Footlights: Poets and Pints 2005



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PoetsPhilip.jpg (5120 bytes)
Philip Hawthorn

PoetsJBarkle.jpg (6550 bytes)
John Barkle

With Philip Hawthorn and John Barkle in charge of the poets,  Tony and Liz Hamblin in charge of the pints and Maria Williams and Pam McCombe in charge of the supper, Westbury Footlights put on another highly entertaining evening in the village hall on Saturday 26 February

The evening ended with What's on the Menu? a short play written by Margaret Haslam and performed by the author, Macolm Mogford, Linda Mogford and Neil Burrows.

A selection of poems is reproduced below by kind permission of the authors (click on names to find poems).

© Martin West 2005
© Christine Ellen 2005
© Margaret Haslam 2005
Anonymous 2005

PoetsTony.jpg (4657 bytes)
Tony Hamblin

PoetsDennis.jpg (5059 bytes)
Dennis Rees

PoetsEwan.jpg (9774 bytes)
Ewan Macpherson

PoetsDavid.jpg (8959 bytes)
David Buchanan & Friend

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Neil & Kathryn Burrows

PoetsBruce.jpg (3288 bytes)
Bruce Hudson

PoetsBetty.jpg (6230 bytes)
Betty Hole

PoetsWalter.jpg (9022 bytes)
Walter Ellen

PoetsRay.jpg (3876 bytes)
Ray Fisher

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Jo Rees

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Left to right: Margaret Haslam, Malcolm Mogford, Linda Mogford.

PoetwElizabeth.jpg (4409 bytes)
Elizabeth Barkle

PoetsJohnC.jpg (5221 bytes)
John Crickett

PoetsMartin.jpg (3885 bytes)
by Martin West

Vicky Spooner
Vicky, Vicky, Vicky Spooner,
I hear that itís your wedding day,
If only I had known it sooner,
Perhaps we might have run away Ė
We together, Daft and Dafter,
Borne upon a tide of laughter
To some Happy Ever After,
Though fearful what the wife might say.

The first to let me see her knickers,
Though we were both only eight,   
And all for just a bar of Snickers
-You always were a cheapish date.
Later, praying couldnít save us
From the clout your father gave us
When that tell-tale, Malcolm Davies,
Went and sealed our painful fate.

Bloody, bloody Malcolm Davies! 
Did he say: ĎPlease marry me?í
Or did perhaps a bar of Snickers
Feature in his strategy?
Either way, I canít expect a
A girl like you to just reject a
Coin-collecting tax inspector
(With a camper van) for me.

Is your hair strewn with confetti?
Has Malcolm helped you cut the cake?
If I came now, would you let me
Breach the vows youíve had to make?
Or are you planning that extension,
A higher yield stakeholder pension
Or ĎThe Eventí I dare not mention,
If only for my mental state?

If Iíd been first to pop the question,
Would you then have answered ĎYesí?
When, once I floated the suggestion,
You offered me a warm caress,
But at that time I lacked the daring
To seek a future for my caring
And the kisses we were sharing
Had gained a certain samey-ness.

So, Snicker-loving Vicky Davies,
I wish you well, both you and he.
But wait! The high-heeled step I crave is
Hurrying past the laurel tree.
I rush to greet the doorbellís ringing!
My hungry, hopeful is singing!
And there I meet Ö. my Freda bringing
A couple of dead fish for tea.

by Martin West

Tomorrow, when this woundís a scar
And fading fast, how sad if then
You count the odds and grip the bar
For fear that you may fall again.

Since every step invites a slip,
With each the chances multiply,
But better still to loose your grip,
Take that chance and, falling, fly.

by Christine Ellen 
PoetsChristine.jpg (5606 bytes)

                 Winter Morning

The mist lies thick as smoke upon the moor,
a shifting lake where islands come and go,
the mophead pollard willows barely show
against the shades across the distant tor;

Ephemeral roses blossom in the East
and gild the weather vane on Wookey church;
the robin and the wren arrive and perch
on bushes heavy with their winter feast;

The postman lifts the squeaky garden door,
the fickle Cheddar Valley wind now blows,
the gentle hum from milking parlours grows,
a biker cleaves the village with his roar;

And, as reluctantly we all awake
the mist dissolves and sweeps away our lake.

