Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Please click on the link below to see my latest haiku published yesterday.

The world is dying Humankind has abused it Now’s the time to heal Peter Matthews, a country boy at heart, lives with his wife in the suburbs of Nottingham, England.  His greatest achievement is that he has aged fairly gracefully but has avoided growing up.  Peter has written poetry from the age of sixteen and blogs regularly […]

Our world – our problem | Peter Matthews — Whispers and Echoes

Poetry, You, Me, and Wordsworth

recently posted a spoken word poem which was, itself, a re-run of my Rapid Rhyme #30. This started off by saying that “None of us are Poets” but went on to suggest that we could all have a go and have fun along the way.  We do, after all, primarily blog for ourselves. 

I had some lovely responses, but also a couple of “should I really be trying to write poetry – who do I think I am?” replies.  

Caroline at doesitevenmatter3 thought that the fewer comments received, whenever she posted poetry, was a commentary on her poetry writing. 

Sue, at nansfarm, received a comment of “good try” for her poetry, which she equated with a school report saying “could do better!”

My reply was:

I think that with your comment, and Carolyn’s, we need to encourage you both that “Yes, you can!” (write poetry).

All of art is in the eye, ear, touch, smell, taste, sense of space, or other sensory effect, of the receiver. Not forgetting that the first sensor is you!  If it pleases you, job done!

I think we all tend to be self-deprecating about our output and, in truth, there is a huge spread of talent in varying degrees across WordPress. There are some sites that produce poetry every day, even some that produce multiple poems every single day. How on earth they do it is beyond me.

I have learned to love haiku, and appreciate its subtlety, simplicity, and elegance. I have always liked limericks and have posted several hundred.  I love rapid rhymes that tend to be written to the pace of my walking, and I appreciate more complex forms that I occasionally have a go at.  Some modern rap I find to be really sophisticated and colloquial forms of poetry can be a joy to listen to.

I find myself listening to more spoken word poetry and comparing one narrator with another.  Some recordings are absolutely abysmal in my opinion, but that is only my opinion.  Each of us hears differently, and appreciates differently.  Just because someone has a brilliant acting voice, or book reading voice, does not mean they do justice to poetry. 

Try it out for yourself.  Choose a poem you really like, or a well known classic.  Look up different readings and listen to them.  You may find a perfect example – for you, and that is the whole point – it is a personal preference.

For example, If I choose “Daffodils” which many people are familiar with and listen to a reading by XXX I may love it.  If I listen to YYY reading it, I may loathe it. It is the same poem, with the same brilliant words, and the same lovely images but spoiled for me because I do not hear it the same way! Perhaps I just don’t like the way it is presented.  Maybe it is because the reader doesn’t really believe in what they are doing.  Let’s face it, some people could read a railway timetable and make it irresistibly entertaining.  Stephen Fry springs to mind!

Here, for your enjoyment, are some alternative versions of William Wordsworth’s ‘Daffodils’ 

(Cumbria – England) – BBC – 12th April 2016. This may not play outside UK.

A reading by Ralph Fiennes

And now one that I do not enjoy, read by Jeremy Irons

Here it is set to music by Dave Camlin, recorded and performed by Sing In! and Sing Owt! community choirs in west Cumbria in March 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis.

and, finally The Wordsworth Rap – Cumbria Tourism

We are all poets

I remember discussing poetry with a soldier friend in a bar in Germany when we were probably aged 20.  We wouldn’t have been drunk because we could not afford more than a couple of small beers but it was good to get out of the barracks and live a little.

I had recited a poem I’d recently written and he stated that he had never tried to write any poetry, and doubted if he had a poetic bone in his body.  He probably did not put it quite so eloquently! However, I responded, saying that we were all poets, whereupon I encouraged him to come up with a verse.

After a bit of thought he produced:

I have a motorbike which goes well

and a car, but it’s not very good! 

Now, if that isn’t poetry I don’t know what is!

The good, the bad, and the ugly #2

This week’s #writephoto is below. Check out the rules and all of the fabulous entries by clicking on the link

The Fisherman – Image by KL Caley

The good

Perfect fishing day

Caught them by the bucketload

Returned them unharmed

The bad

Constant casting, perfect calm

Fish are fasting, free from harm

What’s for dinner now no fish?

