Laura Taylor

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Mon 17th Feb 2014 09:42

Morning Steve!

Hey, thanks for your note on Space Debris... :)

Just a little musing on the galaxy :D (and Shirl, obv)

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Laura Taylor

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Mon 17th Feb 2014 09:40

Howdy :) Many thanks for your comment on Judging Justin :) Glad you enjoyed it!

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Chris Co

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Mon 17th Feb 2014 00:56

Thx for taking the time to see the ethics and thought process Isobel....Harry.

How much money does it cost anyone to put a signature to an online petition with Change.org or Avaaz.org in order to pressurise Primark, Walmart or Benneton etc?

The answer to that is - nothing. It can be done from an Internet cafe. How does anyone know about issues like this though? They need to have their consciousness pricked, or raised. That is what poems like this seek to do. So a clear gain can be made from simply being - aware.

So practical success can be achieved very easily from poems, blogs and essays etc. In terms of buying power and shopping. It is easy to think ethical decisions must cost more money. This is not so.

Example;

I bought goods from Amazon this week. Amazon do not pay their fair share of tax - they are an unethical company in this regard. So I bought my goods via Amazon traders, that is independent traders on the Amazon site. These traders do pay their fair share of tax. The goods bought cost exactly the same amount of money.

I got my goods and the UK economy got its fair share of tax - that to me is an ethical result.

I always check ebay and play.com ahead of Amazon, if I can buy economically from those sources ahead of Amazon - I do. Each time I buy from an alternative source, that is a sale lost to Amazon. The more people do the same, and quite a lot of people are doing this and boycotting them where possible - the more that will hurt them. The end goal is to force Amazon into paying the correct amount of tax.

Bennetton is not cheap, it is easy to chose an alternative that ethically sources their manufacturing. In terms of Walmart, which equates to Asda, other supermarkets with comparable prices source more ethically

Also it is not even about, every purchase, it doesn't require that - that is a key point too.

Primark might be a cheap source at Christmas, I understand that, who wouldn't? Price comparison websites can give an indication as to where some things can be alternatively sourced for similar or lower cost. Where that is possible, if you pick those things up from a more ethical source, you hurt Primark.

Small changes can make big differences.

It really does not have to be a costly exercise - not at all, i've proven that this week alone.

None of this is just me hehe. This is not a one man band, or a hippy impractical love-in. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of other people feel the same way. Otherwise there wouldn't be the campaigns. I have spoken about, Change and Avaaz wouldn't exist - neither would fair trade products and a lot more besides. The fur trade would still be alive and well - it isn't.

In terms of political decisions and joined up thinking. Even if we wanted that, and many people do, there isn't the political will in order to get things done. Too many political and economic vested interests for such joined up thinking.

Besides which, demand effects everything else, effect demand and you effect everything else.

The UN doesn't give us fair trade goods, no political body affords us a way to affect Sodastream's support for Israeli settlements in Palestine (breaking UN resolutions for over 40 years). No political body brought down the fur trade....public opinion, desire or lack thereof = demand.

If ethical goods and services are demanded they will be supplied. If the demand for unethical goods and services decline, those companies either adapt and survive, or in the end they die. I'm not saying cost is never an issue - it is. But you would be surprised how often it is not a factor or is negligible.

The issue is, once we show what is happening and how easy it is to be part of a solution - are people interested enough to want to make the change?

With busy lives, that is the difficulty... I think your definitely right in terms of that Isobel. Convenience and a state of un-thinking can also be something to overcome. Can enough of us care enough, to overcome busy lives and convenience to put in a small effort...

It took me 5 minutes to find an Amazon trader, rather than buy off Amazon. It took me the mental effort and 15 minutes to think, not Asda for clothing, not Benetton and take a look at articles on the web about ethical sources.

It took minutes to sign up to Avaaz and Change. It takes seconds to sign up to their consumer ethics campaigns - a short but variable time to consider each issue in turn.

Will enough of us care enough...poem or blog - a starting point.

I would guess both yourself Isobel and Harry, like Dave Bradley, would if you could buy goods and services that are more ethical. I would hazard that, because you are concerned with mankind.

