Poetry techno:

Marsden Poetry Trail – Heron and Small Fry are playing hide and seek. They have found new homes amongst the trees.  Exact coordinates are 53°36’08.1″N 1°56’05.0″W for Heron and 53°36’19.4″N 1°57’29.1″W for Small Fry.

For those without the aid of satellites simply follow the trail and consider your ‘roots’.

This part of the trail makes an excellent afternoon stroll with the children past the famous Standedge Tunnel. Find out more about the trail at Marsden Poetry Trail

More poems going wild soon.

And finally:

david coldwell:

Artists and filmmakers – a selection of poems with audio are now available at the The Poetry Storehouse to multimedia artists for use in remix projects.

Originally posted on The Poetry Storehouse:




1. Poles Apart
2. Perfect Green Windows
3. Three White Gables
4. Listen
5. Heron



Poles Apart
(Read by David Coldwell)


You, the North Star or Polaris;
always present, pinhole light that
inspired generations – anchored
without weight, mysteriously
staying and resisting the urge
to jump free from your moorings.
You question infinity and rule
over concepts. We share your secret
that by some fluke of time and space
coupled with the span of a monkey,
you are nothing but names. Invented.

Me, I work in the shadows
out of sight. Barely visible to the naked eye,
the South Star or Sigma Octantis
to people I’m likely to meet just the once.
Sometimes I might try to impress
by telling lies or ruining the plot. Mostly
I’m ordinary, wearing suits too big
and watching the glitter of everyone’s
life circle around me.

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Perfect Green Windows
(Read by…

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The Cat Stone

Not only was the (nearly) full Glastonbury line-up announced this week but, more importantly, I was finally allowed to release details of the first ever Cuckoo Poetry Jam taking place in Marsden later this month. Advertised as a fringe event to the world famous Cuckoo Festival, the Cuckoo Poetry Jam organised in association with Write out Loud and Kirklees Libraries, takes place on Saturday 26 April between 11.00am and 1.00pm at the Railway Inn, Marsden. Full details can be found at our very friendly Facebook event page by following the link here, Poetry Jam

If you’re unsure what a Jam might look like then don’t worry. The Write Out Loud YouTube channel has a fantastic seven minute video edit from last year’s October Jazz festival Jam showing the great variety and superb atmosphere created by our compere and host, Julian Jordon. Julian will be back again for the Cuckoo Jam as will guest readers Steve Ely, Kim Moore, Michael Stewart and Michael Brown with more names being added to the list as I type. Many open mic spots available so if you are in the area please pop in, say hello, and enjoy some wonderful poetry for a couple of hours.

And to celebrate:

I have two very fine 2013 Templar Poetry Anthologies to give away. Peloton contains a selection of the best poems from submissions to the annual Templar Pamphlet and Collection Awards and I’m very proud that two of my own poems, The Cat Stone Cast and Late September, feature in the anthology. To get your hands on one of these fine books simply send me your name and address via my contact page and two individuals will be selected at random. Simple. All emails will then be deleted and not used for any other purpose. I’ll post details on the Cuckoo Jam Facebook page as to who can expect a book in the post.

Peloton

The Cat Stone Cast is a Marsden poem, set around the Sparth reservoir on a hot summer evening. It’s a poem about discovery and in some ways, loss of innocence and comes from a sequence I’m currently working on provisionally titled, Down On Grange. The whole sequence works with the idea of you were there but what if you had never been here and looks at our relationships with people and places. It’s heavy but in a 1970s Vision On Polaroid kind of way. I had a wonderful surprise recently when Dagda Publishing selected another poem from the sequence as their poem of the day. You can still read Dark Side of the Street on their fantastic poetry blog.

Don’t forget, as well as exploring the landscape of the Cat Stone, you can also take in other poetry delights on Mark Kelly’s brilliant Marsden Poetry Trail which I would heartily recommend if you’re visiting the area through Spring and Summer.

This weekend, after many years of trying, I will finally be attending an Embrace secret gig which, unfortunately, is all I’m allowed to say. Have a look on YouTube if you want to find out more; Sunday is going to be wild! It’s a great buzz to be going. We’ve seen the band live a few times and I’ve been a fan since they were signed – local lads done good kind of thing – so no doubt I will have some tales to tell next time round.

