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Steven Waling

Updated: Tue, 25 Sep 2007 04:31 pm

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Poet & reviewer, born in !958 in Accrington. Based in Manchester, England. Published widely, including the collections Calling Myself On The Phone (Smith/Doorstop, 2003) and Travelator (Salt 2007, Poems published on the net and in magazines. Have worked as a teacher of creative writing, as a mentor to African writers via the British Council's Crossing Borders project) and have read my poems from Manchester to Johannesburg in everything from libraries to bars to offices. Interests: avant garde poetry, abstract/surrealist art, jazz (modern) and walking round the city.


From: TRAVELATOR: RANDOM SONNETS EURO '96 The largest toilet wall in Europe Happiness is the first coffee of the morning Then bang The post-box stood guard by the blasted van Cordon off your heart with scene-of-crime tape Do the weekly shop then home to the news Later no-one died The sky was Yves Klein blue It's OK if I were to blow up anywhere it would be Make the world a safe place for shopping Where is that I was going to get a haircut but I think I'll wait till I know the score Let's stand round barriers refusing to move on. Am I the only one didn't hear the bang Bandaged heads Did us all a favour That morning I was in a supermarket My how we've scrubbed up since GEOCENTRIC Locked out daily pockets full of coins for the slots where does the sun sleep when it slopes off at night One slice of bacon tomato and a rubber egg does he eat his lunch off the world's flat plate Still, the forecast rain is holding off but do you fall into space when you reach the horizon Weather talk round the breakfast room lashings of where do you fall to when you're over the edge toast and porridge the consistency of warm mud Is the world really as flat as this town full of kiss-me-quick gulls and the skrike of salt will we swim out too far then drop out of sight The penny arcades have opened their doors do the lights in the sky revolve around me HAROLD WILSON Then who’s that stepping off his plinth like a man on his way to work who strode all the way to Huddersfield My father came back for all the world like a man out to buy his tobacco to stuff in his little slot machine As if he had a purpose in life his hair was black as a peppercorn They’re making a film about cops by the statue of our ex-PM the theme from Z-cars in my ears I stroll past to write this down From Eccles he came his skin was hard though his heart was soft and ate whatever was put on his plate. TRAVELATOR Will passengers have their boarding cards ready Changes of clothes books pen in my pocket the quandaries No Sharps Allowed Suitcase packed we enter a new country singing If tears were a staircase Does this pavement move on forever I’m a man it’s my job to be wrong Love ends The sky is Yves Klein Blue at the terminal I’m lost in the map of veins Last Chance to Buy We’ll take our coffee in the American Cafe Then we fold it all up and put it away. To my heart girl you give me such trouble stepping on a moving pavement on a mission to depart I carry Lunch Poems around THE ALL-PURPOSE STARS Someone’s behaviour is bothering a significant other Try not to rescue everyone today It’s a day for keeping You might be in a silly mood but it feels like you’re stuck in quicksand. A great day for haircuts kicking arse if you’re feeling stuck with some ache you need to tiptoe like a fairy round Someone in your life has a bee in their bonnet where what’s not out in the open is the tendency to blurt strange truths at the wrong moments The way through is to think about the future beyond Something hidden will pop out Careful.

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

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keith jeffries

Sat 14th Jul 2018 14:19

Thank you for introducing John MacCullough and Andrew MacMillan to me. I appreciate this greatly

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John Darwin

Thu 11th Apr 2013 21:01

The all purpose stars, love it, always have

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Mikhail Smith

Thu 6th Dec 2012 10:14

.. in 1975 I went to the Free Trade Hall to see Capt. Beefheart - first on was Henry Cow with Dagmar Krause - after 20 mins I gave up trying to understand their music and went to the bar - now I wish I'd stayed and listened ....

steve mellor

Sat 28th Jan 2012 17:22

Your time is much appreciated
Your thought that it could have fallen flat on its face, was something that was running through my mind for about 24 hours prior to pressing the final button to post it.
I really couldn't determine whether my attempt was lazy writing (perhaps because I enjoyed writing it so much). I have a tendency to think that if I enjoy writing something, there must be something badly wrong with it. I hoped that the honesty within the poem, and the light humour, might just make it acceptable.
Eventually I thought that putting it on the site was worth the risk of getting slated.

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David Cooke

Tue 20th Dec 2011 15:54

Hi Steven Thanks for comments on 'Coelacanth'. Glad you liked most of it, although I'm not quite with you on the second stanza. I think I need it because it introduces the notions of beauty & ugliness and the way they symbolise innocence/and the Fall... if that makes any sense. Might just be me being a lapsed Catholic again!