I don't think any of you believe in a total separation of economics from morals. I doubt any of you, like many other people believe in the kind of rampant individualism that dismisses ethics entirely and treats us as a world of individuals.

If we are really concerned about our fellow man, we have ethical considerations. The funny thing is, we don't even need to invoke socialism in order to pursue such beliefs. All we need is the free market - oddly.

Like I said earlier. Demand is a human construct. Ethics can be a significant factor in our demand.

P.S

I have at NO point suggested a removal of custom. That is VERY important. I have spoken of sourcing from ethical suppliers.

This idea that sourcing ethically equates to a removal of livelihood for poor people abroad. Where does this come from?

I was hit over the head with this by MC. Now i'm hit over the head with it by our lovely MC again hehe. Ethical sourcing of goods can relate to improving wages and conditions - as part of the process. The complete opposite of this argument.

Best of


Comment is about Complicit (blog)

Original item by Chris Co

M.C. Newberry

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Mon 17th Feb 2014 00:24

Since the world and his dog is surely aware of
the ininquities of what goes on in the context
this post, it is legitimate to pose the
question of the solution against the possibility
of those hapless souls losing what little they
have by the effects of a high-minded withdrawal of custom in a hard real world. I am quite open to having my observations "de-constructed"
but preaching doesn't solve the basic inherent
quandary posed by the content. What to do?!
And that means in terms of the world as it is -
and, one can argue, as it has always been. By all
means point something out, but it doesn't end there.
That may be simplistic but I'll stick with it.

Comment is about Complicit (blog)

Original item by Chris Co

Harry O'Neill

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Mon 17th Feb 2014 00:00

Speaking from the humble level of a (middling) economics A mark this discussion fascinates me.

Regarding cheap goods and sweatshops it is significant that China - a communist state operating a capitalist system ( due, as Lord Turner said, to its enforced one child policy ) achieved greater national prosperity and is – due to the recession - deliberately stimulating its domestic consumer demand. (No doubt relieved by the knowledge that that the extra consumption goods required will be available from the un-consumed consumption of those tiny Chinese mouths that never quite made it to the consuming stage).

Probably this will result in the Chinese grown ups expanding just like their reportedly obese (and predominantly male) little single offspring and becoming as fat as our own meagre-childed populations in the prosperous West.

No doubt that - like ourselves–their depleted numbers will be replenished by hordes of immigrants (In China? what a delicious thought!) and that these in their turn will themselves become meagre-childed and fat as well.(isn`t this what a `better life` is all about?)…and so the eternal escalator will continue.

Oh, for the days when excessive consumerism was called gluttony and certain wastages of the human spirit were reckoned to be caused by it.

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Karin

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Sun 16th Feb 2014 22:37

Cute! :)

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Karin

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Sun 16th Feb 2014 22:35

Thanks!

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Patricia &Stefan wilde

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Sun 16th Feb 2014 20:51

spooky!we blogged similar type of poem using exactly the same picture.

Title-'By horizons divided'
5th March 2012...spooky eh?

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Original item by Ian Whiteley

Isobel

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Sun 16th Feb 2014 19:33

Really enjoyed this Graham.

Particularly liked the idea of the wounded lover on one knee searching for the mirror that might repel - what a great parody of a lover searching for the ring...

Liked the pathos of just what the reflection would show - and the painful sadness of it all. When love goes wrong, it really does!

x

Comment is about Lovebird (blog)

Original item by Graham Sherwood

Isobel

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Sun 16th Feb 2014 19:24

I'm sure people probably do get what it is you're saying Chris - it's just that topics always meander off course and people naturally start to consider other issues.

Graham, I also regret the loss of basic skills amongst young people. How many kids sit down to make anything now - we live in a throw away society and it costs more to buy the materials to knit a jumper or sew an item of clothing, than it does to buy it from Primark and other cheap shops. Likewise, if you are prepared to eat unhealthy processed shit, it's much cheaper and easier to do so rather than buy fresh meat and vegetables.

Chris's poem raises the question of whether we the consumers should feel guilt for the suffering of others, those who slave to produce our products, with none of the choices we enjoy.

