Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay last Thursday morning with Gail, Joyce, Carol, Geoff, Elizabeth and myself. We talked about facial hair, Durham, clothes, plagiarism, South versus North, Jerusalem (the city not William Blake’s), travelling, Foucault, education, politics, academia, London and William Blake.


In between we drank tea and coffee and shared poems including work by  John W White, T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Derek Walcott, Mbella Sonne Dipoko and W. H. Auden. And Psalm 23, The Lord is my Shepherd.

Those words always make me think of Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World. The painting takes its title from another book in the bible, John: “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness..”

There was a metal sign of the Holman Hunt  painting and the quote which hung above my Nan’s bed. I was transfixed by it as a child when I stayed over and shared her double bed.  I was scared of the dark and found comfort in that image and those words. The bed was always warm and the sheets smelt so sweetly clean. Perhaps all Nan bedrooms smelt the same? I’d like to think so.


Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay returns to the library on Thursday May 28th. The theme will be Holidays.

We’re a very friendly group and new attenders are always welcome. The only thing we ask is that you book a place, so we know how many people to expect.  You can book via email to gail@happyplanetcreativearts.org.uk