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Love Koan


you could never forget


that you’d been born by yourself


in the heated margin


a nearly lost pulse


gripping, white knuckled


to existence.




I discovered your great wound


this blossom in your side


destroying you


carrying you


through storms


falling towers


and more


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When I don’t call

It doesn’t mean

That you’re not there

In my thoughts


When I don’t write

It doesn’t mean

I have no words

In my heart


When I don’t answer

It doesn’t mean

You have no place

In my soul


When I keep silent

It doesn’t mean

I have nothing

To impart


When I don’t pra...

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I wasn't dead,

just never alive

Turner Prize

gold medal

all for a dive.


A dyspraxic in a speedboat

as I struggled to swim

in shark infested waters

but I won't let them win.


The rewards of success

for creating a mess

an unmade bed

for an economy's left.


People can study

and some even praise

others are starstruck


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CapitalismChemistryDoctor WhoMetalsPoetryPoke'monPoliticsRapSci-fiSpokenword

Every new dawn

Every new dawn brought you
a glass of sea in a knot
of salt, which squeezed
your breath while you sang
to make the unbridled fear
fall asleep in a whisper.
And we know the distance
bled  on that shore of hardships
by your trembling steps.
When the bread was crumbled
into nothing by the fangs
of war, which eat and kill
at the same time.
But in the secret shelter
of th...

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The Soul of an Artist

The soul of an artist,

famine or harvest.

An exercise in extremity,

symmetric serenity.


Raw yet crafted

a tool made from bone

fleshed out by interpreting existence.


The soul of an artist,

famine or harvest.

An exercise in extremity,

symmetric serenity.


A fusion of real and surreal

a soulful symbiote

intertwined with their ver...

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Couple Stragglers


Here’s another draft, no pun on pint-pulling intended. Oh – also, while I’m here, I might as well tell you all I’ve passed my Masters! Haven't been here for some time - hope everyone is doing well...

Couple Stragglers

She’s all kick,
twisting in her leopard prints
like she’s seen some
new meat near the bar,
meanwhile I’m saying
‘cool it Jane, he’s not
a smooth-mover, h...

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Pop Up Poetry Jamming for Oxfam

Pop Up Poetry at the Bar des Arts in Guildford in October succeeded in raising £70 for Oxfam through voluntary donations at what is normally a free night of poetry, songs and spoken word. We had a great time, with the Leano, Cathy Flower and Steve Pottinger adding their magic to a line up of fantastic open mic contributors, including some new faces whom we're looking forward to inviting back as...

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Current Promotions

Current Promotions

We’re pleased to announce the following promotions for our 24th September OpenMind event at Fuel Cafe Bar.

*2 for 1 entry for all OpenSpacers – bring a friend free!*Quote GERBIL on the door to be entered into a prize draw for free entry for yourself and a friend to our OpenMind Halloween Special at Fuel on 22nd October.

*All who share the event page for OpenMind...

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Review - The Complete Verse of Noel Coward (Diaries, Letters and Essays) by Noël Coward & Barry Day (Methuen Drama)



Noel Cowards' lyrics from his musicals are well known in the English speaking world and his phrases are now part of everyday English speech. Barry Day has collected here the definitive edition of Coward's verse including all the work in the three-volumes published in Coward's lifetime plus rare & previously unpublished material Coward sent to family and friends. 'Deidre' by his poet...

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I want to kiss you at midnight - Sir Benjamin character piece

I want to kiss you at midnight - Sir Benjamin poem
by OpenMind on Sunday, 2 September 2012 at 12:21 ·

I want to kiss you at midnight,

feel the wibbly-wobbly ripples of time.

I want to kiss you at midnight

staring deep into your eyes.


Though it may take time,

time is of t...

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OpenMind website updates

We're proud to announce that our website has undergone renovations.

Please take a look at the new affiliated artist pages and the OpenMind Collective page.

OpenMind Collective


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OpenMind: Slamming September Poster

Take a look at the poster for our OpenMind: Slamming September event at Fuel on Monday 24th September.



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Pixie / Minnie / Asia

It's a very sad day when a Loved one dies

human or animal we all only have one life

so we gotta live it up for the ones that pass

too the fullest on this earth is what I'm aiming at.

So let's up those downs and make the bad more better.

Even if you're feeling like shit or rained on by bad weather

you can overcome the end of this glitch called living

by cooking up you...