Regrettably, I think we are too physically removed from the reality of that slavery to feel guilty enough not to shop in the likes of Primark - particularly as we are all squeezed financially at the moment. Whilst I don't do a lot of shopping there, my kids love it at Christmas, cos they can buy all their presents for not very much.

Human nature is at question here - and human nature is to put unpleasant thoughts to the back of the mind. I like the way your poem challenges this. The changes needed should come from the United Nations - there needs to be a global political effort to address this kind of exploitation - and serious intervention from all developed nations to ensure that imports are all ethically sourced. That's the only solution I can see - though I realise you aren't asking for solutions - just asking the questions.

A very thought provoking poem - and brilliant in performance.

Comment is about Complicit (blog)

Original item by Chris Co

Steve Higgins

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Sun 16th Feb 2014 00:48

Linking yourself, space debris and Shirley Bassey in one poem, thats one heck of a big ask but you did it, and very nicely put too,
best wishes,
Steve

Comment is about Space Debris, Shirley Bassey, and me (blog)

Original item by Laura Taylor

Steve Higgins

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 22:56

Thanks for looking in the Coldest morning. Some moving stuff on your pages jan, especially 'My daughter'
Best wishes,
Steve

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Patricia &Stefan wilde

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 22:06

awww you can join our eco-gang anytime,chuck.xx

Comment is about valentines card to the world (blog)

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Patricia &Stefan wilde

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 22:04

great poem Karin.xx

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Patricia &Stefan wilde

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 21:50

too right Solar!thanks Jane-preferred to leave the last line assuming the powerful vandals were so well known,they would have needed no introductions from us?xx

Comment is about different destructions (blog)

John Coopey

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 16:14

Thanks, MC. I think the kids are on Henry VIIi at the minute.

Comment is about The Spanish Armada (blog)

Original item by John Coopey

Chris Co

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 15:13

What you've surmised isn't what I was saying Graham, it isn't what the poem is about. You've got hold of the wrong end of the stick.

The poem relates to the system that we as consumers are a part of and how that degrades human life. It is about coming to terms with our own complicity. Only by acknowledging what goes on in our name, only by first seeing that and seeing the problem can we hope to change it.

Change can come through our consumer power. By making ethical buying decisions. This is not pie in the sky, either. It has happened, it is happening and it will continue to happen. It is why we have fair trade coffee, it is why the fur trade has been crippled, it is why Sodastream is under attack, it is why some people are avoiding Amazon, it is why some people steer clear of the brands I have mentioned. The economic effects are very real and they can change the way manufacturers behave.

The issue is not cheap clothes or cheap shit. I can only assume that is latching on to a surface level and one line taken literally in the poem. Also the word was 'cheaper', not cheap - big difference! You could buy a cheap Ferrari, Benneton are anything but cheap. Cheaper relates to the driving down of cost, in order to increase profit margins and increase sales via moderate pricing (relative). This is achieved, usually through very poor working conditions, with limited to zero health & safety, very long working hours and very, very low wages.

This is the issue - the system. We are not simply a part of it, we are at the top of it. Without us, the consumer there is no demand and there is no business.

P.S

This is a lesson for me...in future I think I might only post poems that are much more transparent and of a simple or surface level.

Comment is about Complicit (blog)

Original item by Chris Co

Graham Sherwood

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 15:04

Sorry what i also meant to say was, if young people still had lessons about how to make clothes and how to cook instead of all trying to be pop stars whilst at school, they might just be better prepared for the harsh realities of life afterwards.

Comment is about Complicit (blog)

Original item by Chris Co

Graham Sherwood

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 15:02

Having seen the extensive rhetoric in this critique I am a little reticent to comment further. However, the sentiment that I get from this is one of the age-old "why do we buy cheap-shit, sweatshop clothes from third world manufacturers.
Whilst I have no experience in the ragtrade I did have extensive experience in the food trade and the same happens there.
Every week my wife visits (as a volunteer) young women who nned some support to make ends meet and she tries to show them how cooking from scratch is both cheaper and healthier than buying cheap processed food from the food equivalents of Primark and Walmart etc.

Unless we educate the problem will not go away. As for clothing, the never-ending circus of fashion will always seek to obtain cheap, short-life, easily disposable for the less well-off.

