remembered my Dad telling me when I first started driving, after paying for me to be an AA member, that they would come and get me anywhere, as it was me that was insured, not my car. I had of course, let my membership lapse when my dad decided I was old enough to pay for it on my own. I asked Jenny if she was an AA member – and we were saved! It was like being with the Queen, as she had Gold Membership, which meant the AA came out and towed us all the way back to Barrow. The AA man was very nice as well – not only did he drop Jenny off at her house, he then dropped my car off at the garage, and then dropped me at the house.
So amidst all of this sorting out I was also trying to do some writing at the workshop, which I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. I did manage to start one poem which I think could be something . It’s called ‘An Ode to my Trumpet on the 1st Year of its Retirement’. I’m going to try and type that up tomorrow.
Next week there is an open mic at Zefirellis in Ambleside and I’m the guest poet – but there are poetry and music slots so it would be lovely to see some of you there if you live within striking distance.
Today’s Sunday Poem is by Miceal Kearney. I met Miceal in Fermoy last August at the Fermoy International Poetry Festival ( http://www.fermoypoetryfestival.com )
It’s running again this year so I hope he is going to be there again! Miceal is a really interesting poet and a lovely guy . He lives in the west of Ireland and works on the family farm. He is a brilliant and memorable performer of his work and the fact he has won various poetry slams – the 2006 Cuirt Poetry Slam in Limerick, the 2007 Baffle Bard, the 2007 Cuirt Poetry Grand Slam and the 2007 North Beach Poetry Nights’ Grand Slam all attest to this. His first collection was published by Doire Press in 2008 and is called ‘Inheritance’. You can order it from http://www.doirepress.com
The book is full of the real life of living and working on a farm. It is a mixture of loneliness and camaraderie, of an understanding of what it is to work on the land and a bluntness about the harsh realities of this. I am a true hypocrite – an animal lover and a meat – eater and I found Miceal’s truths challenging yet brutally honest and thought-provoking. I really would recommend the book – or go to Ireland and find out where he’s reading. It will be worth the trip.
I chose this short poem from the book because I think it illustrates some of those themes that weave their way through the poems. I think it’s a beautiful poem – simple, direct, convincing.
Make a Wish – Miceal Kearney
In this sunny meadow sheep bleat.
Today is my birthday.
The evening breeze
blows out my candles.
The sheep still bleat.
Before I go,
each guest will get some cake –
rude not to share.
Five pieces I will cut:
the sun, the wind, the sheep
The last piece I will keep
for the moon.