Tag: Poetry

Pottle Poetry

We caught up with Jen Pottle, to see how the micropub’s monthly poetry event is going…

Waaaaay back in July 2018, in micropub The Pottle, ‘Pottle Poetry Open Mic’ was born. This gave Beeston its very own regular poetry event, taking place on the first Sunday of every month. Those of you who organise your social lives using our Poetry Round-Up will already be familiar with the event, but for those of you who may not have come across this brilliant little gathering of poets, fear not.

The event was originally set up as a response to the fact that Beeston used to be a prime location for poetry events, often welcoming poets from outside the town to come here and perform. The Pottle Poetry may be ‘micro’ in location, but has been a big hit since it started.

I popped into the micropub to catch up with Jen, and find out how it’s been growing over the eight months that it’s been running.

“There’s a solid regular group of poets that come, some of them every month, which is nice,” says Jen. “But there’s also been some of the pub regulars who have come to listen to bits of poetry. One of our regulars, who isn’t really the poetry type, was even inspired to write their own poem!”

The Fighting Nightingales

When I originally spoke to Jen before the very first event, she anticipated that by having it take place on a Sunday afternoon would make the perfect slot to read and hear poetry. So, was she right?

She says: “They’ve been relaxed, comfy afternoons, with a friendly crowd of people who are very accepting. I’ve been quite surprised by how many people are interested in poetry, and it’s nice to see people just wandering into the pub.”

Jen starts to tell me about one of the regular performers who does autobiographical poetry. “He asked if he could have musical accompaniment, so then for the next event he came with his dad and brother, and they did a musical poem. There was Spanish guitar and interesting percussion instruments involved.”

After this, they asked if they could do a longer performance at the next event. As a group, they’re known as The Fighting Nightingales, and describe themselves as delivering ‘progressive jazz/funk chit chat and tall tales set to strange music’. Jen says: “They came back and did a fantastic afternoon of music and poetry, and a huge crowd came to see them.” She also tells me that the group teamed up with regular poet Will Kummer, who comes to every Pottle Poetry event.

I got in contact with him to ask him what it is about the Open Mic that he loves. He said: “I would recommend Pottle Poetry because it’s a small and welcoming event. It’s actually where I did my first open mic performance and I think it’s great for those who are new to the poetry scene. A wide range of people attend and Jen usually opens with a piece of her own. It’s a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon and an event that I’d be sad to miss.”

The next event will take place on Sunday May 5 as part of Nottingham Poetry Festival and has the theme ‘My Younger Years’ attached to it. “Someone challenged me to do this,” says Jen. “I was looking at my childhood poetry from when I was a teenager and thought it was awful. We are asking people to bring in childhood poetry to read it, or to write poetry about their younger years, if they want to!”

Even without the theme, Jen tells me there’s all sorts of types of poetry being performed, including: funny poems, light-hearted poems, limericks, serious and silly poems.

So, whether you consider yourself a poet or not, it’s worth wandering in.

JM

Book review: Lose Your Armour by Chris McLoughlin

lya cover

It’s 8pm on a Thursday and four of my friends are stood in front of a closed Waterstones while I jog up and down the side of the building, losing a game of charades with the oblivious bookseller inside.

Twenty minutes later we are finally inside the Sillitoe Room, listening to a spectacular line up of poets here to support the main talent of the night: Chris McLoughlin and the launch of Lose Your Armour. Published through Nottingham’s indie Big White Shed, this 12-strong-poem chapbook reads like an open letter to those drowning in emotional struggle.

‘Dust Days’, which was performed in full at the launch, documents fourteen individual days or nights that begin with hedonistic behaviour and descends into helplessness and the deep pit of depression many of us have clawed our way out of. In particular, ‘Day 34’ is one run-on sentence of a disassociation episode in the Victoria Centre, before McLoughlin turns his attention to the reader, asking ‘Are you entertained now?’ The change of pace and directive almost makes me feel guilty for enjoying how expressive the bleakness is.