It's so easy to criticize the cheap shops but until the poorer off can do something for themselves (through better education) Primark will flourish.

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Original item by Chris Co

Chris Co

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 14:43

It's one, as in singular poem M.C, one small poem. I never said otherwise, despite your snotty implication.

It is just one, small singular poem which has no more effect than one signature in a campaign. But like one signature in a campaign, when joined it becomes - something.

This is just one of many, many poems from many voices. The common theme makes a difference because poetry makes a difference.

I'm sorry I had to deconstruct your questionable assertions, semantics, spin, and dodgy logic. I would rather you hadn't brought any of it bear, but you did.

Listen...you can be as upset as you like.

Comment is about Complicit (blog)

Original item by Chris Co

M.C. Newberry

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 14:10

Goodness me.
Excuse my simplistic response to your worthy
words surely aimed at leading us to a wider understanding of humanity's damnable failings.


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Original item by Chris Co

M.C. Newberry

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 13:52

Russell Brand
I cannot stand
And wonder why Jon Snow
Or C4 planned
This two-way stand
Of egos on vain show!

Comment is about A dystopian 'Utopia.' (blog)

Original item by Philip Fletcher

M.C. Newberry

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 13:45

Drake didn't duck his duty!
Bet the kids loved this...especially those
"Eng-er-land" footie supporters among them.

Comment is about The Spanish Armada (blog)

Original item by John Coopey

M.C. Newberry

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 13:34

These brief lines follow the tradition of a
personal favourite of mine - "Jenny Kissed Me"
by Leigh Hunt.
No more need be said: either by this poet or me.

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Original item by Harry O`N eill

christina ford

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 12:09

It is very sad x

Comment is about Neknomination (blog)

Original item by tina

Karin

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 12:08

Got that it had to do with deadly drinking, but that it´s a "game" is horrible and makes the poem even stronger knowing that.

Comment is about Neknomination (blog)

Original item by tina

Karin

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:55

I really like the multiple dimensions of this poem; that it´s both funny/sarcastic, beautifully written and sad in it´s theme at the same time. I think that "If this is your love.." adds a dimension so that it gets more emotionally direct in a way, even though it says the same as the line above.

Comment is about Lovebird (blog)

Original item by Graham Sherwood

christina ford

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:54

Thank you Karen. Neknomination is a very dangerous drinking game that is sweeping across the young generation. Kids have died yet they still play this silly game.

Comment is about Neknomination (blog)

Original item by tina

Karin

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:46

The energy and directedness of this poem captured me and I like the variations between descriptions of the surroundings and the "intuitive hunches", but without beeing too spaced out.

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Karin

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:44

I have no idea what is meant by neknomination, but I really enjoy the rhythm/melody of this one and it inspires me about what rhyming can be about.

Comment is about Neknomination (blog)

Original item by tina

Isobel

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:28

Oh you old romantic you. What a lovely image you paint.

If she wouldn't have owt to do with you - then you have to console yourself by thinking that she was mebbee crap in the stern and covered in barnacles :)

xx

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Original item by Harry O`N eill

Isobel

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:22

LOL - I love this cheeky little number!

A girl after my own heart. If peeps can't see it - then they are just looking from the wrong angle!

Comment is about Love At First Sight (blog)

Original item by Larisa Rzhepishevska

Isobel

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:19

This sounds like a good one! I shall come along to hug Rachel and heckle Steven ;)

What a great contrast of styles - it should be an interesting evening.

Comment is about Steven Waling and Rachel McGladdery at Write Out Loud Sale (article)

Original item by Greg Freeman

Isobel

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 11:13

Agreed - I like that one - linking the love theme to our threatened sense of mortality.