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OpenMind: Slamming September

OpenMind: Slamming September:


Following on from our highly attended and jam packed 2 year birthday show OpenMind are back at Fuel on Monday 24th September for OpenMind: Slamming September, our first ever multi-genre OpenSpace slam event. This event will be presided over by GrIm who's taking his first ever crack at presenting an event, so be sure to give him your love, energy and full ...

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The Point Being


It is not the beaten track
eroded by the heavy boots of many
or the narrow path
that the Lord commands.
Worthy of precious little recognition
as a matter of opinion, in the scheme of things,
yet the way the menial coin in the currency of fate and fortune
landed. Head up, motionless. Certain, set in stone.
An unspoken instruction, albeit clear as day

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The Hitting Game


On the island’s south side

a solitary town fizzes

like overloaded circuitry

on dark, motherboard hills.


Across a sticky, smooth-tiled walkway

an amusement arcade spills

a test of sexiness based on how clammy your palm is

and the hitting game.


You spin in coins so they register

on sensors worn numb. 

A padded stump protuberates.

The s...

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You Can’t Get Tits on a Kindle – an ode to Generation OMG

You can't get tits on a kindle,

so put that Amazon one down.

Your materialistic bullshit

truly does make me frown.


I got by on handmedown clothes,

chick sticks and Aldi own brand.

You really look silly with that massive phone kid,

it's bigger than your hand.


To me COD was a special chippy tea

on a Wednesday night, granddad got it for me.


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Keiryu - Vacant squares

The game of balance has set -

done with the bishop, done with the board -

over the vacant squares we bet

sacrifices - extraneous to doom -

forsaken Queens - overwhelmed by blooms.


Keiryu: 7-9-8 9-9 syllabes scheme.

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Keiryu poem

Twilight shivers shake my sleep -

through broken verses seething with love,

I plead a dream - a midnight drip -

the edge of a solemn reality,

a nameless name - immortality.


NOTE: the keiryu is a written of 42 syllabes and 5 verses, composed as the metrical scheme 7-9-8 9-9. The first three lines are called "izumi" (or spring) stanza, while the last two verses make the ...

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cenisiimmortalityizumikeiryunazo no kazepoetry


Sweet Spring rain
on my lips –
the cracks in a wall

Thrush on the ground
next to the sycamore branch
Still bobbing

black ice –
another makeshift shrine
at the roadside


from 'Haiku' - a new collection

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Took Ten Steps

This is a poem that was written by an old friend of mine called Paul Nunn who I have a long music association with. He heard some of my performance poetry and asked if I would record this one. It is my pleasure to have done so.

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performancepete fisherpoetryTook Ten Steps

OpenMind 2nd Anniversary/Birthday Special

OpenMind return to Fuel Bar to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, exactly 2 years since the first ever OpenMind event at Earth Cafe.

To celebrate our 2nd anniversary we've created a few elements that pay homage to this number. Entry will be £2, we've got 2 headliners, 2 guests per genre, and raffle tickets will be 2 for the price of 1.

As always we'll begin the evening with the most diverse ope...

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2AcousticAnniversaryBirthdayFuelHip HopMusicOpenMindPoetry

OpenMind 2nd Anniversary/Birthday Special

OpenMind return to Fuel Bar to celebrate our 2nd anniversary, exactly 2 years since the first ever OpenMind event at Earth Cafe.

To celebrate our 2nd anniversary we've created a few elements that pay homage to this number. Entry will be £2, we've got 2 headliners, 2 guests per genre, and raffle tickets will be 2 for the price of 1.

As always we'll begin the evening with the most diverse ope...

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2AcousticAnniversaryBirthdayFuelHip HopMusicOpenMindPoetry


(A work in progress & in constant evolution...)


What would say William Blake if he saw this world post-revolution?

What would he say if he had been witness of the greatest cataclysm of

human heart?

What would he think about universalization when his gaze turned to

New America?

Can its spirit be dumb?


He  wrote an answer in the form of a lullaby.


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yellow about the land

Odorous under the towers
confounded misty teeth beyond the rain
the sin continues
quaking before the trees
you stroke dank vapors under the flowers
I reach insanity yellow about the land
as we dream of evil over the virgin
crazy, passionate, open-eyed, hungry
over the horizon
something missing
out of dreams
a stranger
takes comfort
he knew no-one
yellow about the lan...

