The theme of Tuesday night’s Poetry with Friends at The Mission in North Shields was “Fireworks and Other Celebrations.” I struggled to find poems to fit so took along Fleur Adcock’s superb For Heidi with Blue Hair. No one seemed to mind.


We ate soup and stotties then biscuits washed down with tea and coffee. We compared and contrasted our feelings about and experiences of Halloween and Bonfire Night.

Remember, remember, how could I forget it’s the fifth of November? As I type I can hear fireworks going off over North Tyneside. It’s “Bonna Neet” and the rain won’t dampen Geordie enthusiasm for fireworks.

Back to Tuesday night & I discovered that the name Odeon as in the chain of cinemas was marketed by the firm’s publicists as standing for “Oscar Deutsch Entertains the Nation.” This led to a discussion about classic films. We’re all cinema buffs at Poetry with Friends.

It was wonderful to hear so many self-penned poems plus lines from Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. The words come from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman. I didn’t know that.


Poetry with Friends at The Mission returns on 17th November. I can’t remember what theme we decided on so you’ll have to ask Gail at Happy Planet

Before then we’ve got John Hegley performing at Whitley Bay Library this coming Monday 9th November. It’s sold out I think. I hope he recites one of my favourite poems ever:

Love poem by my dog
I saw you in the park
I wanted to be your friend
I tunnelled my snout
up your non-barking end