For now, it has to be the come back record of all time; gifted to the band from Chris Martin as a way of saying thank you for allowing Coldplay to support them on tour before Michael Eavis discovered them and yes – I was in the bar.

 

Originally posted on andyhemingway:

What is it about landscape photography that makes me keep going back for more?

I spent much of one Sunday morning asking myself this question, as a ferocious wind did its damnedest to blast me off of Marsden Moor.

A wind blasted morning at Millstone Edge

A wind blasted morning at Millstone Edge

Crouched behind a large rock, which provided at least a little shelter from the grasping fingers of the Pennine wind, waiting for a break in the clouds, I began to ponder just what it was that had coaxed me out of bed at 4.00am and up on to the moor on a day like this. I spotted a jogger approaching, the only other living soul that I saw all morning. We waved at each other in grim solidarity, in recognition of each other’s battle with the elements.

It was this that made me realise that it was a question of motivation. I could have…

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A previously unreleased poem is featured today on the wonderful poetry blog at Dagda Publishing.

It is the summer of 1976; the longest hottest summer on record and suddenly it begins to rain… 

Dark Side Of The Street

 

Originally posted on The Poetry Shed:

Caroline Gilfillan laughing Little gods

Little gods, we grabbed chalk boulders, tugged
till they capitulated with a belch of sea breath,
and lay on their backs, helpless, while we
rifled through the warm water
of the rock pool we’d excavated.

We hooted when a sea anemone waved
orange tentacles at us – a mini Titan throwing
bolts of brine. That drab shrimp
paddled right into the dip of your palm
and you pulled the sea-snail off its rock
with a laugh of triumph, though it
clenched its muscle foot tight.

Then came a day when a transparent crab
no larger than my thumbnail
dug itself into the wet sand with a flurry of claws
so furious, so determined, that I
wobbled, lost my balance altogether.

Small sea-salt creatures, you gave me
my first inkling of conquest and resistance
as I crouched in the blaze of the sun,
getting the seat of my shorts…

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I don’t think it will come as a great surprise to find that many readers may not be too familiar with the work of the German musician, Nils Frahm. I wasn’t until an old friend recently posted that, after much deliberation, the Berlin based composer’s latest release, Spaces, had finally been chosen as his record of the year for 2013.

This was enough to spark my interest. My research found eleven live tracks distilled from a total of thirty five recorded over a two year period. Further work uncovered the stunning track, Says. I initially watched the video because it was ‘official’ which is always good news if you’re not familiar with an artist’s work. It avoids the usual homemade films of sunsets mixed with beach scenes and countryside that cross fade to strange wild animals and portraits of old people in black and white.

The video that does accompany the track is astonishing. Like the music, it is a live improvisation with ink on glass and video feedback and is completely mesmerizing. Enjoy in a darkened room with headphones and listen for the odd sound from the audience – perfect ambience.

If you’re wondering what’s happened to the ‘Halls’ then don’t worry, they’ve not disappeared to digital oblivion – they’re simply having an early spring break prior to the next stage of renovation.

Enjoy.

Keep the headphones on. This week’s simmering choice comes from alternative energy flag wavers, British Sea Power from their stunningly, almost achingly, beautiful soundtrack to Robert Flaherty’s 1934 fictional documentary, Man of Aran. The album was released in May 2009 and performed live throughout that summer including open air shows at Regent’s Park, London.  It followed the Mercury nominated success of, Do You Like Rock Music?

The soundtrack to the silent film has been described as an impression of an impression; a 21st century attempt to complement a 20th century film about a 19th century way of life. Personally, I think it’s just a near perfect example of the symbiosis of music and film so sit back and enjoy.

