Mark Niel is a full time poet and the official Poet Laureate of Milton Keynes. Starting out on the Open Mic circuit (with the aid of Write out Loud's Gig Guide) his funny, energetic performance style quickly found an audience. Mark has won many Slams including Ledbury, Wenlock and Bristol Poetry Festivals and has appeared at Latitude, Green Man and Wychwood Festivals. In May 2012, he was the Poet in Residence for BBC Radio 2's "2Day" and was commissioned by them to write a poem celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Mark gigs on the poetry and comedy circuit, runs workshops in schools and companies, appears as a guest speaker at WIs, Rotary Clubs, after dinner engagements and on Cruise Ships. Mark is believed to be the first poet to reach the final of the New Act of the Year Competition (NATYS) and is currently on a tour with The AntiPoet called "Rythmn Method". Quotes "Rising Poetry Star" BBC Radio 2 “Beautifully performed” Miriam Margolyes “The audience was in hysterics” Petersfield Herald “Ignited the space with his comedic stanzas” Rum Punch, Partnas in Rhyme “A Bravura Performance” Buxton Fringe Review
Dawn You lied about your age, Your weight and your shoe size. I found out too late To halt our demise. Half truths and whoppers Comprised your diction. No facts, just fantasy And falsehoods and fiction. This dress? Just ten pounds, Bought in a sale. If your nose was Pinocchio’s It would run off the scale. You deceived and destroyed me At every wrong turn. Took wallet and dignity And left me, heartburned. So I’m both broke and broken At the first light of morn. In more than one way, You were another false Dawn The Day the World Died The day the world died Nations gathered For the will to be read. It turned out the meek DID inherit the earth, But they asked for the money instead. Symptoms of Love Heart and pulse racing, My palms damp and sweaty. I feel like my legs Have turned to spaghetti. Tight chest, breathlessness, A bitter miasma. I saw the doctor. It’s not love, it’s asthma. I didn’t know I didn’t know there should have been stars Until I kissed you. I didn’t know a breath should be missed Until I kissed you I didn’t know your heart should stop beating, One fleeting moment Until I kissed you I didn’t know. I do now. Half Life Day (9 July, 2008) 9 July was the day when I had been in love with my wife for exactly half my life (8,137 days). Dark, dark and dark the night as we walked, squeezing the last moments from the weekend before work usurped our time. Bright, bright and bright the stars that pinpricked the velvet indigo and eavesdropped our whispered intimacies. Soft, soft and soft your face I held as creeping certainty came calling. Sweet, sweet and sweet your kiss as together falling from casual romance to soul certain permanence. Impromptu proposal met with a breathless “Yes”. Quick, quick and quick the years once constant companion now distant acquaintance taking our moments, for souvenirs Cold, cold and cold the days when sorrow shared our souls. rain cloud shadow a weeping canopy blocking the sunlight Hard, hard and hard the words at times as edge on edge we smoothed and shaped each other fashioning a better fit. Deep, deep and deep the love that remains ingrained making one from two. So I stand on Half Life Day the man I am, because of you.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
A Haiku: Political Correctness Gone Mad (30/01/2013)
The Girl on the Jubilee Line (24/01/2013)
Advice for Poetry Slammers (03/04/2012)
The Poet as Piñata (28/06/2010)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Poet (19/02/2010)
Advice to Peter Andre on Marketing (17/09/2009)
A Career of Two Halves (30/03/2009)
The Long, Slow Walk Home (15/01/2009)
The Drug Dealer and the Poet (13/11/2008)
Blog link: https://www.writeoutloud.net/blogs/markniel
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