Poetry with Friends at The Mission returned on Tuesday of this week. Thank goodness! We’ve missed both high and low brow banter, our poetic chums and the poetry over the summer.


I kicked off with Kaylin Haught’s God Says Yes to Me and we moved through poems relating to the refugee crisis. These included George Barker’s Channel Crossing, Jackie Kay’s Extinction and several poems written by one of our gang, John.

black berry

There were poems about railways, nature (hello Mary Oliver!), politics and childhood. Ken shared two Cicely Mary Barker poems for children, The Song of the Blackberry Fairy and The Song of the Horse Chestnut Fairy. Pat read Ian McMillan’s enchanting poem about two key moments in his childhood involving the family’s TV, living room, his pyjamas and his Dad’s dressing gown.

ian mcmillan

I rabbited on about one of my heroines, Tracey Thorn and then we took turns to praise Alan Bennett, Eric Morecambe and Margaret Rutherford. We threw the following topics into the ring as potential themes for future sessions: Travel, Humour, Fashion plus Rogues & Vagabonds


Geoff is putting together a charity poetry booklet to support the refugees. All profits go to the facebook group North East Solidarity with Calais Refugees. If you would like to contribute a poem please submit to geoffps@live.co.uk as soon as possible.

Ken will be performing at Heaton’s The Stanza on November 17th. We can’t wait!

The next Poetry with Friends @ The Mission will take place on September 22nd and the theme is…Humour. We’ll be taking it very seriously….