Keen eyed readers may have noticed that the Poetry page has now disappeared from the menu options. This is to allow space for exciting future projects so, if you haven’t already done, please subscribe by clicking on the ‘follow’ button to your left to avoid missing all the latest updates and news. For previously published poetry I have created a small collection which is constantly being updated on the very easy to navigate site at Poemhunter: David Coldwell

Just why I had left it so late to buy the usual array of books, CDs, DVDs and the much hinted perfume to go with the big present (similar to the big light or the big shop) for the better half back in 2007 is beyond me now but there I was, waiting in the queue on Christmas Eve of our now dear departed HMV, with arms full and a budget stretched to almost breaking point. That’s when I saw the DVD for the first time.  A film that, over the course of the next six years would lead me on a quest overseas to Dublin, New York and back to Manchester and London. Well, almost. Certainly Dublin, Manchester and most recently London but New York, well, that was for another Marsden lad.

Regular readers will know, any film that claims to be ‘the best music film of our generation’ is going to grab my attention and in the twenty seconds (see there are themes for regulars) whilst in that queue I couldn’t think of one reason not to buy the film, Once. The characters looked good, he was carrying a guitar, it was set in Dublin and I was vaguely familiar with the song, Falling Slowing by The Frames which in fact was found later languishing in a dark corner of the Halls.

Starring Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová, the film was written and directed by one time Frames bassist, John Carney and filmed on a budget of around £100,000. Every film, music and performing arts student needs to see this film. It became an instant January Saturday birthday night hit and possible one of the best music films I’d seen in a very long time. Falling Slowly went on to win an Oscar in February for best original song. The music sits somewhere between folk rock singer song writer piano pop grunge which is general why no one has ever actually heard it.

Glen and Markéta went on to form The Swell Season. This, a couple of years later, is when our quest took us to Manchester where, in the intimate surroundings of the Lowry, the stage became a curious space where reality slipped back and forth into the realms of Once fantasy which was fascinating. Glen currently tours solo. During the intervening years, our quest as also taken us to Dublin where open top buses have assisted with grand tours of the city and locations used in the film. I know, I’m stretching the point but yes, we are fans.

A history lesson:

In the mid eighties my parents took on the task of running the Marsden Bandroom, locally known as the Band ‘ole; a large club with members’ bars and rehearsal rooms. It is home to the Marsden Silver Prize Band who are one of Yorkshire’s finest bands and have recently celebrated their 125th anniversary.  You can find out more at http://www.marsdenband.com/

There are many fond memories from those days: the reward of half of Tetley mild for bottling up every Sunday morning and the free game of pool on a Tuesday night but none more so than the people involved both with the band and the club. Christmas mornings would be filled with bandsmen filing through our small terrace for ‘a little sommat to keep cold out’ before shuffling off ‘round streets while we went and opened up for the regulated two hours. With community and the club came children and lots of them and as such there was never any shortage of friends. The children’s Christmas party was legendary for two points: that it was held in mid-February when all band commitments where over and that there seemed to be hundred of us.

John was the son of a bandsman. He was a couple of years younger than me, which is a big deal when you’re thirteen and fourteen, but as he had a sister my age we all seemed to be friends. He seemed to be a musical lad.  That’s the last I heard.

Until:

That John was staging Once the musical in London. The fact that John Tiffany had left Huddersfield and gone off to become a world famous theatre director had somehow passed me by. The fact that he had won a Tony award for the Broadway version of Once seemed a nice way to find out. The fact that the show was now coming to London seemed an opportunity (as part of our quest) too good to miss. I happened to mention it to Mrs C. So it was with bated breath on Christmas morning that I opened the envelope to reveal two tickets to the show and a night in London, together with a flutter of coupons from the Yorkshire Post to ensure our ten pound return rail travel.

There is nothing better than a mid-winter trip to hearten the soul and remind you that life goes on outside our valley. The fact that we travelled through one of the worst winter storms the country has ever seen seemed to cause little fuss. It was a whirlwind tour, quite literally. Starting off with David Bailey’s (almost) retrospective, Stardust at the National Portrait Gallery before a craft beer with a tester on Shaftsbury Avenue (was it me or is London much happier and more welcoming nowadays?). Next day was the Constable collection at the V and A before lunch at the Troubadour – a special treat because I keep reading about all these great events and can never get down – and then on to the show. I’m not going to spoil a thing; you can do that by You Tubing. All I’ll say is arrive early to enjoy one of the most innovative creative devices I’ve ever seen employed by a musical performance. I can see where he gets his Tony from.

A standout moment from the soundtrack, enjoy.

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