As a reader, you want to hug the persona. As someone who suffers from mental health, you nod and continue to read. Back in the Sillitoe Room, I glance down the aisle of seats in the middle of Chris’s set to see friends faces full of sadness, awe, but most importantly, inspiration. Lose Your Armour screams, ‘if I can get through this, let my words help you get through yours’.

Francesca Mesce

Lianne and family

Lianne’s Life in Beeston: Korean poet writes about her time in England

Towards the end of the year, and during the festive season, we often think about the people close to us.

We meet family members that we don’t see very often, and think about people we miss. Earlier this year, I met two Beeston residents who have re-connected with a Korean friend (and poet) in a delightful, but unexpected, way.

On 31 July 2002, Lianne arrived in Nottingham with her son, her sister, and niece, but moved to Beeston just under a year later, in July 2003. Her prolonged stay in England was for the benefit of her son, Harry-Kim, and niece Nicky, as the sisters wanted them to study, get their education here and experience the English culture.

korea - Copy (2)

They moved to Highgrove Avenue in Beeston, and soon connected with their neighbours Sue and Malcolm Turner. “We take people into our hearts when we see them,” says Sue. “We treated them like family.”

“We got to know them very quickly,” adds Malcolm. “They were out on a limb and if there were any problems we would help them.”

A close friendship quickly formed between the two families, so much so that the sisters weren’t shy about knocking on Sue and Malcolm’s door to come over for a cup of tea, or watch a football match, as they were always welcome and didn’t need an invitation. “It can be very difficult coming to a new country and in some other areas it might have been different for them, but not here,” says Malcolm.

“…she wants to share her experiences with the people of Nottingham.”

The family stayed in Beeston until July 2005, but during their time here they went out on lots of day trips, both locally and places further afield like London. Sue and Malcolm would often take them out on day trips, including visiting their son’s narrowboat. When they left, it was because Lianne’s son Harry was about to start senior school.

“In their house everything the children did at school went on the wall, the whole visit was about giving them the best education possible, and because they are only allowed one child everything goes into doing the best for that one child,” says Malcolm.

IMG_6887

Earlier this year, 13 years since they last saw Lianne, they received a letter from her, sent with a set of three books. The books are a series under the title: Korean Poet Lianne’s Life In England With Her Son. The books are written in Korean, and are based on the letters that Lianne sent to her husband while she was in England. Sue and Malcolm were overwhelmed to hear from her, and they had no idea she’d had the books published. In her letter to them, Lianne highlights the page in which she mentions them. When I met with the couple, we had a look, and found fragments of English words, including their names. “It’s a start!” says Malcolm. “We’d like to get this section translated.”

In her letter, Lianne asks them to donate the books to Beeston Library, as she wants to share her experiences with the people of Nottingham. In the back of the books, there are English notes thanking the ‘English friends’ she connected with, including other Beestonians who she has also sent copies of her books to.

After meeting Sue and Malcolm, they got in contact with Lianne to tell her about this article, and get her permission for it to be published, and she wrote the following to be included:

“This book is a love letter for people who have sent their family to England and have missed them. England is a place that gave our family the wisdom of life when we were in need of a change; a place where memories were made with friends despite the language barrier. I have written a story of our young children who have experienced English culture, and have brought a story of learning love in their pleasant and simple life, into these letters. It is an England life story that makes us feel attached despite the distance between us. I hope this story about us can bring a smile on every separated-family face. I dedicate this book to all of the friends in England and to everyone who knows me.”

This story is just one of many that will have been formed between people moving in and out of Beeston over the years, and how people from completely different cultures can become like family to one another over the space of only a few years. The friendship they shared will last for the rest of their lives, and the copies of the books in Beeston Library will be a legacy to the time Lianne spent here, and will provide comfort and solace to our current and thriving Korean community.

