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Barry Woods

Updated: Sun, 3 Mar 2024 02:38 pm

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Barry Woods studied creative writing with the Writers Bureau and settled on free verse poetry after that. He was tutored by award winning poet Alison Chisholm who guided him into publication in 2002. He moved on to explore performance at Liverpool's Everyman Bistro, a regular gathering for poets and playwrights. He's had over thirty poems published and performs occasionally at spoken word events in Liverpool/Wirral. He edited the anthology 'The Quality of Mersey'. It was performed as a live poetry relay on National Poetry Day at Liverpool Central Library, 2018, and toured Merseyside throughout 2019 ending at the Museum of Liverpool Life. He received a Poetry Medal of Honour from Wirral's John Gorman for work on this project. He curated 'The World in Lockdown People's Poem' (Facebook), which was accepted into the RLB360 Capsule of Culture, a time capsule for Liverpool that remembers the year 2020, with contributions from over fifty Merseyside poets. The time capsule is kept inside the Royal Liver Building. He has volunteered with local councils organising groups of poets to perform their work under Luke Jerram's Gaia at Liverpool Cathedral, and Museum of the Moon at Birkenhead Town Hall. He collaborated with Brian Patten and Levi Tafari on the Poets for Peace project in 2022. He collaborated with Roger MGough and Brian Patten on the Ages Anthology project in 2023


Where Did All The Punks Go? They hide behind white picket fences unable to grow Mohicans in middle age; they sculpt neat hedges instead of stiff spikes. Punk politics got mortgaged to a desirable neighbourhood, Brothel Creepers replaced with tennis shoes, and they shop at Sainsbury's for organic food. I see them fill their shopping bags. I never thought they would pop vitamin pills or walk the Shihtzu; or drink herbal tea with a hint of pomegranate to stay caffiene free. Once they rocked dog collars, spewed anarchy onto the street with bondage gear. They safety pinned an attitude to Union Jack, screamed guitar in the face of our Queen. Their DIY ethic did not include a greenhouse; they were supposed to shatter glass not grow tomatoes. Saying It Like Johnny Never mind the bollocks say it like it is be an anti-establishment anarchist for speaking your truth. They'll see you with spiky hair, ripped t-shirt and skin tight leathers if you make them wriggle in seats. They'll see you with substance abuse, unclean, untamed - a Sex Pistol while they stay pretty, oh so pretty, virtue signalling. So, say it with spunk. Say it with the volume turned up. Say it like Johnny Rotten. Daredevil We climbed trees and you'd always reach for that furthest branch; a crack of wood, a crack of bone was adventure to you. A broken arm would mend, smashed National Health glasses could be taped at the sides. No problem. And rope swings were best, flying us into a spin as ground dropped away - a freebie fairground ride on a heath that had a windmill. You told me you were gonna be a human cannonball or a Hells Angel as you picked at scabs on your knees. Stunts were getting dangerous, scrapes cut deeper into your skin and I didn't have the stomach for it. You wanted to ride a motorbike through ring of flame without a crash helmet. Trying To Believe David Icke I want to believe David Icke when he says we are controlled by elite families, that politics is one beast with many faces and secret societies plot the future of human kind behind a mainstream media screen. I want to believe Alex Jones when he says chemtrails are crisscrossing our life expectancies and we don't have a clue what we are breathing in, that Masonic Temple whores lead a dance of destruction among our youth, rapping evil into their subconscious dressing as porn stars and pimps. I want to believe the conspiracy theorists when they say war is good business and weapons can be biological, psychological. Vaccines might hide nanotechnology inside syringes, and we could all be micro-chipped in this Brave New World. I want to believe that Big Brother is watching through our mobile devices, that aliens walk among us and that the moon hides nuclear weapons. I want to believe it but I can't. It would just turn me nuts. Yemen Boy Let this photo go viral Let the world see me Pulled out from collapsed concrete A rag doll Covered in dust and blood Red stains my eyes Red scrapes my legs And my shoes, were lost in the blast I am just a child A child torn from home Caught in the rubble of your air strike Deafened by noise Of your big boy war game I cover my ears but still hear Screams from my family I have speckles of them on me So let this photo go viral Aim your camera lens right into my face As I sit emotionless in this ambulance

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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