“Never work with children and animals” is the ol’ show business adage still used today. How about “never talk about politics and religion in the same Poetry with Friends”? If that was an unwritten rule then we broke it at the last Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay Library on October 15th.

I think it was one of our newcomers who suggested the double-headed theme at the previous session. I seized on it and looked forward to the pre-session prep I’d be undertaking ahead of the session on the 15th.

I thoroughly enjoyed the prep and the session. There were only five of us plus absent Rowland sent in some lyrics  plus his own work which I read out.

I kicked off with Jerusalem as I felt it was both political and religious.


Here’s the full list:

William Blake Jerusalem

William Blake The Angel that Presided o’er  my Birth

Peter, Paul & Mary El Salvador

Paul Durcan The Bloomsday Murders, 16th June 1997

Richard McWilliam In the Land of the Free

Siegfried Sassoon Everyone Sang

From The Bible 1 Corinithians 13 v 4-8 Love is Patient

John Greenleaf Whittier Dear Lord & Father of Mankind

Rowland Austerity

Kris Kristofferson Don’t Let the Bastards (Get You Down)

William Blake Holy Thursday

Arthur Hugh Clough There is no God

The conversation was honest, insightful, open-minded and open-hearted. I discovered a new author, Tim Jackson who wrote Prosperity without Growth. Durcan’s poem (Bloomsday Murders) left me open-mouthed. I’d never heard it before. Astonishing. Amazing. A GREAT poem.


Next Poetry with Friends at Whitley Bay Library is Thursday 29th October at 11 am. The theme is Transport. Please email gail@happyplanetcreativearts.org.uk  if you’d like to attend.