JM

A (brief) history of Beeston Poetry, with DIY Poets and One Plum Poem

A (brief) history…

Earlier this year in April, Henry Normal came to Beeston Library for his ‘Poetry Hour’ as part of Nottingham Poetry Festival. One of the first things he spoke about was that Beeston has had a history of being a poetry hot-spot, and that it was one of the places gigging poets would make sure they performed at. Phrases like ‘Have you done Beeston?’ would pass between poets, giving the town a national reputation.

This has sparked the need for a revival, and you can read our Poetry Round-up section to see the latest poetry events, including a new monthly open mic hosted by Pottle of Blues. But before we get to that, it’s worth having a look at the history of poetry in Beeston, and speaking to a few local poets to get a sense of what Beeston’s poetry scene had, and still has, to offer.

Poems for the Beekeeper cover

The focal point of anyone considering our poetry history will undoubtedly always end up being the Poets in Beeston series which ran for ten years from Spring 1983, when Robert Gent organised a series of poetry readings at Beeston Library ‘with the aim of strengthening  the library’s role in literature promotion’.  This was before my time, but I have heard about it over the years, and seen their anthology Poems for the Beekeeper appear in Oxfam Books and Music a number of times.

The first series of events became so popular that they decided to put on a second series, and so on and so on for the next ten years. There are still people in and around Beeston who remember the series, and attended some the events, including Kathy Bell, who offered her insight on the series via  Beeston Updated after our editor-in-chief, Matt, shared the sentiments of Henry Normal:

“Highlights included Sarah Maguire, Amryl Johnson, Sheenagh Pugh, Catherine Fisher, U. A. Fanthorpe (reading with her partner, the poet R. V. Bailey) and the double-act of Michael Rosen and Leon Rosselson. I moved to Beeston just too late to hear David Gascoyne and had to be away when Benjamin Zephaniah performed. I was very sorry when the seasons ended as they were a great delight as well as an education in contemporary poetry.”

There was also a message passed to us on behalf of one of the main organisers of the Poets in Beeston series, Margaret MacDermott, who said: “Poetry readings in libraries are commonplace now but we were one of the first in the country to do them. They were the idea of my then manager Robert Gent. They were a huge success and I think we had almost every poet of prominence except Ted Hughes. We also had what were then promising newcomers, people like Jackie Kay. After Robert left our funding was withdrawn, I can’t tell you how many letters of complaint I received. I am so glad people remember them with fondness.”

Just from reading these comments, I can get a sense of what poetry readings meant to people back then, and although performance poetry has in no way disappeared, it is less common in Beeston now than it used to be. However, with the newly refurbishes library, there has been a lot more opportunities for events, and plenty of these have been poetry-oriented.

To try and get an idea of poetry’s place in Beeston today, I spoke to a few people about what they’re doing, and what poetry and Beeston together has meant for them.

DIY Poets

Logo_Colour_Large

The DIY Poets aren’t strictly a Beeston group, as they meet, perform and hold events mostly in Nottingham, but Beeston is home to a couple of members of the group, Martin Dean and Alistair Lane. The DIY Poets started fifteen years ago, with the creation of the first issue of their free A6 zine (they are now on issue 41).

Martin Dean, who has been a member of the DIY Poets for 3 years, describes himself as a ‘one-time Beeston resident’ as he’s lived here for just 6 years. He used to work at Plessy’s as an electronics designer, and liked the area. He says he’s always written in one form or another, but it was getting involved with the DIY Poets and having their support that has helped him with writing and performing at more events.

When asked about what he’d like to see from an open mic in Beeston, he says: “I want to see it bring people in that wouldn’t necessarily go to a poetry gig, but for them to walk away saying ‘that was great!’ The extension to that is being able to nurture new talent and to be able to say ‘so and so: Beeston Poet’ and put Beeston on the map.”

