Sunday, 30 September 2012

Making Poetry From Music

I had the pleasure of compering the Sshhh! Acoustic stage of Shatterfest 4 down at Stereo (York).  In line with my Guthrie Challenge I thought I’d write a poem inspired by the musicians after seeing their 20-30 minute set.  I like this method, instead of being isolated in my room or out for a walk, it's a trick that means I'm writing something with not only the musician, but everyone else in the room.
Here they are, please check out these acts, many talented York acts as well as Emma from Manchestaaa and Bad Ideas from t’Leeds.  Links in their names/titles.


I’ll sit on a cold afternoon

Arm myself with a spoon

and stir my hot chocolate.

I’ll sit by the radiator

Three pairs of socks

and a second skin of a warm jumper.

I’ll sit and think of you

Slip into a dozy dream

and wish you could be here.

To keep me warm, you call me at home

And travel by telephone


I may be in the gutter

But I’m next to a road

And all roads lead to Rome.

Pack up my troubles, say goodbye to the rats

Farewell to the sewers, the depths of black

Life’s been a drag, now I’m dragging myself up

Trust myself, don’t blame fate or luck.

I may be in the gutter

But I’m next to a road

And all roads lead to Rome.

I’ll find home


We’ll take our time

Breeze though this city

Breath slowly like prowlers

We’ll be on time

Whip up a hurricane

Stay up till all hours

We’ll batten down our hatches

Prepare for our own storm

You don’t need the weatherman to expect showers

Come the morning, we’ll be sodden

Drenched to the bone

No bad weather makes us cower


I could sleep for a million years

Wrap me up in chords of gold

And a blanket woven from harmonies

Will you keep on singing me to sleep

Let your lullabies be a lesson in love.

I’ve been having nightmares lately

And need some sweeter dreams.

So give me dreams disguised as lullabies

And please watch me sleep and breath


Built myself a secret den

So I could spy on all my friends

Watched them play their games

All from my hidden base

Saw them grow older, make new mates

Get into girls, go off into the world

Get richer, poorer, sadder, gladder

Have kids, have problems, have solutions

Dream of fame, a safe wage or revolution

But I’m still nestled in my secret den

Spying on the world and my little friends


The man stared at the mirror

Sees his reflection, not a hero or a winner

Sighs to himself, knows this:

If I wept at work, nobody would notice

Breathes onto the glass, on the condensation

Writes this consideration:

“We could be Gods” (he writes)

“If we wanted to try”.

He doesn’t cry at work, in that grey office

Because he doesn’t go back there ever again

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