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ThePoetry Spoke Review- Launch Night/June

The review looks mega large, but mainly consists of quoted poems and songs and is more to do with the layout...it shouldn't be too long a read.

Sad as it was to wave goodbye to the Morton Arms, ‘ThePoetry Spoke’ our brand new event took over from where Morton Arms last left off- on a high!

Upon entering the swanky, yet friendly, bohemian yet private wine bar ‘La Gondola’, you just knew the night was going to be good and successful. Just how good and successful surprised us all, as we ran the gamut of human emotions in song and verse. Catharsis was needed and it was there and it ran a course right through to hope and wine in the late night air.

Our hostess with the mostess Glenys Feeney got the night underway in her own inimitable way and hosted the night with tremendous human warmth.

She gave us a very personal poem titled ‘Rene’

She was telling tough truths but…love and tenderness was never far away;

‘A wonderful childhood thanks to my lovely caring grand parents
Who helped to make me who and what I am today.
Those of us who are left
Still love them to this day,
Even though they have been gone
for more than 50 years’

Regret tinged the air for what could have been;

The next poet was Harry O’Neill.

A poet who some will remember from his days at the Gazebo in Liverpool. Theology and humour were on Harry’s mind. Could an omnipotent being like God have a sense of humour?

'God’s got a sense of humour
It’s plain as plain can be
that God’s got a sense of humour
Is there for all to see
God’s got a sense of humour
A marvellous sense of humour
A wonderful sense of humour
Or how could he love me'

Nearly Love

‘Now for truths sake
just before we go.
It was not love
but nearly so…’

From God, theology and love left behind we moved on to Scotty roads own Alan Ainsworth and smoking

‘Parents who light up
And look and their kids
Through a cloud of bliss
Coughing their guts up saying
I don’t never wanna see you
Doin this’

Too late,
They’ve seen
your obscene satisfaction,
Almost sexual in its nature
as you caress that paper tube,
They already crave the sensual image
You’ve displayed
And which you
so obviously approve'

Warnings aside up stepped West Kirby’s wonderfully erudite Jennifer Smith.

Jennifer often gives us classy love poetry and this night was no exception. Below being the words from her untitled poem;

‘The soft sea breeze blew through the town
Taking with her the debris of the winter
Leaving the air warm, clean and sweet

'Then she blew and blew and blew some more
Turning into the fisherman’s whore
For she took my man that day.
Lured him from my loving shore
carried him aware to be seen no more’

Our next poet to take the floor and hold the room in a spell was the star talent that is Stella Jones.
Stella like our previous poet gave us two excellent poems, below being an example of just some of her words from the first of those poems.


‘Marina bay tempts cold seduction
Taunts eyes jet lagged red’


But I like the bustle
Of business that takes all day
And old men that consider chess
gamble with their God.

Here history is torn, rents raised
Yet culture soars
spicy and bright
And when antiquity trickles
From shuttered doors
I watched paper dragons
flame the night'

Stella writes of the senses, tactile, fragrances, colours, etc. She paints words with an impressionists brush.
Stella will be our Guest Poet next month- another class act for ‘ThePoetry Spoke’ and friends to look forward to.

At this point in the night we had our GUEST MUSICIAN

Lotzie Weaver!

Lotzie is a stalwart of the Folk Scene in Liverpool and on The Wirral. He’s played at many a folk club and been on BBC Radio Merseyside. He is slightly bonkers in the way he describes himself, his music offers social commentary on the everyday and the political. But he also writes and plays very lovable and comic numbers.


Oasis in the Storm

‘She was black and I was white’
She talked sense and I talked shite
She had no husband I had no wife
She was an oasis in the storm of my life

Lotzie did an anti war song. Lotzie as a former soldier said something that really seemed to ring true to me when it comes to all poets and the ability and responsibility that we sometimes have;

‘One of the problems is people say well, ‘you were never there, you were never a soldier‘ and all that sort of stuff. Well I was a soldier, so there, and anyone can write an anti war song, cause for me the job of a poet is to express people’s experiences. It doesn’t mean you have to experience it, but to express on behalf of others… we write on behalf of others.