DSC_3219 cc_Sat 6

Martin has also been working on a collection of poems, that by the time you read this will be printed and in the hands of readers. It’s titled The Curious Dance Between Life and Death, and when asked what the themes of the collection are, he says, “It has a balance of life affirming vibrant pieces and the macabre. I’ve sifted and sorted bits that I’ve been writing over the last few years and got it down to a shortlist of 20 poems:  One hanging, one beheading, falling from a great height, dying a natural death, and a soldier being shot in the trenches…then it’s all uphill from there!”

Jenny Swann: Poet and Publisher

One_Plum_Poem_logo_purple_cmyk

Jenny Swann was one of our judges for the Buzzword poetry competition, and is a wonderful poet and publisher who has lived in Beeston for the past 13 years. Even before she moved here, she had one of her poetry collections published by John Lucas of Shoestring Press, which is why Beeston was on her radar when house-hunting. “It seemed a good place to head for because I knew there was poetry in Beeston,” she says. “Beeston is a fantastically creative community and very much supports its poets, writers and other artists. I feel that by moving to Beeston we got it spot on. It’s a natural home for writers and artists to flourish.”

Her creative journey in the region started when she was introduced to Ross Bradshaw, who asked her to be his poetry editor for Five Leaves. It was doing that job which made her realise how much she loved poetry pamphlets and publishing. “It was through discussions with Ross about how to give pamphlets a higher profile in bookshops that I founded Candlestick Press in 2008 and ran for 8 years,” she says. “I feel that if I hadn’t been in Beeston in the early days I don’t think I’d have been able to do that.”

Sadly, Jenny had to step down from Candlestick Press in 2016, but this has not stopped her creative drive and passion for poetry. In March of this year she set up a new project: One Plum Poem. The concept is that when you give someone a card, they get a poem inside it too, and she currently has 8 different kinds which include: Give Yourself a Hug (a poem to cheer your friends up), get well soon, a poem for mothers, and two designs for children featuring a hippo and dinosaur. They are all illustrated beautifully, and celebrate the idea of poetry as a gift.

36393031_1802896496435232_5590055520934297600_n

“My push has always been that poetry is this wonderful art form that is a treat people are missing out on, I’ve always had the same impulse for wanting people to engage with poetry,” says Jenny. She’s also got two more designs on the way, including a Christmas card with a previously unpublished poem by Carol Ann Duffy. The cards are currently for sale in Five Leaves Bookshop, Foyles in London, and on the website at oneplum.co.uk.

A Buzzword poem:

A poem for Beeston – Alistair Lane

Across the centre of this land,
From town to town I roamed
Till fortune shined its light on me,
And in Beeston found my home.

Not in shops or trams,
Or vaunted green-space treasure
But residing in the people
A simpler, honest pleasure.

Uncomplicated and direct;
Each spade described as such
But dig beneath the surface
And revel in their touch.

Diligent and dedicated
Strong and firm of heart.
Easier to love
Than an apiary work of art.

My wandering days are done:
No further shall I roam
Now fortune’s shined its light on me
And in Beeston found my home.

Poetry Round-up

POTTLE POETRY
Free, every first Sunday of the month, 4-6pm Pottle of Blues micropub
With plenty of open mic slots, this is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon listening to (or performing) poetry.

INSPIRE POETRY FESTIVAL 2018
Tuesday 25 Sept-Saturday 29 Sept, prices vary
The Inspire Poetry Festival is visiting Beeston for the first time! More poets are coming to Beeston Library following the success of Word! and the Poetry Hour with Henry Normal. For a full programme visit: inspireculture.org.uk/poetry-festival

A Pottle of Poetry: Beeston micropub to host poetry open mic

During this year’s Nottingham Poetry Festival, Henry Normal came to Beeston Library for his touring ‘Poetry Hour with Henry Normal’ events, and told a room full of people that Beeston used to be a poetry hotspot. 

Beeston was one of the places that gigging poets would have to go to, and it was a place firmly on the poetry map. Henry said that he’d like that back, so after an initial post in Beeston Updated, lots of interest, a few messages pinged back and forth, meetings had and calendars scribbled in…Beeston is set to have a regular poetry open mic!

