National Poetry Day 2010

Nat Poetry Day 2010

Blackwood Miners Institute hosted a successful evening with performance poet Mike Church and singer songwriter Cheryl Beer to celebrate National Poetry Day 2010.

Over forty people attended an evening event at which ten poets shortlisted for the Head4Arts poetry competition performed their works. The theme for the competition was Home is Where the Heart Isand the poems were judged by Mike Church and Cheryl Beer.

Dinnella Shelton, organiser of the Bedwas Writers Circle won first prize for her poem 38 Heol fawr with a prize of £100. The runner up was Irene Jones with her poem The Journey Home and a prize of £50.

Mike Church

38 Heol Fawr

Welcome, walk this way, please.
The scullery is cold and damp,
mustiness permeates my nostrils,
ragged curtains can’t reach the sills,
Winter is brittle.
This would make a fine conservatory,
don’t you think?

Follow me to the cosy kitchen.
Polished sideboard tall, Bakelite radio,
wallpaper peeling, bread and dripping
measles, me tucked up in a shawl
on top of the fire, steaming.
Patio doors would transform this space,
don’t you think?

Take care entering the sitting room.
Low beams descend to touch my skull
remnants of fine Doulton float into
memory, don’t dare touch,
crunched up small.
The fire place is a gem, it should stay,
don’t you think?

Climbing the stone stairs
to the solitary room above
suffocation creeps from sloping
walls, cramped beds, chamber pots,
things I don’t want to recall.
A dormer would work wonders,
don’t you think?

Too much to do to chase this dream,
I loved the garden, the strawberries.

Dinnella Shelton
Cheryl Beer

The Journey Home

When I was three I had a home, a sister father, mother
Then one day the skies grew black and bombs rained down upon us
Mother’s arms held me close as we screamed and ran for cover
When I was three I had no home just a heap of bricks and dust

When I was four we were sent away my sister and my Mother
To a valleys town with mountains high and coal tips we could see
Mother’s arms embraced us still at least we were together
When I was four this was to be the home which shaped the real me

When I was five, six and seven this home became our shelter
Parted from my sister now we were distanced from each other
Mother’s arms held me close as she cried out for her daughter
When I was five, six and seven this home changed us forever

When I was eight the war had ended we had to leave this place
But there was no home there now, no husband or no father
Mother’s arms held me close she knew the fears we had to face
When I was eight my home had gone but I had my Darling Mother

When I was nine family ties were fractured we had no home for rest
Days of sadness wrapped around with love and breaking heart
Mother’s arms embraced me as she kissed my face with sweet caress
When I was nine I had no home no sister our lives were torn apart

When I was ten the life we had would change for us forever
Reunited with my sister we remembered our days together
Mother’s arms held us close as the family hugged each other
When I was ten I had a home, a sister, and the dearest sweetest Mother

When I was eleven, twelve and more the valleys town became our home
A refuge from the war years now became the centre of our heart
Mother’s arms held us tight as she thought of years that were yet to come
When I became a woman this home became a stepping stone to reach out to the stars

Now I am old I think about the house I had when bombs fell from the sky
A street of rubble, a sister father and a Mother and I was only three
Mother’s arms holding fast as she heard her children cry
Now I am old my home is not where I was born but here inside of me

Yes Home is where the Heart is, a place of hope that saves one
From war and strife with darkness into a home of deepest love
I still feel Mother’s ars around me as I look towards the sun
This valley with its ancient trees that reach to Heaven above
Will always be my haven and the home close to my heart.

Irene Jones.