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Ghost Café

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Our Halloween masks reflected back
as we peer through that dusty glass
into the quiet gloom of the Ghost Café

If only the ghost waitress would take our order
‘large or small?’ she asks, well, I’m a medium
ghost chairs dragged across the ghost floor

And the clank of local steel set down
on delicately painted porcelain
bustling echoes bounce from peeling walls

People starting or resta...

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closurescovidcovid19high streetrecessionvillagesyorkshire

Holly Hagg

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Pen devoid of poems
adventure long overdue
living room carpet
growing long in the tooth
I’m pining for movement
so keen to get out
I’ll go walking down
to Holly Hagg

Little glimpses at normality
haloed by golden rays
There’s no poison 
in the idle river
no politics
in the quiet horse
cantering to 
another chew

The clouds of working day
part while I’m out walking
bathed in nat...

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happinesshikinginspirationlockdownSheffieldwalkingwritingYorkshire

Crooked Café

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I used to hate this part of town
After London
it felt like stepping back in time
as if all our momentum to the capital 
had been lost
these shops with their hand-painted signs
I didn’t recognise the names
they’re not triplicated on every high street

And now I sit
in the Crooked Café
the waitress always tries to remember my ‘usual’
but I love that she never quite gets it right
gives u...

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cafecityCrookespeaceSheffieldteawritingYorkshire

Chelp

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Chelp

 

So

Like

He did everything backards-road round

Put on his coit

And pulled his hat on his eead

Washed his face wi’a wet dish-claht

 

And I’m like Whatever

 

Kids were art laiking

Mucking abart

Ran off darn a ginnel

 

Roobub pie

Waiting back at home

 

Some spice afore then

A ha’porth’a Spanish

Wash it darn

Wi’a sup er watter

 

...

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chatday 20dialectNaPoWriMo 2019poem that talksspoken languageyorkshire

The Voyager's Song

The Voyager's Song

 

I see the shoreline,

black and unremarked

sleeping in secret, supine,

an open door, strong

as a broad Yorkshire

voice,

weak as rags of sea mist.

 

Soon I shall fetch upon its sands,

where cold silence reigns

uninvited like the early dawn.

 

Beside me shall burn,

in isolation and awe,

the last bright flower

of an ancient memory...

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aweisolationmemoryorchidsshorelinesilencesojournsongsupineuninvitedYorkshire

Poetry Summer School

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Good Morning All

Over the summer holidays I'm bringing a Poetry Summer School to the Town in association with Ossett Arts for 16-25 year olds.

The 6 week course will feature a mix of writing and performance workshops that will culminate in a very special performance during Ossett Arts Gallery Evening

For more information see below:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2003448533...

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OssettperformancePoetpoetryworkshopworkshopswritingYorkshire

God's Cahnty

I'm tellin thi - suthern'ills ar nowt compared to owwers
Scotland's foak are nowe neer as tite, or fair
Lancaster az but weaker trees and moare gawmless flowwers
And o' watter from Thames or Tyne, i cannot care
 
Tek noattice - us Yorkshire foak ar blest wi natures gold
We wer craaned as kings n queens from ar verry burth
Nivver fear nor dahht it, tho wethers wet an coald
A better cahn...

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dialectyorkshire

Last Night

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Last night was more than anyone could bear.
Last night they plunged a dagger into Yorkshire,
approving plans to poison land, to fracture 
the ground beneath our feet, to choke the air.

Four thousand people sent in their objections.
A hundred speakers warned what could occur.
But seven County Councillors didn't care
and kicked North Yorkshire in the wrong direction:

a course that leads ...

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climate changefrackingPollutionYorkshire

Following the Money

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From the North Sea, wild and grey
the horde bore down on Scarborough Bay.
I overheard one of them say 
"We're following the money."

Like a Viking raiding force
they'd moved their enterprise onshore
to probe beneath the Yorkshire moors
for oil and gas and money.

A mighty fleet of high power cars
overran the Scarborough Spa.
I heard them, wassailing at the bar
thirsty for the money.

...

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climate changefrackinggasmoneyoilpollutionVikingsYorkshire

Fracking Hell!

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North Yorkshire was a green and pleasant county 
with rolling hills and cricket on the green, 
and tourists by the score 
would come to see the moors, 
historic sites and charming rural scenes. 
And when they'd had their fill of nature's bounty 
they'd spend their cash at tearooms and hotels. 
But then some gas was found 
two miles beneath the ground; 
now Yorkshire has become a 

Frack...

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climate changeFossil Energyfrackinggasyorkshire

The Quiet Compere Tour 2014 Dates

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The Quiet Compere Tour is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Manchester – The Three Minute Theatre - Friday 31st January 2014

York – The Cityscreen Basement Bar - Friday 28th February 2014

Birmingham – MAC Hexagon - Friday 21st March 2014

Kendal – Brewery Arts Centre - Saturday 26th April 2014

Liverpool – Blackburne House Café - Frid...

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BirminghamManchesterSpoken Word poetryYorkyorkshire

Taking Root

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Taking Root (20th July 2013)

 

looking like a sapling

with a pure heart of oak

the white rose entwined

around three lions

taking Root

before the stumps

strong willow blade

flashing in the summer sun

bending

but not broken

before the green and gold

deflecting

slashing

blocking

hammering

not since the days

of Sir Geoffrey and

...

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New Library at Pontefract

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New Library at Pontefract

(on seeing a film featuring John Betjeman)

 

Long, long ago, when I was twelve,

John Betjeman was here

to make romance for Pontefract,

to make it very clear

that this was not some northern town

of legend, cold and drear,

but hill-top place, Italianate -

the self-same atmosphere

that brought the olive growers in

to mark...

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John BetjemanPontefractYorkshire

By A River

amidst dewy dawning

and distant lowing

scrambling over

tangled root stone bedding

 

beneath hillside glowing

from cloud stalked

cold shock

to sun burst warming

 

flows river umber

running iced  tea

tarnished and malty

 

to this tumble

comes happy dog

snout near rabbit deep

as spooked cottontails peep

from behind mossy log

...

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dalesmorning walknatureriverswaledaleyorkshire

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