Winter Night

The stillness of a frosty Winter night;
Bright sky supports a Heavenly chandelier
of stars and planets hanging low and clear,
a shining panorama of white light;

The crunching crystals in the frozen ground
reflect the brilliance of the jewelled sky;
the crackling air breathes out an icy sigh
and Time's suspended in the brathless sound;

The Moon, eclipsed by lamps of brighter hue
is setting in a golden, rosy glow,
the herald of the Dawn, so soon to grow
along the Eastern edge, to shine anew;

The fading light retreats, the stars take flight,
the Show is over now for one more night.

(This poem was not read out on the night because of doubts as to whether or not it's a poem at all, plus the fact that it doesn't sound very good when read aloud).

How can you tell whether a
String of words is prose or
Poetry? The answer is
That you know itís a
Poem if the sentences are broken
Up into lines beginning
With capital letters for no apparent

Is this kind of poetry difficult
To write? Not
At all because all you
Have to do is to press the
Return key whenever you feel
Like it, and Ė Hey presto - boring
Prose suddenly becomes a

Another good
Wheeze is to lay
It out in bocks with the
Same number of
Lines so that it looks
Like a series of verses. Any
Old number will do, so Iíve chosen


PoetsMargaret.jpg (6541 bytes)BEWARE MY GERIATRIC ZONE
by Margaret Haslam


Now I am old I shall not wear purple
I shall wear scarlet, as does the harlot
With black fishnet stockings ... shamefully shocking.

I shall dye my hair ginger, or pink?  ...
No, ginger I think.
With orange blusher applied liberally to my pallid cheeks. 

And blue mascara.   

Iíll learn to paint with Beryl Cook.
Those comfortable plump ladies with white dumpling bosoms and smooth rounded bottoms. 

I shall ride a bike with a brown wicker basket in front, with a chocolate poodle in, to match the brown basket of course
And wave madly at oncoming traffic - 

With both hands

I shall grow cannabis in my spare room.  Then tell the police itís to brighten the gloom. 

Iíll smoke a cheroot, small, slender, graceful,
Held at shoulder height between long elegant silver varnished tipped fingers,
And imagine Iím Greta Garbo.

Steal magazines from my doctorís surgery. 

Spend hours in supermarkets sitting on chairs
Smiling sweetly at trolleyed babies.
Ignoring security staff glares. 

And use my Government heating allowance . . . to purchase a naked male statue for my garden.
Shall it be the front or the back?
The front I think, causing neighbours, in their pomposity. . . 
To blush.
And when they gasp at my effrontery
I shall say Iíve won the lottery . . .
and there could be more.

Iíll complain about the Council Tax, and school discipline being lax

But I shall never say ďWhen I was youngĒ 

I could have a stud put in my tongue ...
Or my nose?
But no - Iíve never craved for one of those.

Luxurious cruise holidays Iíll take
Sit at bars and drink
Tropical cocktails,
Flamboyant with tiny paper umbrellas in shades of pink,
Plastic stirrer, sliced lemon and cucumber,
And two striped straws standing tall,
With which I can make vulgar gurgling sounds when I reach the bottom of the glass -
As milllionairesí wives are strolling past.
And I shall wink, provocatively, seductively, over the top of the glass
At their husbands.
And flirt outrageously - and smile - as they reach for their Viagra ...

An OU Degree is not for me
Iíll spend my pension on DVDs
And when, at last, my time has come
Iíll have them play, in the Crematorium
Not hymns and things and Godlike stuff
Of that they may have had enough. 

Madonna, Bassey - and for class
Iíll have that Kiri te Kanawa lass
And when itís time to burn my bones
Iíll exit with ĎDelilahí and Tom Jones.

And so my friends, youíve heard the truth
I mourn the lack of eternal youth.
Though youth was but lifeís appetizer

And now I am old - and much, much wiser.

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