Performance poet based in Harrogate, N.Yorkshire. I have published five collections and won a spattering of prizes over 20 years or so. Details are on my website if you are impressed by that sort of thing. My latest publication is a not-for-profit pamphlet around a theme of climate change called "Speak The Unspeakable - Cool Words for an Overheating World". It's available for not much money at all, on Amazon or from my website www.birdbard.co.uk as are all my other books. My previous books are: "God The Banana" - an epic verse-novel in 427 sonnets. "On The Verge" - another verse-novel, sold in aid of rhino conservation. "Gringo on the Chickenbus" - published by Stairwell Books. A hilarious and heart-rending poetic account of my travels around Latin America, it is beautifully illustrated by my partner Robbie. "Birds of the World in Colour" - published by Flarestack. 40 sonnets around a bird theme. I'm always available for guest readings, rantings at demonstrations, and other performances - get in touch!
This a sample poem from my e-book "On The Verge": “Drop me here at the lay-by mate,” I say. The artic’ throbs while I faff on a scrap of grass manhandling all my clobber out the cab, and wave the bloke away. Tarmac glitters with crystals of shattered glass. A tideline of fag butts and plastic fringes the kerb. I felt-tip my town, separate my mess from other roadside trash and pick a place upstream where fast-lane cars can see me in good time to pull across. I make the earnest face but drivers rush oblivious past my card. Further up, the road bisects a clump of ancient looking trees, and getting bored my eye wanders to something on the verge, a curious white lump. A pair of crows is prodding at it, lured no doubt by meat. It’s not a deer…too large. Mawkish instinct tempts me from my post to take a closer look. Drawing near, there’s road-kill everywhere: woodland birds and mammals looking gross, pummelled into pancakes by the trucks. A stinking fills the air, thicker than the usual roadside stew, stirring up my gorge. I get to the corpse and freeze, astonished, confronted by the proof that storybooks are true. It’s huge as a bull with the build of a heavy horse, goat’s beard, lion’s tail and cloven hoofs. I’m shocked enough to learn that a glancing blow from a car could slay this oddity, but more so by the stump of a sawn-off tusk - I don’t know why - I know the world - I know that everything’s a tradable commodity when it’s rare enough. ...and as an example of my performance-style work, here is a poem which very kindly won me the Open Mic prize at the Ilkley Literature Festival in 2008, and is published in "Speak The Unspeakable". My Carbon Footprint. I woke up one morning to a knock on the door and a uniformed man with a clipboard. "Mr.Ellis? Your carbon footprint." "My what?" "Your carbon footprint! You evidently haven't been reading the news: there's a new directive from the EU. All your emissions of CO2 are being delivered back to you to dispose of by any legal means you choose." And towering above him was this column of soot moulded in the shape of a Wellington boot. He'd dragged it up the drive and leant it on my porch denting my Ferrari and my Cayenne Turbo Porsche. If it was half an inch it was 27 foot. I said, "Is that MY carbon footprint?" trying to sound innocent. "Must be a misprint!" He checked his papers. "No...it's right: 15 tonnes are all your flights to the south of Spain, and then the lights you never switch off account for five... there's food-miles when you buy African battery-cage eggs... and that twice-daily school-run you always drive..." I said, "C'mon! I got kids! They haven't got legs! Where'm I gonna put it? The front's full of motors; the back's got the hot-tub and the patio heater. The loft's choc-a-bloc with the kids' computers and my flatscreen's in the spare room: it's two and a half meters! I'll take it to the dump." He said, "You can't do that: the landfill's full!" And then I got the hump: "Are you saying I should put it in my heated swimming pool?" I looked at it again: a prehistoric stone, inky, eerily glistening. "I'll have to burn it then." The man got vitriolic: "I DON'T...THINK...YOU'VE REALLY...BEEN LISTENING!!!" So I signed his bloody form, pondering where to park it when the problem solved itself. There was a freak storm and a sudden catastrophic melt of glaciers in the Arctic. A tidal bore funnelled into the Nidd Gorge, inundating Harrogate, myself, my 4x4 and... my carbon footprint! "Shit!" I thought, "I'm dead." But I woke up in bed and the wetness was a sweat deposit. It was all a bad dream on a neo-Luddite, lentil-eating green theme ...or was it?
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
August 12th, 2022 (21/08/2022)
A Nidderdale ramble (03/05/2022)
Blue and Gold (29/03/2022)
The second peak (20/10/2021)
England, low tide (10/08/2021)
The Island of The Vaccinated (07/06/2021)
Kudu kudu (23/04/2021)
My name is Silence (05/03/2021)
Blog link: https://www.writeoutloud.net/blogs/timellis
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