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Breathe in the Dust

I have my own little piece of the world.
Sure, it has its problems, but nothin’ too much.
It has its pleasures and there’s more than enough.
And I’ll share them with you; I will share them with you.

So, put down that rifle, and put down that gun.
Let’s take back those words that hatred begun.
Let’s tear down those icons that make us ignore
The cries of our own, the cries of our ...

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On the dispersal of water


It’s 1:30 am.

He takes me away from the others unpacking,

opens the front door to the first night

in our first home and squirts WD-40

over both hinges, explains

WD is water dispersal,

NASA concocted this stuff

to keep fields of rockets

from turning orange, then burnt umber.

He heard this on his pocket radio

cycling along blustery North London roads


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Go There Get There Under Sheets

Sex. Done it. A few times shorter than a moments passed. Come Quick. Newsflash! This just in...soon to be old news. Start practicing stamina, duration, length, self control and persistence. Sexual Human Beings. We are so sexual in every way. Try and stay away. Too tempting. Too hot. Too arousing. Too wet. Too slippery. Too dangerous. Butt, If it's with "the one" it'll be Too kool, Far out, groo...

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None of the class could put their uniform

on in under a minute, fit their gas masks


and speak in a BBC accent. Two ran off

to explore World War Two but got lost


in the Blitz. Boys cooed at machine gun

nests and gagged at the taste of canned beef,


mistaking it for mustard gas. Everyone

laughed at the tour guide's rendition


of "Oh! It'...

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Ullswater Requiem (7)


VII Libera me A Prayer  

Let me drop a pebble to that surface

and watch its ripples run out perfect

and see a fish rising from the depths,

a pebble cast by water into sky,

and thos two rings meeting, interfering,

intermingling, intersecting but still perfect,

each still unbroken in its way:

A criss-cross message of place and time.


Believe. We ...

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10 Day Countdown/Robin Hood Anthology Manchester Launch

So, I have two announcements to make.


One is that today marks the ten day countdown until OpenMind: Face the Music II, and that there are still a few OpenSpace slots available. Can people please message Vocal Strain (https://www.facebook.com/vocal.strain) if interested. I have a partial list so far but I have my end of year assignment due in 2 weeks so I won’t be doing as much promoti...

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Book LaunchMusicOpenMindOpenSpacePoetryRobin Hood Anthology


New  blog up an running have a look  http://velvetmedia.wordpress.com 

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The Well Warrington Junior & Schools Writing Competition


Health, Wealth, Happiness. 

Visit www.wellwarringtonnetwork.co.uk/8.html for details or read the instructions below. 


The Well Warrington Network helps people with chronic illnesses in Warrington. We do our best to make people feel better with the work that we do. We would ideally like Health, Wealth and Happiness for everyone that we help, which is why we want you to w...

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Ullswater Requiem (6)

  VI Lux Aeternum A Celebration

The sky's sheet ice, the blood of sunset drained away.

Clouds are gatherd in like nets at the horizon.

Rose petals of last light are floating in

an awkward angle of the bay. Crows are

litter, whirled in a corner of the air.

The steamer's wake has met itself returning.

Some say this is the old day's dying, as if

no dawn will break; ...

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Ullswater Requiem (5)

V Lacrimosa Weeping


I did not witness this. I saw the lake.

Ripples run towards me every day.

I cannot read them all. The steamer makes

eight beats per second by my clock, no more.

Yet I must speak or what’s the watching for?

My words must face you square and eye to eye.

We are each other’s strangers of goodwill.

Tears bind us; the sky; mountains, and fire...

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REMINDER! CREATIVE WRITING COMPETITION to raise funds for The Well Warrington Network. CLOSING DATE 18th MAY. Get scribbling!


There's just over a week left to get entries into this creative writing competition. All proceeds will help to provide much needed funds for The Well Warrington Network - see the official write up from them below. There will also be a junior competition - details to follow. Stay tuned!


The Well Warrington Network, (a not for profit organisation that helps chronically ill people ...

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Ullswater Requiem (4)


IV Quid sum miser The Bereaved


Crossing a mountain stream once in bare feet

you could not keep yourself from crying out,

sliced by that scalpel cold, burned by its ice.


An avalanche of cold enfolded them.

Only an inch or two beneath it’s cold

as graves. Stone cold where the sun can’t penetrate.

Rivers of cold run deep along the lake.