I’ll get thinner, oh I wish!

And the ugly

He’d fished here for years, first as a boy with his Dad, then as a youth while others were chasing girls, now as a man, alone. 

It was a perfect pastime. 

He loved to cast and dream, to snooze and remember, to breathe the fresh air, occasionally to catch a fish.  He loved the solitude, the perfect reflections that rippled every time he cast, or drew in his line. He even loved it when it rained and the fish rose to the surface, seeming to delight in the shower.        

He thought of it more as feeding the fish, rather than a battle of wills to lure them on to his hook. 

Over the years he’d fed them worms, grubs, and all sorts of ground bait, but the best days fishing was surely the day he’d fed them his wife!

The good, the bad, and the ugly

This week’s #writephoto is below. Check out the rules and all of the fabulous entries by clicking on the link.

The good

Family day out

Dressed for the English Summer

Splashing in puddles

The bad

Paddle at the seaside

walking with a squelch

eating too much ice cream

pardon when I belch

tummy feeling funny

find a loo real quick

dearie me I’m feeling ill

oops, I’m being sick!

And the ugly

Are you sure Dad?

Yes, pet. I promise everything will be OK.  We just need to stamp our feet 20 times more and you will never ever see that nasty man again.  I promise!

So we did.  We stamped, and counted, never to see that nasty man again.

Below the sand, six feet down, with little air remaining, the nasty man could sense the pounding and, in abject terror, understand its meaning.

#Writephoto – Dinosaur

Writephoto is a weekly challenge, hosted by KL, where a picture prompt is provided every Thursday and we are invited to create a post… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever we choose, as long as it is fairly family-friendly.

This week’s prompt post can be found here – 

https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2021/04/15/writephoto-dinosaur/

Wally Mammoth

Standing by the pathway right beside the trees

I espy a mammoth who hasn’t any knees

He doesn’t want to talk at all, perhaps he’s been struck dumb

or maybe he’s just hanging round waiting for his Mum

……………

His colour’s sort of rusty red, his tusks are large and round

His floppy ears can hear it all, every little sound

He’s smiling right across his face, it goes from ear to ear

as if to say to everyone there is no need for fear

……………

He seems to breathe with little grunts, I thought there’d be more noise

Despite his size, and little eyes, he shows tremendous poise

As I approach much nearer he whispers with a hiss

Hello my lovely, come up close, and let me have a kiss!

Rapid rhymes in stereo?

Back in September 2018 I posted my first Rapid Rhyme.

I didn’t define what a rapid rhyme was but had in mind that it, and any subsequent similar rhymes, should be fairly short (hence rapid you silly man!), should be written as they came to mind, with no editing whatsoever, and should rhyme (is this man as dense as he makes out?)

I’ve only posted 35 Rapid Rhymes so far but many of them have been influenced by blogs I’ve read, by current events, or by something encountered on my daily walks.

One of the writers I follow, trE, at A Cornered Gurl, did me the honour of liking the idea of Rapid Rhymes so much that she started to write her own.  Not only did she write them, but she started to narrate them too.  An example, The Roamer, can be found here.

I rather liked trE’s idea and wondered whether I should have a go at the Spoken Word myself, an idea I quickly abandoned.  After all I have a squeaky voice, not at all fit for reading poetry, and definitely not my own poetry.

I then came across another blogger, Tom Alexander, whose poetry blog, The Lighthouse, features lots of very professional sounding audible poetry.  Tom assures me he uses very low-tech methods, but he certainly achieves some very good results. Check out Fulfilment here.

This resurrected the idea of recording some of my poems.  I could never achieve the quality of Tom, but I might just have a go……….so I did!  I chose a suitable short poem and recorded it……….11 times,  11 different versions, all of varying squeakiness, or huskiness, or choking half way through.  It wasn’t perfect, but it sounded not too bad.

Then I hit a brick wall.

The ultra-simple, free version of WordPress I was using did not support audio files. 

Step forward a fairy godmother in the form of Sue at Nan’s Farm who offered to host my audio files.  I had to think about that very kind offer.  Meanwhile, I researched other ways of being heard.

Now we have lift off.

Watch this space!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye…………………You may be disappointed! 

