I am honoured to have read my poetry with frame drumming at a Benefit Gig “A Future that Works” in the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge. The organisers and the audiences were incredibly supportive. The goal of the gig was to raise funds to send a coach to London’s march, 20 October.
Calderdale Save Our Services took over 40 local people by coach to the TUC’s ‘A Future That Works’ demonstration in London on Saturday 20 October. In addition, the campaign put supporters including a wheelchair user in touch with each other so that they could travel to the demonstration together by train from Halifax. (Calderdale Save Our Services)
Alice Mahon, a trade unionist and a politician who quit Labour Party and said she “totally disapproved of everything Tony Blair was doing” delivered a factual and motivating speech on the policies of the current government aimed against the most vulnerable and what we can do about it. Alice Mahon was too kind to me. She stepped on stage after I left and said: “How do you follow that?”
I would re-direct this praise to my favourite poet and a constant inspiration and haven, Vladimir Mayakovsky, as my last poem was about him. The man, the poet, shone so much sunshine at the beginning of the 20th century that it is enough for me now at the beginning of the 21st century – to create, to deal with day-to-day and existential issues life presents.
And, obviously, Mayakovsky was an anti-capitalist herald, a person who spent much of his priceless poetic gift on outlining the horrible realities of capitalism, such as inequality, war, disease, lack of education, racism, and to point the way forward to the free, creative and happy world where all people live in peace.
Yesterday marked the 95th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution, 1917. What better reason to check out Mayakovsky’s poems Good! and Conversation with Comrade Lenin.