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Polishing a Turd


It was Dave who spotted it first. He’d been

out for a cig break, and there it was, in all

its glory. A bit later on, and it was Ben’s

turn to go out for a smoke. He confirmed

it. After I finished mopping around the

counter, I decided it was my turn to spark

one up, so I put my jacket on, rolled a roll-

up and stepped out. I stood in front of the

shop, pulli...

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Ullswater Requiem (3)


III Recordare Memory


You remember once yourself slipping off

the narrow shelf of Ullswater.

You were no swimmer at all and had waded out like them

beyond the glimmer of sunlight on rocks below,

walking on a cliff edge in a mist,

and only when you felt the stones begin

to slip and shift knew you were on the lip

of some commencing underwater fall.


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Ullswater Requiem (2)


II Tuba Mirum The Bringing of the News


Whatever moves above it or below

disturbs the surface: Writes its passage:

weight: speed: bulk: hull: body: keel and fin:

the changing pressure of the wind.

A drowning man will tell his tale

as clearly as a fishing heron can.

Today it’s briefly mute: What lives below

is motionless. The wind is starved of breath...

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Ullswater Requiem (1)


I Dies Irae The Anger of the Water


Here’s where I stand. I read the lake each day.

Beyond our reach it changes endlessly.

Sometimes it's dark as ice. Sometimes it's broken glass,

Sometimes like metal streaked where boats have passed,

Sometimes with ripples regular as sound.

Sometimes it’s like a sky: Sometimes a pit.

Sometimes it’s white capped, rough.


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Mature Student


He was a hooligan back in the 70s,

a real hard bastard, a member of the

Monte Carlo crew. Middle-age had

softened him, not just physically, but


spiritually as well. He swapped the

terraces for the suburbs, got himself

a wife and fathered three pretty girls.

Now, he works with children who have


learning difficulties, and harbours

‘literary am...

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Friend List


The most difficult part of moving back to

the area where you grew up are

the people you bump into


who you haven’t seen for years.

Mainly, it’s people who attended

school with you, but occasionally

it’s a family member or an ex, and


they’re the ones that stagger you.

After saying a flustered

hello, the first and most obvious

questions are...

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Suffering with the thing that drives

fear into the hearts of most people –

‘toilet trouble’ –


I spent a couple of weeks

panicking and avoiding the



Eventually, I swallowed my

pride and made an appointment

with my doctor.


I rarely go to see the doctor. Like a

lot of blokes my age and of similar




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I don't write poems


I don’t write poems,

I drink them like wine,

I become tipsy

with each coming line.


I don’t write poems,

I breathe them like air,

I become so happy

when each one I share.


I don’t write poems,

I live with them;

they prolong my years,

they are as true as I am.


I don’t write poems,

I weave into verses

sadness, joy, tea...

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Save £2 on my book - 'Your Sax Is On Fire'

My book - 'Your Sax Is On Fire' is now an incredible £3.99 when you type SAFIRE into the discount code box on


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The Story Behind the Story on Page 7


He charged down Anlaby Road towards

the woman, grabbing the bag from her

arm as he bumped into her.


Unfortunately for him, the combination

of adrenalin, exertion, and whatever shit

he’d been smoking that morning


conspired to make him trip over and

plunge into the pavement. He hit the

ground with a thunk. A bloke with


a tattoo of a pant...

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All Things Are Connected

This poem came out of an exercise set by Angela Locke at Maryport Writers Group. It arrived almost word perfect, and fetched up in the First Sixty, the Acumen anthology, confounding perhaps thereby, the blood sweat and revisions school of writing! Maybe knowing to keep my hands off it was the blood sweat and revision!



All Things Are Connected


Touch this web

We call...

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OpenMind NEW VENUE/OpenMind: Face the Music Update

On Monday 21st May we’ll be celebrating the wide variety of musical talent in Manchester at NEW VENUE Fuel Bar in Withington with OpenMind: Face the Music II a year on from our first ever live music special. We’ve got a fantastic line up planned with amazing live music from the likes of vocalist Tsareeena Wimbush, acoustic and vocals from Tony Ward, poetry and loops from Martin Christie and poe...

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and the next one is.....




The light fades gently. Darkness does not fall.

The sky’s the last to darken of it all.


These shadows seep from doors and out of walls.

They drain from off the bracken-covered fells.

They slide across the drive. Each hollow fills

with darkness, like dark water filling pools.


So faintly too, we glow and glimmer here.

We flicker with ou...

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