The June Magic Words

We slipped in the Bramsche Cafe, Todmorden in between the drops of torrential rain that has been covering this part of the world, pushed in the back by the winds that have been sweeping across it – for the June installment of that most creative of all Todmorden events, and that most Todmorden of all creative ones, Magic Words.

The organiser, Emma Decent, read a very touching poem about her brother and herself, which reminded me of my own childhood. I also was a tom-boy, (although my bother’s name is not Tom 🙂 I am also happy that Emma shares my passion for haiku. Hers about her dog were lovely and adhered to the syllable count (which mine do not).

Emma is doing a solo show of poetry and performance prose for the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Fringe. It’s on Sat 7 July at 5pm at the White Lion, Hebden Bridge.

As usual and regrettably, I had to miss the headliner Steve O’Connor’s reading. However, I was almost compensated for this by chatting with the members of the kindest audience in the world, as well as my fellow poets. And I was so happy to see my friend Willow, who came and watched for several months, to finally grab the mike, stomp her walking cane and do a wonderful, funny and witty performance of her marvellous rhymed poems.

My friends and I were swept away my the guest poets’ “Lesbian guide to conception” poetry performance. It spurred the discussion of our own experiences with pregnancy, birth, pain relief (or none, for some heroic women – but not me 🙂 Char March and Clare Shaw mostly read from their book “Some Girls’ Mothers” (which inspired by co-authors and me to write “Daddies’s Girls” – due in August 2012), but shared some new poems as well. Char March’s poem about her meeting herself as a girl was particularly well executed.

I love Clare Shaw’s poetic voice. It is individual and powerful. Her poems about finding out that you are pregnant and giving birth are raw, sincere, and loud – and she does not even have to shout them. The life in them screams out on its own.

I will not be coming to Magic Words in July, there is no Magic Words in August, but hopefully we both will be back in September.


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