Here in Walsall we have a thriving poetry society chaired by Richard Archer or as he is perhaps better known in local poetry circles, Skaggy the Poet. Last year the society produced an anthology called Diverse Verse, a celebration of poetry from the West Midlands and beyond. Many of the contributors were well-known names on the Black Country poetry circuit including, Femi Abidogun, Marianne Burgess, Ian Ward, Tina Negus, Jerry Peterson, Bryan “LaGrif” Griffin and former Walsall laureate, Ian Hennery to name but a few, as well as the incomparable Mr A himself. All the work was given free and all the proceeds went to the Mayor of Walsall’s charities for that year.
This year I am delighted to report that Richard has once again been busy compiling another collection called Diverse Verse 2 (see below)
This edition features many of the same poets from the first plus some new ones, all of which goes to show the depth of poetic talent we have within the West Midlands region. Once again all poets gave their work for free and all proceeds from the book will be going to Cancer Research UK. Inside you will find the funny, the sublime, the serious, the ridiculous and the emotional as all good poetry should be. You will even find a couple of mine, one of which I have re-produced below with sincere apologies to Hamlet and William Shakespeare in advance, for such disregard to a great soliloquy.
Copies can be ordered online from http://www.Lulu.com or there may be some left at Walsall’s only independent book shop, Southcart Books, in Lower Hall Lane near the town centre. Even if you have only a passing interest in matters poetical this book is well worth the read, showcasing as it does, some extraordinary writing talent and supporting a worthy charity to boot. Go on, you’ll be glad you did.
To Bus or to Buzz? (With apologies to Shakespeare and the Prince of Denmark)
To bus or to buzz, that is the question;
Whether it’s through yam yam or cockney that we express
The dialect with which to identify the choice of mode in which we travel.
And yet, there are those to whom such choices are superior to the needs of mankind
For we cling onto them as they define the space we occupy on this mortal coil.
Oh, but that these were allowed to differentiate between us
As we move through the veneer of life with its many twists and turns.
Where use of language through text or tongue oft has caused war and dissension
Or brought love and reconciliation but, where suspicion of those
From below junction 10 and their peculiar accents still lingers.
Who can arbitrate on these great unresolved questions of our time?
Where is thine honest broker who can determine between accents and expressions?
Oh, where are the Gershwins of today who will provide such musical interlude
That will make such differences superfluous?
To resolve the unresolvable, let us be resolute in our determination
To accept such differences as define our origins and our culture;
For what matter is it if we speak of a bus or a buzz?
When we greet folk with owamya, drink council pop and call a Zebra, a stripey oss!!