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Mike Smith

Email: BrindleyHD@aol.com
Web: http://bhdandme.wordpress.com/
Updated: Fri, 4 May 2012 04:57 pm

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Biography

Mike Smith Currently involved in setting up an event for National Flash Fiction Day (16th May), in Carlisle, which the organisers hope will morph into a more general monthly literary event. Details on my blog, and elsewhere! Writing poems, plays and critical essays, and short fiction (as Brindley Hallam Dennis). I have a novella out from Pewter Rose (A Penny Spitfire), and a collection of monologues from Unbound Press (That's What Ya Get! Kowalski's Assertions). Recently received the degree of M Litt from Glasgow University and currently teaches Creative Writing at Cumbria University. 2009 A group of 5 poems including Ullswater Requiem and The Flickering wins the Sir Patrick Geddes Meorial Trust award, Edinburgh. 2009 The short play 'Smokes, a mime with words' performed at the Sydney Short+Sweet Festival. 2008 Valanga published by Freerange Poetry, Carlisle 2008 The Flickering wins the Kirkpatrick Dobie Poetry prize, Dumfries. 2007 Martin Extinct, published by Freerange Poetry, Carlisle. 2007 Ullswater Requiem wins a Kirkpatrick Dobie poetry prize, Dumfries. Published in Stand, Outposts, Cadenza, Acumen, Tears in The Fence & elsewhere. Broadcast Radio 3, Radio Derby, Radio Cumbria. 2004 Writing as Brindley Hallam Dennis, won Radio Cumbria Short Story Competition. 2004 Won Ottaker’s Carlisle Poetry Competition. 1970s. Published The Broken Mirror (Outposts) Love Affair With a Landscape (Curlew) Appeared in New Poems 1976/77 (PEN) 2005 Published No Easy Place (poems) Appeared in Night Balancing (Blinking Eye)/ Both Sides of Hadrian’s Wall (Selkirk Lapwing Press) Member of Maryport Writers’ Group. Member of the EditRed writers’ online community. Reads regularly at Calrlisle’s Speakeasy, Penrith Blue Bell Bookshop. Co-organiser of Wordplay at NEO, Cockermouth. Co-founder of the Brewery Poets, Kendal ( a long time ago!) Organised the Fringe Poetry event at Keswick: The Water Margin in 2007&8.

Samples

Under An Apple Tree in the Rain Here, in this fine spray, the trittle trattle patter, you might stand, breathe, and think you are alive. Death, who is talking with a friend nearby, casts you a glance. You cannot hear but guess their conversation. Death makes a lonely invitation, to which you must say yes. The last chance always what you waited for, (the last place looked-in always where you found) when you attempted perfect metaphor. So. We are raindrops falling through this light, born out of knowledge, sparkling, splashing bright, lost in the flow and passing out of sight. Still days, when soft rain falls on fruit might seem be all we need; be thought eternal. MAROONED And I no longer look for ships. We passed in darkness not in light Where love falls unexpected in the night. It seems so long ago, And I no longer look for ships, And leave the beacon fire unlit. We passed in darkness not in light. It’s pain that time from memory strips, Where love falls unexpected in the night. All loss lies in the past. It seems so long ago, And time slips by so fast, And I no longer look for ships, But sit with closed eyes on the beach, And leave the beacon fire unlit. The past is always out of reach. We passed in darkness not in light. Who learns the lesson this would teach? It’s pain that time from memory strips, Until we are alone at last Where love falls unexpected in the night. So keep the vigil on your side. All loss lies in the past Among the ones whom love divides. It seems so long ago We made our separate trips, And time slips by so fast. We’ve no regrets at all, And I no longer look for ships (There is no rescue yet) But sit with closed eyes on the beach To see what I recall, And leave the beacon fire unlit In case you see its signal flame. The past is always out of reach, And all fires burn the same. We passed in darkness not in light, But yesterday still grips. Who learns the lesson this would teach? By candle glow and lovers’ talk, It’s pain that time from memory strips, Beyond the sound of human speech, Until we are alone at last. I would be there if yet I might, Where love falls unexpected in the night. (Marooned is written in a form I have called the Valanga. There's another example, and a short essay on the form on My Page, of Bhdndme's blog.- on the homepage link above.) All THE HURT CHILDREN Write on the water write on the sand Write on the air on the back of your hand What do hurt children grow up to be? Someone like me. Someone like me. Whisper to fire whisper to stone Whisper to starlight when you’re alone What do hurt children grow up to do? Something like you. Something like you. Cry for tomorrow cry for today Cry for the past that took you away When do hurt children shed the last tear? Never I fear. Never I fear. Run from the shadow Run from the light Run from the echo you hear in the night. Why do hurt children travel so fast? Fear of the past Fear of the past. Sleep in the ocean sleep in the earth Fall through the sky from the day of your birth What do hurt children do with their lives? Each one survives each one survives (this poem appeared in the 2006 Blinking Eye anthology, Night Balancing) SO STILL It is so still here tonight That were it not for birdsong And traffic on the main road And distance I might hear your voice Should you be calling But like me You are only listening (this little poem won the Ottakers poetry competition, Carlisle branch, in 2005, or thereabouts, and has popped up here and there since!) Mechanics (revised version) He’s got that bloody poem stripped down again The kitchen floor’s knee deep In rough edged images Discarded adjectives A metaphor to fit That won’t improve on it one little bit He says it isn’t scanning sweet And listens for a missing beat It’s not as if he ever takes it out But rides it in his dreams Where he might leap the gulf Between him and the world He’s got that bloody poem stripped down again And if he ever gets it running right, what then? The Ways of Working The sculptor will tell you how you can If you wish to make a man With some its what you take away With others what you overlay So start with wire Or start with stone I know a hundred ways to be alone With wire you make an armature To shape your man on true and sure The stone you prize from out of earth As much as makes a whole man’s worth Wind the wire Carve the stone I know a thousand ways to be alone Add the sinew mould the face But of your fingers leave no trace Gouge out a mouth chip out some eyes Finely etch a skin of lies Bury the wire Polish the stone There are a million ways to be alone (The Ways of Working was featured in the film Words & Bronze, celebrating the life and work of sculptor Elizabeth Waugh)

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

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Comments

Wendy Hollis

Thu 15th Apr 2010 15:11

Hi Mike, thank you for commenting on Lying, I appreciate it :-)

Wendy Hollis

Tue 13th Apr 2010 12:46

Hi Mike
I love All The Hurt Children, the repetition is great and really works well. So Still is so poignant - wonderful stuff!

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Ann Foxglove

Fri 12th Mar 2010 19:25

Mike, if you want me to know that you think I am kind (;-)) you should put the comment on my page not yours. I am puzzled, how do you have 1294 on your counter? Have you deleted everyone? If only life were that simple! Hope to see some more of your poems soon!

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Mike Smith

Fri 12th Mar 2010 19:22

Thanks Ann,
kind of you to say so.

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Ann Foxglove

Fri 12th Mar 2010 16:59

Mechanics is brilliant! Love it!

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