Comment is about Wendy Cope's poem to her husband - and why she got married in the end (article)

Original item by Greg Freeman

M.C. Newberry

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 01:20

The London Evening Standard of Tuesday 26th November 2013 reported that the "UK's state pension (is) 'one of the worst in the developed
world'. Hardly reassuring when recalling that
in July 2007, the Daily Telegraph reported that
"200,000 'social homes' were given to immigrants
in 2006. One can only guess at what has happened
since in areas of our incomes and expectations
of social housing.
Keep smiling...it's costing you enough!! :-)

Comment is about Ken Eaton-Dykes (Poet profile)

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Kenneth Eaton-Dykes

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 00:05

Never in my wildest dreams back in 1944 when my earnings were the equivalent of 75 pence per week, did I think my modest Nat.Ins. contributions would evolve into an £145 odd weekly state pension today. Not enough for a life of luxury,but never the less a steady improvement overtime, in spite of varying political regimes. coupled with the populaces inbuilt resistance to change, and the blinkered views of the extremist


Comment is about M.C. Newberry (Poet profile)

Original item by M.C. Newberry

Julian (Admin)

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Sat 15th Feb 2014 00:00

At The Tudor on Thursday night, 13th February, Dave read this superbly-crafted poem magnificently. A tour de force, Dave. We should have a video of it up shortly.

Comment is about Poignant poem about wartime disaster that claimed 61 lives in Lancashire (article)

Original item by Greg Freeman

Francine

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 23:15

Hi Graham,

'With regard to the comment about the reflection, what was in my minds eye was the idea that if one could only see oneself doing damage, it might be a salutary lesson learnt.'

I got that! That is why I thought the line after wasn't needed. The line 'for the mirror that will repel you' already implies such... well, to me anyway. :-)

Comment is about Graham Sherwood (Poet profile)

Original item by Graham Sherwood

jan oskar hansen

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 22:16

I loved the last verse of your poem

Comment is about The coldest Morning (blog)

Original item by Steve

jan oskar hansen

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 22:15

nice poem, you know in Norway there are hardly any badgers left, they have been eradicated for little and no reason at all

Comment is about The Badger (blog)

Original item by Starfish

Starfish

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 21:41

I really liked this particularly the ending.

Comment is about Lepidopterist (blog)

Original item by jan oskar hansen

Starfish

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 21:38

Enjoyed this, an excellent read and loved the title.

Comment is about Lovebird (blog)

Original item by Graham Sherwood

John Coopey

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 21:19

Brilliant line, that opener, Harry.
...and who are you calling flaccid?

Comment is about (blog)

Original item by Harry O`N eill

Harry O'Neill

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 21:05



Just for the record: She wouldn`t have anything to do with me.

But (damn all the pain) It`s Valentines day.

Comment is about (blog)

Original item by Harry O`N eill

John Coopey

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 20:38

What ho, you Spur!
Enjoyed this, Graham, but for me the lines Francine cites helped me along. (I know I'm not the sharpest tool in the box).
In respect of what it's about - perhaps you should try the Lynx effect.

Comment is about Lovebird (blog)

Original item by Graham Sherwood

Graham Sherwood

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 18:58

Hello Francine, many thanks for taking the trouble to read Lovebird.
With regard to the comment about the reflection, what was in my minds eye was the idea that if one could only see oneself doing damage, it might be a salutary lesson learnt.

I never change work as you have noted but I really am pleased that other poets take the time to critique. I am sure it helps to mould further work.

my very best regards,

Graham

Comment is about Francine (Poet profile)

Original item by Francine

jan oskar hansen

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 18:47

great and feelingsome poem

Comment is about Wendy Cope's poem to her husband - and why she got married in the end (article)

Original item by Greg Freeman

Larisa Rzhepishevska

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 17:21

Happy Valentine's Day!

Comment is about Love At First Sight (blog)

Original item by Larisa Rzhepishevska

Francine

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 16:10

Coucou - Bisous

Comment is about Alvin Guinessberg (Poet profile)

Original item by Alvin Guinessberg

M.C. Newberry

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Fri 14th Feb 2014 16:09

Ken - I recall my thoughts as a teenager of how
awful the prospect of not being able to ensure
a free from want old age and that stayed with me
through my working life. Now, in advanced
retirement, I'm glad I had that "old head on
young shoulders" foresight - guided by a mother
whose husband (who had died prematurely) and
elder son had both been in the armed services
and secured modest future financial security to
help family and self.
Millions? Hardly.
Enough? I get by.
Cheers.
:-)

Comment is about Ken Eaton-Dykes (Poet profile)

Original item by Ken Eaton-Dykes

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