‘Then off on tour to fight a war
Beneath a foreign sun
When they’re missing home or feel alone
they always write to mum

The army’s full of kids who just got older
Mammy’s oh so proud of her little soldier.


‘When soldiers fight there’s no human rights
For a daughter or a son
Cause the enemies there
To kill you first
In any way they can
You’ll be terrified as munitions fly
And wish you hadn’t come
And on terrors cue a part of you
Will be yearning for your mum'

Lotzie showed the importance of keeping a sense of humour through difficult times with the song
‘They can‘t stop you laughin‘

They can put you into prison if they don’t like your protest,
They can give bonuses to the bankers who created this whole mess.
They can say we need to economise whilst they feather their own nest.
They can use a tree as their emblem whilst they sell off the nations forest.

But they can’t - no they can’t, Well they can’t stop ya laughin
Ah hee, Ah haa, Ah hee hee, haa haa, haa haa, haa haa, haa…

A great set, we hope Lotzie enjoyed the night as much as we did- I’ve got the albums mate ;)

Cheers for helping us pick the notable poem too- appreciated.

The Half time break….Cigs, wine and Beer……..


Opening up the second half we welcomed Dave Costello, the man known as Defo Dave by me when people kept getting his name wrong before they knew him lol. Dave has been a guest at our prior venue the Morton Arms and a great guest he was too. He’s the current Ode Show Poet of the year, and he is soon to be published alongside Simon Armitage, having been short-listed for the Grist poetry prize. Dave gave us three poems of which I quote two below. Dave also Co-runs The Bards of New Brighton with Steve Regan and also LiverBards in Liverpool



‘Clod-fleshed beneath earth’s blanket
Sockets ignorant with blind clay’

'They slumbered for sixties years
Undisturbed by wars alarm’


‘He is an imperceptible curve
In a horizontal void
For an instant he lingers
Between your world and his
Then dissolves- an ancient skill‘

Following Dave we had Natalie Wharton, Natalie, my other half or as I like to put it...
‘the side that looks good’ lol Natalie likes to write love poems other themes that figure prominently are nature and memory.


‘Betwixt the earth and silent sky
Broken of heart I will dieth’

‘And I will bequeath you
The moon…the stars
To lie and bask
in your light eternal’.

Her second poem was called ‘entangled’

‘And I glimpse seconds of frames
replaying a past recollection
Through childhood’s juvenile eyes’

The last poet before our Guest poet was Steve ‘The Bards’ Regan.


Steve performed two polar opposite yin and yang poems, two poems about the iconic legend that is John Lennon. The first of which I quote

John Not Paul

‘You were working class kinda
A freedom finder
You were one of us
Your spoke to our dreams
Before we dreamt it’


‘We never knew peace
for all you were sayin
Would not be stayin
Instead they’d be slaying
From the military machine
And the crack of the gun
Killing your dream
And killing you
as we never imagined’

When Steve is good he is seriously good and this was such a night.

The GUEST POET time arrived
or should I say Pete Crompton time!

Everyone who has seen Pete knows he’s a brilliant poet and performer, certainly I do as do fellow friends like Steve Regan etc. But it was great to see the jaw dropping expressions and delight on the faces of those out Wallasey direction who had not seen him before.

Opening up Pete gave us a poem that in essence captured the intensity of love and being love sick;

Writing I Love You In Slow Motion

‘I’m writing I love you in slow motion
that should make it last longer
it’s a little superstition of mine
pen cannot justify feelings
as intense as this
but I shall try’

Pen certainly does not capture such powerful sentiments- writing in slow motion to make it last longer…a beautiful notion.

‘they say its
soft to say I love you
hard to cry when they shove you
gotta be strong so you can tell her
gotta rescue her
so you can flood her ear and swell her
with all the fantastic words
better than the letter, I don’t think so
words are gone, cant be caught or traced, gone
written could be wrong
in foreign hands
pass it round the class room
my love letter
laugh out loud, shape out the conjecture
of stupidity
soppy me they say
yet the classroom mockers
were the first to sway when a broken heart
had a way with them‘.

