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|I’m posting this essay/poem as so many have been asking me for the |
transcript since it aired a few weeks back.
I wrote it for Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show, answering the question, What Makes us Human?
Much love to you for all your kind words.
“When you see the finish line and run as fast as you can. The rest of the field passes you by, but you don’t mind.
And you dial on high,
Paint the skyline, clear the wings, the ifs now lived.
Words skip and sing like parables: naranja, bahar, melocoton,
Chinkerpin , chitterling, gwanwyn,
Possum, ginkgo, chirashi,
sua, gin que ya,
Traded words, traded spice, shared poems, stories cracked open under pomegranate skies , an innocent spared. A cog somewhere, somehow .. small increments of change .
Sweet songs ,wild rovers, days yawn ahead , cold beer in hand, Reinheitsgebot law, an acorn , a grain.
The warmth of the sun , my sons hand in mine and home roasted bread , clean sheets, a candle , a book in bed , ideas born, machine full and humming,Tweedy the clown,
eyes crinkled at corners, unanimous votes , olive oil , flakes of salt, roasted artichokes,
local music: sounds freewheeling from bars wrap around holiday-wide-eyed revellers, arms open, feet light :
No detail , then forms, inadequate laws , skewed for profit, the clothes that you stand in , and hands to the wall.
the spray of cave paint : we were all here , and we’ll all pass and go, all colours, shapes ,sizes, class , creed, for that sense of belonging , a purpose, a voice. Do not want what you do not need.
Lichen, moss and honeysuckle, nectar ,hear the call of the wild. As good as you’ll get now, go , swim with the tide:
Everest spindrift, trust the rope, the buzzing of bees, butterfly sighs and vultures in flight, the clapping of pigeon wings , jasmine full breeze ,
clocks ever ticking , those layers of grief.
Play in the shadows .
Confess to your daughter, it never makes sense, it just is, and that’s it and that’s that, so live while you have it , love while you breathe .
Say goodbye to your father , Mr tambourine man in every Parkinson tremor, once, always, more than .You grow old only once, you do what you can.
Mind wanders and wonders , cromlechs and tombs, but the train leaves the platform and rides out of view; you walk back into town.
The moon always rises, lone wolves to tame, and boys keep swinging, there’s no use in shame
and click goes the camera ( Llorona!), the bags will be packed, dreams will be dreamed. It’s what makes us human . An unstoppable march .
Read a new story , make plans, yet still yearn,
Remember you are dust, and to dust you will return.”
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Poetry Day I’ll be discussing the extraordinary range of poetry nominated for ‘Tell Me the Truth About Life’ alongside former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, Thursday 3rd October at 6.30pm. Setting contemporary works by the likes of Yrsa Daley-Ward, Warsan Shire and Kei Miller alongside classics by W.H Auden, Emily Dickinson, Dylan Thomas and more, Morpurgo and I will open up on the selection of some of this year’s poems in an evening of readings and discussions about their power and relevance. Tell Me The Truth About Life is a poetry collection I curated with Forward Poetry from poems nominated by poets, public figures and members of the public for their insight into truth. The event will be followed by a Q&A and a book signing.
|With a Spotify playlist ready for each country: poems, proverbs,|
curiosities and some very surprising aspects of world history, ‘Where the Wild Cooks Go’ is a folk-cook book and timely for it.
“A joyous treasure trove” is how Michael Morpurgo describes it.
Tom Jones: ” A delight”.
Pages are brim full of generations old nuggets of wisdom, as well as
stories about Catatonia touring days and other escapades, plus over a
hundred recipes and cocktail ideas from 15 countries:
Easy haggis, vegan haggis, jambalaya, cawl, traditional and vegan Welsh
cakes, tequila prawns, chocolate and Guinness fondants, thousand hole
pancakes, pineapple and chilli, potato, chickpea and coconut curry, dahl
and hedgerow salad are just some of delicious, sustainable and fuss free
ideas served in this beautiful book.