IMG_6704

The wonderful Jen Pottle, of the micropub Pottle of Blues on Stoney Street, will be hosting the monthly event, which is planned to take place on the first Sunday of every month.

Jen, who is a former English teacher, recently performed poetry for the very first time at Jam Cafe in Nottingham. “I was quite amazed at the sheer number of young people at a poetry night, but it was such a nice supportive group,” she says.

Putting herself forward to perform poetry is what has driven her to want to host a poetry night at Pottle, and she’s encouraged by the interest it’s received on the Facebook event page so far. For anyone thinking of coming to the event, Jen says: “It will be a cosy atmosphere because it’s not a huge venue, and it’s open to anyone who wants to come and join in.”

IMG_6703

She’s purposely picked a time frame that’s fairly quiet anyway, so there’s no chance of a bunch of poets disrupting the regulars! And you don’t even have to be a poet: if you’re interested in finding out ‘performance poetry’ is and hearing what the poets of Beeston have to offer, then come down and see what it’s all about.

Jen is no stranger to hosting these sort of events either, as Pottle already has a regular live music open mic/karaoke night which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, and is quite popular among students.

She’s also planning on setting up a stand-up comedy night, as she’s currently doing a training course in comedy.

The first Pottle Poetry event takes place this Sunday 1 July, from 4-6pm and is free to attend. There will be five to ten minute open mic slots available, depending on how many people turn up and put their name down to perform.

You can find the event page here:  Pottle Poetry
Follow Pottle of Blues on Facebook, and Twitter.

JM

Beeston Poetry: Ada’s Poetry Engine

Hello Beestonians!

I have had the pleasure of talking to the inspiring Ellie Turpin, creator of the curious ‘Ada’s Poetry Engine.’

A fellow poetry lover, a recovering researcher and a full time mother, she had to spread the word of this intelligent piece of scientific engineering using code.

Aditi: Ellie, you are a busy lady! Thank you for giving us your time…please enlighten us all on this curious coding ‘poet’!

Ellie: This is a fascinating piece of engineering that was for the Festival of Science. Being a scientist, I never thought science and the arts could work in cohesion together.

However, having been an audience member of the performance arts that is prominent in Nottingham, such as the Nottingham Poetry festival, I was sure the two would get on!

Aditi: How does your marvellous coding engine work Ellie?

Ellie: The engine is inspired by Ada Lovelace of Nottingham, daughter of Lord Byron.

I wanted the poets and the scientists to work together, so I created my engine so that anyone who submitted a poem, or a phrase, the engine would re-mix the poem and it would come out with something different! This would be done by using algorithms.

Aditi: How were you inspired to start your journey into creating this unique project?

Ellie:  We work with ‘Ignite Future’, a company in Nottingham that pushes young people to be architects of their own learning, to enable pupils to be artists, mathematicians, and of course scientists. So we work with schools and young adults , to promote literature , poetry, and technology collectively.  I wanted to expose young people to performance poetry and science.

Aditi: I work in primary education myself and as a fellow performance poet, I heartily and happily approve of such a creative, upcoming project.  If you had to meet a poet, dead, alive, or local, who would you choose and why?

Ellie: Have you heard of a woman called Debris Stevenson? I love her poems that empower women, promoting equal rights and feminism. She has performed a poem along the lines of ‘Girl with the Tattoo’.  She promotes confidence for women’s bodies. I also respect and love Hollie Mcnish, a female poet who writes about such detailed topics in such a positive yet realistic manner.

Aditi: I can wholeheartedly agree Ellie; being a humble poet myself, they are phenomenal.

If you had to choose a scientist’s work, that you think motivates, empowers and protects our next generation, who would you choose and why?

Ellie: That’s an easy one! Rosalynd Franklin.  She is such a pioneer! She was instrumental in discovering the molecular structure of DNA, her X-Ray photographs were fundamental to unlocking these ‘building blocks’ of life. Without her, there wouldn’t have been such accurate evidence of our DNA, or our children.

