Monthly Archives: February 2021

Free Range, by Sonia Lawrence

This poem by Sonia Lawrence was selected for and published in our Folio #74, in 2020

Free Range

Triumphant in success leaving a warm brown egg on the turn
of the stair clucking her joke and hopping six one-by-one
steps down with flapping wings squawking past the startled
woman and out through the back door into the farmyard still
noisily trumpeting her achievement until with a soft shoe
shuffle she scratches soil pecks a morsel as hens always do.
My mother twinkle in her eye cheeks everso slightly rosy
puts a box of eggs and the weighed apples and carrots into
the woman’s basket takes the money and thanks her warmly
but offers no other word.

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A Child in Spring, by Paul Hodges

This poem, by Society member Paul Hodges, appeared in Folio #74 in 2020.

A Child in Spring

A child in spring, radicalised
by the ferocity of flowers and driven
to something like God, by
a broken bird, folded and put away
in the long grass,
                                kept for later.
That same child, waking
among houses, discarded
like debris, shaping bombs like birds,
a detonation of starlings
                                     in a head
full of the memories of the ferocity
of flowers. That child wakes late
and lazy, turns over, itching,
cannot go back to sleep, balances
God like sunlight on his face, on his tongue,
Shapes words, rests hands
                                          like a gun
on his gut.
                         This morning, urgent with love
there is work to be done.

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Ruth Padel

On February 16th. 2021 we are fortunate to be hosting the extraordinary Ruth Padel, the award-winning British poet. She was at first a classicist, studying Ancient Greek and spending much of her life in Greece.

She now lives in London and has published twelve poetry collections, seven non-fiction works and a novel.

Ruth is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and Professor of Poetry at King’s College London where she hosts a popular series of Poetry And events, combining poetry with other areas of life and learning.

In 2020, Ruth published Beethoven Variations – Poems on a Lifeand also We are all from somewhere elsea paperback edition of her migration book The Mara Crossing, updated to 2020 to include the worsening migration crisis everywhere, and the effects on it of the climate crisis.

 In February 2021, Beethoven Variations comes out in America from Knopf. 

Our meetings begin on Zoom at 8.00pm and Ruth will be reading following an initial Open Mic opportunity. A fantastic reading is guaranteed.


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Eye to Eye, by Clive Eastwood

This poem by Society member Clive Eastwood was selected for our Folio #74 in 2020.

Eye to Eye

There have been many things for which
I didn’t weep, but latterly
all it takes is a stiff east breeze,
a few degrees of frost and tears flow
– down one cheek at least

for only the left eye cries: half is sad
or overjoyed whilst the rest mooches on.
Age perhaps, though is that anything
to cry about? As if, going for a paper,
I’m weeping for the pigeons, the grubby

redness of the pillar box
or the puddle I have to step over.
I dab at the eye with a glove
so the young woman in the shop
won’t feel obliged – though of course

she’ll smile the same perfunctory Hi!
whichever side I present. Walking back
the watery eye still waters whilst the right,
reminded of the woman’s untouchable
auburn hair, now too begins to grow moist.

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