RIP Peter Green

Peter Green, who has died aged 73 was, alongside Eric Clapton, widely regarded as the foremost white blues guitarist of his generation, although he became equally famous as rock’s second-most notable LSD casualty (after Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett).
He formed Fleetwood Mac in 1967.  Although initially called Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, he later chose to omit his own name.
He was affected disastrously by the effects of drugs yet he always seemed to revert to the musical genius that he was whenever he picked up a guitar.
He lives on through his marvellous music, some of which you can listen to below.

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday – July 12th 2020 – Water Fountain

song-lyric-sunday

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week I have to issue a health warning before you proceed any further. Some of you may have no after effects whatsoever, but with others there is a severe danger of becoming addicted to this song. Just in case, I am offering you six versions to choose from and there are plenty more if you look. You will see that everyone enjoys singing this song. I enjoyed finding it and listening to it far too many times. I hope you enjoy it too!

It’s difficult to classify either the group or the music.

The group Tune-Yards (stylized as tUnE-yArDs) is from Oakland, California and is described as the music project of musician Merrill Garbus, with long-time collaborator, bassist Nate Brenner.

Their music draws from an eclectic variety of sources and utilises elements such as loop pedals, ukulele, vocals, and lo-fi percussion. You’ll soon see what I mean!

First is the official music video

Next a live performance on KEXP from May 2014

Now at the Pitchfork Music Festival 2014

and at Glastonbury 2014

The song seems popular with youth choirs and you will find lots if you look. One of the best to my mind is Coastal Sound Youth Choir: Indiekör 2016.

also worth a look is the Vancouver Youth Choir.

Water Fountain

tUnE-yArDs

No water in the water fountain
No side on the sidewalk
If you say Old Molly Hare, whatcha doin’ there?
Nothing much to do when you’re going nowhere

Woohaw!
Woohaw!
Gotcha
We’re gonna get the water from your house (your house)

No water in the water fountain
No wood in the woodstock
And you say old Molly Hare
Whatcha doin’ there?
Nothing much to do when you’re going nowhere

Woohaw!
Woohaw!
Gotcha
We’re gonna get the water from your house (your house)

Nothing feels like dying like the drying of my skin and lawn
Why do we just sit here while they watch us wither til we’re gone?
I can’t seem to feel it
I can’t seem to feel it
I can’t seem to feel I’ll kneel
I’ll kneel I’ll kneel the cold steel

You will ride the whip
You’ll ride the crack
No use in fighting back
You’ll sledge the hammer if there’s no one else to take the flak
I can’t seem to feel it
I can’t seem to find it
Your fist clenched my neck
We’re neck and neck and neck…

No water in the water fountain
No phone in the phone booth
And you say old Molly Hare
Whatcha doin’ there
Jump back, jump back Daddy shot a bear

Woohaw!
Woohaw!
Gotcha
We’re gonna get the water from your house (your house)

I saved up all my pennies and I gave them to this special guy
When he had enough of them he bought himself a cherry pie
He gave me a dollar
A blood-soaked dollar
I cannot get the spot out but
It’s okay it still works in the store

Greasy man come and dig my well
Life without your water is a burning hell
Serve me up with your home-grown rice
Anything make me shit nice

Se pou zanmi zwen, se pou zanmi zwen
And the two-pound chicken tastes better with friends
A two-pound chicken tastes better with two
And I know where to find YOU so
Listen to the words I said
Let it sink into your head
A vertigo round-and-round-and-round
Now I’m in your bed
How did I get ahead?
Whoop!
Thread your fingers through my hair
Fingers through my hair
Give me a dress
Give me a press
I give a thing a caress
Would-ja, would-ja, would-ja

Listen to the words I say!
Sound like a floral bouquet
A lyrical round-and-roundandroundandround
Okay
Take a picture it’ll last all day, hey
Your fingers through my hair
Do it ’til you disappear
Gimme your head
Gimme your head
Off with his head!
HEY HEY HEY HEY

No water in the water fountain
Floral bouquet
A lyrical round-and-roundandroundandround
No side on the sidewalk
Take a picture it’ll last all day, hey
And you say old Molly Hare, Hare
Nothing much to do when you’re going nowhere

Woohaw!
Woohaw!
Gotcha, gotcha

We’re gonna get the water from your house, your house

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Merrill Martin Garbus / Nathaniel J Brenner

Water Fountain lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.