The Stay Up Your Own End Poetry Project and Competition


I’m very proud to be involved with a new local poetry project run by the talented Poets, Prattlers and Pandemonialists aka Steve Pottinger, Dave Pitt and Emma Purshouse, here’s the details (supplied by PPP) on how you can get involved if you want to.

Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists have a new project. It’s a commission from Creative Black Country, called ‘Stay Up Your Own End’. If you’d like to join in we’re looking for poems about different areas of the Black Country (no don’t have to be from the Black Country to submit, but the poem does have to be based here). Here’s the information…

For the first of our ‘Stay Up Your Own End’ events, commissioned by Creative Black Country, Walsall poet Richard Archer has given this prompt to get you started on writing a poem about some aspect of life in Walsall borough.

“Impressions about a place can be formed from any contact, long or short. What is your take on Walsall? Good or bad? How has living in, discovering, or visiting Walsall had an impact on your outlook? What impression has Walsall made on you during these times of lockdown and isolation?

The UK has many impressions of Walsall, some good:

The Art Gallery
The beautiful Arboretum

some bad:

Walsall obesity crisis
Gang violence in Walsall

and some odd:

The Giant Walsall Sinkhole
The Walsall Anarchists Bomb Plot

What is your impression of our borough?”

Write your poem about Walsall, and email it to  poetsprattlerspandemonialists@gmail.com by midday on Sunday June 7th for the chance to win a £25 prize.

All poems will be posted on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/1293834050753852/ and read by poet Heather Wastie who will pick her winner.

Happy writing!

The Last Tiger


Once I was the Empress of an emerald empire,
my paws padded on a verdant carpet as I stalked my domain,
while the mighty trees spread their cooling canopies over me
and their attendant birds serenaded my royal progress.
The plump plant-eaters were slow and easy to hunt
then belly full I would lazily bathe in a chill lake
before I slept, and then my subjects would go silent
for fear that if disturbed I would wake with a fiery anger.

I slept too long, waking hungry
to discover my empire was aflame.
My paws now padded on charred ground, disturbing clouds of ash
toppled twisted trees wept blazing leaves,
while the bloated bodies of my prey bob in the lake like obscene water lilies.
All day and night greedy saws snarl and cruel motors growl,
as men with treacherous gold-toothed smiles
and avaricious eyes are hunting me.

So tonight as the moon casts her sad smile on this destruction,
I will kindle my fury to become an orange flame
that will sweep through the remnants of my realm
to destroy its devastators,
burning brightly one final time.

Music is the New Religion


God is on the turntables
spinning the world
to a beat only they understand.
Every night thunder reverberates
like a deep bassline,
then when the stars
break through the clouds like strobes,
everyone pumps their fist
and starts to dance.
All high on euphoria,
all convinced they can feel a sacred rhythm,
all convinced they are moving closer to God.
Who cares nothing for this new congregation,
cares nothing for their adoration,
only caring that the world keeps spinning
to a beat only they understand.