Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday Supplement

As well as our usual round up of the week's poems, today we have some quick stats about Poetry24's first year and two poems below which relate to what we are trying to do here.

We've had a record number of submissions this week - we gave up trying to choose just one on Whitney Houston and published those by Stuart Nunn, Kat Mortenson and Charlene Langfur. Syria was also leading the news, inspiring moving poems from Lavinia Kumar and E R Olsen. Joshua Baumgarten's 'This Belief' ripped up the rules to bring us a very individual response to the news at a given moment, and our birthday week wouldn't have been complete without something from our most-published poet Philip Challinor - who didn't disappoint with the bitter pill of his 'Palliative Care'.

But the highlight of our week was a beautiful poem created in film by Anthony Baverstock from lines 'found' in these pages in our first year. If you haven't yet seen 'Dawn: Year One' watch it now!

Poetry24 (in a nutshell)
313 poems in 365 days by 113 poets from 12 countries

We hope you continue to enjoy and take part in Poetry24 in its second year. (Check out our new Publicity page for ways you can help spread the word.)  Thanks so much for your continued support.

Clare (& Martin)

.... And now two supplemental poems. The first is a poem inspired by a news item ... about a poem ... inspired by a news item - but with subtle personal overtones.  The second is a moving obituary to a poet which we think says something about what poets are trying to do every time they pick up a pen.

Pinned back to the wall

Love carried more than a blade
The night you were murdered
Carrying a stench that seeped
All over the tabloids
And Sky News
But only touched on the truth.

Love that was ripped out in a beat
All the way from Well Hall Road
And Dickson Road
Before concluding near Rochester Way
Over a curtain of two stab wounds
And a mis-match of half lies.

Justice that briefly replaced hope
Crawling across the cold pavement
Of Shooters Hill and Westhorne Avenue
Before been regulated to
A barely heard rumour turned cold case
That still stank years and years later.

One version of Justice
Shivering through a mist
Of vague words and burst veins
While another’s is left to rot
Immobile in her fear,
Because it wasn’t high profile enough.

Pinned back against the wall
Like a turn of a phrase
Caught in the middle
Between a trigger and a blade
Simply because it wasn’t
High profile enough.

© Andy N

'Stephen Lawrence' by Carol Ann Duffy
'Embarrassingly Bad'

Andy N has a website, a blog and pages on facebook, myspace and youtube.
His current band is 'A Means to an End' and he has a project with Amanda Silbernagel.


poem for a dead poet

I saw him mouth silent words
closing eyes to read some internal
aid memoir and draw the next line
from the air before he laid it out

and after this silent litany
he watched his audience waited
for trust waited for them to reach
the same place he occupied

this poem he said is for a dead poet
he placed each word carefully
in the air then watched them drift off
his mouth synchronised to each breath

the poem built itself from nothing
started to identify its subject its narrative
pooled ideas like blood used words
as hammer blows cancer pain death

his eyes strained to focus
his face twisted into an effigy
someone who used to look like him
as he fought to control the words

to contain the emotion to beat
the poem into submission once more
to entertain and not reveal the true subject
the one only he knew only he knew

©  Jim Bennett

Tributes to poet Geoff Stevens following his death at 69

Author of 67 books and proprietor of Poetry Kit, Jim tours throughout the year giving reading and performances of his poetry and songs.