Pete has it right, a love letter is there to stay, there to constantly offer what the spoken cannot, just as it is there to be mocked and injure in the wrong hands. Hard or soft of heart love affects all in the end, or at least almost everyone. Great poetry dealing in real truisms…something I really enjoy poetically speaking.

Pete then gave us a glass of wine and a row. That is to say a poem called
A Glass of wine and a row hehe. A poem re-titled from a cigarette break earlier in honour of Steve Regan (one can only hope no wine was spilt lol).

'Friday night and it is time
For the two timers to hit the town
Wedding dresses were traded
For lycra mini gowns
The lip gloss and the number 17 make up
hides the domestic frowns
And the painted smiles
Prop up the drunken haze'


‘It’s all swagger out on the town
It’s all blagger about your age’


‘We tick the boxes
of this evening’s
drunken dream
of being wanted’

Pete is very good when it comes to dealing with the nuanced nature of ‘the loss of innocence‘.
This poem rings so true of a certain way of being and a certain sadness chasing yesterdays rainbow.

In a great Guest Poet set Pete gave us many more gems, but hopefully the above gives you an idea of just how good he was- especially if you have seen Pete perform He even gave us his Dog- Woof poem! He was the perfect Guest Poet, great for our opening night- a big thank you goes out to him for helping along with Lotzie to pick our Notable poem and award the £20 prize on the night.

Thx Pete a real pleasure.


Following a post Crompton Phenomenon and Cig break we were entertained by Wirral singer song writer Guy Taunton. Guy tends to write delicate folky songs that often have a touch of Americana about them.

‘I wear daises in my hair
To be like her’


'Where once was life
Now slow decay'

'An accident
in watered light
The moon spills her carpet white’

'I’ll get by without your smile’


Yours Truly was next on the mic with a poem called NICE and another called
‘I’m a Moderate Man (rant)’


‘She pressed the flesh
And talked of savings
In committee

Setting in stone
Words that bound
Lives to dates’

I’m a Moderate Man (rant)

'These days we are told over and over again
That moderation is the golden key-
We must be responsible, we MUST be moderate.

But let me tell you moderation is to drinking what bungee jumping is to suicide,
It tries to get into the spirit of things, but ultimately
it lacks the finality of commitment'

Words on which seem best left to others, but the second poem seemed to go down very well as the wine started to pour at an increased rate lol

Alan Earle former Guest Poet at Morton Arms, Pamy’s other half, poet, man of science and wine tasting guru was up next. Below are quotes from his poem ’The Cooking Pot’

‘The wind is my kin
The wind wild and free
Let it blow, let me be’


I’m also a hermit
I live in my brain
with thoughts quite profound
Though they may not be sound
Reflection, disection and too much
Perfection, debate and conjecture
And frequent self lecture’

The night moved from Alan to Chris, not me Chris but Chris with no surname Chris who is going out with Ted Chris…erm we must get their second Names….

enough of second names, Chris gave us a poem titled
‘I like Fish’. The title was in fact just the opener for a series of ‘likes’

‘I like Fish- Any kind of fish
Fish in an ocean, Fish in a stream
Fish in a garden pond, Fish in a dream’

'I like people- Any kinda people.
Happy people, sad people and people like my Dad people
Little people, tall people, people going to a ball people
Fat people and thin people
And people who like people people
I just like people'

With Ted we reached our penultimate poet of the night. Late but not too late to hear a wonderful reminise about childhood, one that got many of us thinking back to our own formative years and playing as children in places that we perhaps shouldn‘t have.

‘I looked at my best friend and he at me
As we eight year olds sailed out to sea’

We felt like crying but we were men and men don’t cry, as we had been taught
by our fathers…unfortunately our fathers had not yet taught us how to swim’

With poet, compare and host of The Wirral Ode Show Jason T Richardson


We reached the end of our night, but not before he thrilled with comic verse.
Below are some lines from the first poem he offered from his genius japery.