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Sim Le Wilt

Tue 25th Oct 2011 11:45

Hi Steven

We've actually met many times in Manchester, and I've heard you recite on lots of occasions long ago at murky open mics - however...I had forgotten all about Euro '96, really made me chuckle (I would comment on your cynicism but for the fact you're so on the mark regarding our shopping being made safe...just see how wonderfully safe and shiny it now is in town!!).

See you anon sir

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Chris Co

Thu 16th Jun 2011 15:22

Thx for the comment on my poem Patriots Steven- appreciated.


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melanie coady

Wed 9th Mar 2011 14:19

fascinated by ur words hun x

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winston plowes

Wed 2nd Mar 2011 13:28

Hi Steven, looking at your poems, this one came out.

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winston plowes

Sun 12th Dec 2010 21:01

Hi Steven ,

posted up a link to some of my poems with synbols we were talking about at the Big Weekend, thought you might be interested. Win

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winston plowes

Sat 4th Dec 2010 19:28

Hi Steven, thanks for looking at In My Dreams You're alive. Mor experimental pieces to come I feel. Keep well. Win

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winston plowes

Sun 14th Nov 2010 11:07

Hi Steven, Having an interesting discussion on whether 'origin information' should be given (maybe as a footnote) and if this adds to the poem or not . See my latest blog entry. (stalemate Hold) It would be interesting to have your input. Win x

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winston plowes

Sat 13th Nov 2010 09:58

Hi Again, in fact my last 2 poems are found poems of sorts. It it seems I have been infected! Win x

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winston plowes

Fri 12th Nov 2010 20:57

Hi Steven, Thankyou for leaving a comment on TO THE MEMORY OF THE MEN. Much appreciated. I have replied in detail on the blog itself. Win x

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Laura Taylor

Thu 11th Nov 2010 13:24

Wooo! I NEVER make comment on anything to do with war as I find my views are almost always unpalatable and offensive to others. Experience bears this out.

Hear, hear!

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winston plowes

Thu 4th Nov 2010 15:46

hi Steven Thanks for the comment on ghazal. This is a very mimimised version of the ghazal having only 4 sylables per line. It still has all the other qualifying factors for the classical form however. Because of this is looks and sounds very different and much more is left to the readers interpretation.

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Chris Dawson

Tue 19th Oct 2010 17:18

Hi Steve,
Great to meet you - finally! over the weekend. I was sorry not to have made it to one of your workshops - hopefully next year!
Take care,

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winston plowes

Tue 19th Oct 2010 15:20

Hi Steven, I blogged my experiment 'binary p01m' on WOL at

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winston plowes

Tue 19th Oct 2010 00:11

Thankyou Steven for running your experimental poetry workshop at the big weekend. Very informative, opened a door (or rather) opened a door wider than had already been opened... so thankyou very much. Great to chat over the weekend in Hebden. Winston

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Steven Waling

Thu 8th Oct 2009 11:45

I tend to use spaces - which don't translate here - I'm a fan of letting the reader do the punctuating

<Deleted User> (5646)

Thu 8th Oct 2009 11:26

I have been known to rise to the bait too. :-)

Just read your poems here and enjoyed ' Geocentric'. 'All purpose stars' i can easily connect to and read that when it won potm. Your best on this site i think.

I notice you don't do punctuation. Is there a reason for that? I ask because i like to include it in my work, especially when a sentence ends and another one begins.


steve mellor

Tue 6th Oct 2009 16:38

Hello Steven
I shall add my two pennerth in a moment. I think it will be educational (in all senses of the word) to see what is suggested

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Mon 5th Oct 2009 11:19

Hi Steve - cd tis good...

my only bother though is the recording levels used - impacts on the quality of the listen

steve x

<Deleted User> (4496)

Thu 2nd Oct 2008 05:55

This is about the current poem of the month.

I thought lines 3 & 4 of the first stanza were part of the same sentence.

Ok, line 4 does start with a capital letter but it is then followed by a stanza break and my poor brain parsed it wrong.

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Andy Sewina aka Danny Wise

Sun 2nd Dec 2007 01:21

Hi Steve, not seen you for ages but I see you're still going strong!

<Deleted User>

Thu 30th Aug 2007 20:35

Hi Steven, Welcome to the wonderful world of WOL, hope you feel at home here.
much love and laughter to you and yours.

<Deleted User> (7790)

Fri 24th Aug 2007 19:56

Yves Klein blue skies over Accrington, the B of the Bandaged/Banged Heads -- both images repeated (or 'bothed") the blurt strange 'Careful' of your work: in between the do and the dids 'something hidden' pops out -- the marvellous!

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Fri 24th Aug 2007 14:09

Hello, decent poems, I can almost forgive you been from Accrington!
All the best

darren thomas

Fri 24th Aug 2007 14:02

"The All-purpose Stars". Very clever. Love it. Tell me, do you read palms too.

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