Writing Away – May 2017

Monthly Column from author and poet Sue Gerrard

Bank Holidays are plentiful this time of year and I thought you might enjoy my poetic reflections on the British weather on these special days. Let’s hope the sun shines.

BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND
Beaming sun smiling down on
The golden beach also caresses the
Sea turning it azure blue.
Shy, milk white people emerge
From self-imposed exile
Amazed at this miracle.
“Something is right in heaven,” they say
“For this is Sunday and Bank Holiday.”
In convoys of cars they
Snake their way to the seaside
Dressed in shorts and T shirts.
Welcome to paradise and
In their minds, they are
Golden brown when in reality
They are lobster red but happy.
“Tomorrow,” they say, “We’ll do
This again, now that summer’s here.”

Dark clouds frowning down on
The browning beach, while rain
On the sea turns it mucky grey.
Lobster red people submerge
Themselves in self-imposed exile.
Sobered by this reality;
“Something is wrong in Heaven” they say,
“For this is Monday, our Bank Holiday.”
In unison, they curl up on sofas
And think about the seaside,
Dressed in leggings and jumpers.
Welcome to May Day and
In their minds, they are
Golden brown even though
They are pasty white and they long
For a sunny tomorrow but now
They know summer is fleeting.
Sue Gerrard

STRATFORD IN THE RAIN

The carousel is still,
The wet ground is silent
As puddles remain undisturbed.

The boats are moored
And the curving river acts
Only as a home for the falling rain.

The shops are empty
And the tills remain closed
As shoppers are nowhere to be seen.

And this scene is set for
Only the rain has ventured out
Today, this Bank Holiday.

Sue Gerrard

Here is news of the 13th Annual Prescot Festival of Music & the Arts: Friday 16 to Sunday 25 June 2017 http://prescotfestival.co.uk/

10 days of arts, music, culture and entertainment in the historic Lancashire town of Prescot, Merseyside.

Full Programme

Fri 16 June . 7.00pm . Parish Church
BRASS & HOT POT WITH LEYLAND BAND £8 (incl. food)
Sat 17 June . 7.00pm . Parish Church
MAGNIFICAT! PRESCOT FESTIVAL CHORUS & METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL GIRL CHORISTERS £5*
Sun 18 June . 12 noon-4pm . Brown’s Field
PRESCOT CARNIVAL Free entry
Sun 18 June . 3.00pm . Parish Church
ORGANIST IAN TRACEY IN RECITAL £5* (incl. wine & nibbles)
Mon 19 June . 6.30pm . St Mary & St Paul’s School
SCHOOLS’ POETRY SHOWCASE Free entry
Tue 20 June . 8pm . Clock Face Pub
CLOCKFEST – a medley of specially invited local musical talent. Free entry
Wed 21 June . 6pm . Evelyn Community Primary School
YOUNG INSTRUMENTALIST OF PRESCOT Free entry
Thu 22 June . 7.00pm . St Paul’s Church
FILM: WILLY RUSSELL’S OUR DAY OUT 40TH ANNIVERSARY £5 (incl. choc ices)
Fri 23 June . 7.00pm . Town Hall
CHILLED LEMONS JAZZ QUINTET WITH VOCALIST CHRIS JAMES £8 (incl. fish & chips)
Sat 24 June . 11.30am . Parish Meeting Room
HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE PRESCOT ARCHIVES £1
Sat 24 June . 7.30pm . Methodist Centre
MOSTLY MUSICALS WITH PHOENIX CONCERT ORCHESTRA £6
Sun 25 June . 6pm . Parish Church
FESTIVAL CHORAL EVENSONG – with Prescot Parish Church Choir & organist Tim Hall
Sun 25 June. 7.30pm. Parish Church
FESTIVAL FINALE WITH THE BAND OF THE YORKSHIRE REGIMENT £7*
* Events marked with an asterisk are FREE for under-16s, but they must be accompanied by an adult
Plus:
* Coffee Mornings at Prescot Methodist Centre Friday & Saturday, Tuesday—Saturday 9.30am—11.30am
* Schools’ Artwork & Vintage Prescot Poster Display (from the old Station Road Printers, courtesy of the Jones Boys) in Prescot Parish Church during events
* Prescot Museum & Library—Saturdays & Thursdays 10am—1pm, Monday—Tuesday & Friday 10am—5pm
* Open Archives at Prescot Heritage Hub Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 10am—1pm & 2pm—4pm

And some more upcoming events:

Funshine Event: I am staging ‘Funshine’: an evening of humour in stories and poetry on 10th May, at St. Mark’s Lodge, Victoria Park between 7 and .8.30pm. I will be joined by Len Saunders and audience members will have the chance to read in the second half. It is £5 including refreshment. Numbers are limited so booking is essential on 0798556539

Poetry Competitions:
Here is some information on poetry competitions

Spring Awakening – Win £25
Best poet wins £25 and a free anthology (as chosen by the editorial team)
Flurries of snow are replaced by mild breezes, animals emerge from hibernation and new buds begin to bloom: spring has sprung! We would like to invite you to submit a poem on the theme of spring. Your verse could be about the nature blossoming back to life around you, new beginnings or spring cleaning – physically or metaphorically.
Whatever your thoughts, we can’t wait to read your poem!
Closing Date: 30th April 2017

Rules
– Free to enter
– Open to over 18’s
– One entry per person
– No line limit (within reason)
– No restrictions on poetic style or form

How to enter
Upload: You can upload your entry directly to us using our online upload page. https://www.forwardpoetry.co.uk/enter-competition.php
Remember to fill in all fields.
Email: You can email your ‘Spring Awakening’ poem to inbox@forwardpoetry.co.uk, including your name and address. Make sure you include ‘Spring Awakening’ in the subject line.
Post: Send your entry form, along with your name and address to: ‘Spring Awakening’, Remus House, Coltsfoot Drive, Woodston, Peterborough, Cambs, PE2 9BF

McLELLAN POETRY PRIZE

Part of the McLellan Festival 1st – 10th Sept 2017
The McLellan Poetry Prize is awarded by the Arran Theatre and Arts Trust • The competition is open to anyone except members of the McLellan Ltd as part of the annual McLellan Arts Festival. You may enter any number of poems and on any past judges have included Kathleen Jamie, Robert Crawford, Jackie Kay,Peter and Ann Sansom, Michael Laskey, Simon Armitage • Poems should be of no more than 80 lines (excluding title), in English and your own original work (no translations). Poems must not have won a prize in any other competition or have been published, self-published (including on social media or accepted for publication in print or online at the time of the closing date. Judge Maura Dooley. 1st prize £1000 2nd prize £300 3rd prize £100
6 Commendations of £25. Closing date: 21st June 2017
More information and online entry at www.arrantheatreandarts.co.uk/poetry-competition

If you would like to send me a poem for publication please email it to suegerrard256@btinternet.com

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