Marc Bolan

Marc Bolan your style was stolen
and the guy from Placebo
And the guy from Suede
Owe you a debt
Yet to be repaid’


'Your influence was massive
You lit the way for teenage kicks
And also helped light the way
Illuminating road signs
On the B506'

The night went on and on and on!

The mic was left on, the bar switched into it's bohemian late licence mode and
songs were sung into the night and the wine bar was literally drunk!

out of wine lol

If you see any typos in this review please complain- just not to me given the size of it Haha. No, being serious, if there is anything significant; please private message me (as opposed to commenting here and turning the page into a 'faults forum').

This review is just something done as a memento of our opening night. All I can say is I have tried to capture a bit of what the night was with an even hand...

Can't wait for next month's event- Wednesday 27th July. Take a gander at our photos courtesy of Adrian Wharton
- Thx Adrian (should be up soon on write out loud).

Thx also to all the audience members who added to the wonderful atmosphere of the night.

Congrats to Chris and Ted for their joint win of the Notable poem £20 Prize. Another £20 wings its way to another performer next month.

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 03:42 am
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sounds a good night, Chris. Enjoyed the few times I have been down to the Morton Arms with Tony.. Will speak to him about coming down to your new night hopefully early Autumn as am mad busy at the moment as normal - lol
Sun, 26 Jun 2011 08:46 pm
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Steve Regan was on fine form as was fellow woler Stella Jones. Pete Crompton did a fantastic Guest slot too.

It was an amazing night Andy, never seen anything like it to be honest.

Once the event had finished, poetry gave way to songs and wine until there was no more wine lol.

Some of us didn't leave the venue till gone 3am haha.

As for coming along, your welcome to join us whenever you're about/able Andy.
Mon, 27 Jun 2011 04:47 pm
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Arrrgh.Just written a comment but it was lost.
Tue, 28 Jun 2011 12:53 am
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Any road, what I meant to say that this was an unforgettable night for so many reasons - a great, atmospheric venue, some great poetry, (a little too much live music on the night for my liking though!), loads of laughs, quite a lot of bitching, and best of all, DRINKING TILL DAWN!

The Wirral poets ... Mad, Bad, and Mentallists to a Man (and Woman).

Well done Glen and Chris for organising and hosting it. Well done me for suggesting the venue.

To the person who stole the 12 rollies I made while half-listening to the musician's overlong set, I say "examine your conscience".

To the person who defaced a Bards flyer with the statement that I was a "triple-faced gobshite" I say two things...

1) I'm pretty sure I know who you are ... and ...

2) I forgive you.

Next RAWK AND ROLL WIRRAL POETRY night is the BARDS at the Magazine pub in New Brighton, Monday 11 July, 8pm start. All are welcome - even gobshite graffiti artists.

Note to Rachel McGladdery ... if you are coming across to Wirral again I will warn the local bar owners to get in extra supplies.
Tue, 28 Jun 2011 12:58 pm
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Ta Steve.

I agree with most of that.

In terms of how much music is too much music though;

I left a dictaphone recording the night, so I could write the review and the music came to exactly 30 minutes. The night ran officially from 8:30pm till 11pm. So that is half an hour music and 2 hours of poetry.

Everyone who wanted to read- read and that was two long-ish poems or three normal-ish poems.

The musicians went for it when the mic was left on post event...which I thought was fair enough and gave a cool ambiance. Is that too much music...dunno.

I think that differs person to person and is subjective. The night is always going to be poetry and a bit of music...but we'll keep and eye on it.

Rollie stealing will never be tolerated though, we'll send out a hit squad if that ever happens again!

Anywho you were on fine form being a bad ass Bard! On which note I'll see thee at the Bards!

More wine will be needed.
Tue, 28 Jun 2011 03:22 pm
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Ha ha ... reminds me of a poem...

"All the beers, all the fears,
each faltering pilgrim step,
every good heart run aground
pile in to rueful reflections
in this saloon bar ...

Wine follows whine.
Another nod another smile."

(C) 'The Measuring Bar' April 2011 ... Lord Regan of Wigan.

Tue, 28 Jun 2011 04:25 pm
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