Aditi: Thank you so much Ellie, its been fabulously inspiring to talk to you!

AB

 

Beeston Poetry

Spring has arrived, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, there are more daylight hours to be had…and the poets are emerging.

This issue, we’re paying attention to poetry in time for Nottingham Poetry Festival. We’ve got a few Buzzword poems for you from our competition, a round-up of events and courses happening in Beeston, and the answer to the question: what do you get if you mix science with poetry? Read on to find out!

A few Buzzword poems…

Beeston Lock – Glen Bradford

Taste that rain-washed air,
forearms firm against the iron top rail,
and watch boatmen turn lock key,
prising open slime-heavy gates
for barges to make their way.

Walk where the roaring Trent
froths and tumbles over masonry steps,
past wild Sunday League encounters,
and solemn banks of anglers
guarding over The Hero’s place.

Look. Roots grabbed hold here,
spread north, each branch
eager as a child’s probing hand
reaching to the ice cream counter
for summer’s sweet nectar.

Take it in. Dig the honeyed layers
from gravel down to limestone bed,
sifting fragments of Saxon farms,
to trail history’s hard, glittering spoor.
Because this is the land.

These are the threads.

Salad Bowl  – Cathy Garrick

Beeston, a banquet of curious folk;
The Last Post, the librarians hula hooped with clouds of smoke.
In The Star, they peruse their books;
Patrons from Denison Street and Inham Nook.
The ghosts of Beeston flicker as bygone maquettes,
while the living cruise through on mobility scooters and cigarettes.
Charlie’s Barn, Pet Mart, The Lad’s Club knocked down;
But still a lovingly patchworked market town.
The high flyers fill their bellies;
While Fast Lane runs amok in odd wellies.
Chuggers, terriers, sots and tots,
A melange of Adidas and Birkenstock.
Gaelic tones ring out from the greengrocers nearby;
Beckoning buyers to brussels, beans and broccoli.
Occidental, accidental, academic and Eastern,
The beautiful salad bowl that is Beeston.

The Tattoo – Leanne Moden

If I could paint this town onto my skin
I’d load my brush with countless memories.
I’d struggle to decide where to begin.

After all, it’s hard to place a pin
into a state of mind: a reverie.
If I could paint this town onto my skin

it would take courage and some discipline;
a bravery not seen for centuries.
I’d struggle to decide where to begin.

You see, nostalgia breeds the saccharin,
and true reflection comes through lack of ease.
If I could paint this town onto my skin –

contemplating all that we have been;
the fleeting glance of all that we could be?
I’d struggle to decide where to begin.

Excuses wearing tracing paper thin
I guess I’m just not one for artistry.
If I could paint this town onto my skin
I’d struggle to decide where to begin.

POETRY ROUND-UP

ZINES EXHIBITION
Free, now until Sat 21 April, Beeston Library
Showcasing zines made by the public and school pupils, including anthologies of poems developed with poet Andrew Graves

FAMILY POETRY (Short course)
Free, 25 April – 23 May, 16:00-17:30, Beeston Library

THE POETRY HOUR WITH HENRY NORMAL
Free, Wed 25 April, 6pm, Beeston Library
Enjoy (and potentially perform) poetry with Henry Normal and Pete Ramskill, as part of Nottingham Poetry Festival

CREATIVE WRITING THROUGH POETRY (Short course)
£36, 5 June – 10 July, 10:00-12:00, Beeston Library

JM 

Beeston’s Own Poem

Since launching Buzzword: A Poem for Beeston at the start of August, the past month has been filled with Beestonians and others sending their poems in…

All of these were collected, numbered, put into four groups and then presented anonymously to our eagerly awaiting judges who had the unenviable task of choosing a winner. They produced a shortlist of 12 poems, a selection of which is published in this issue, with others to be published in future issues.

We were delighted and impressed by the entries we received and the quality of poetry entering the Buzzword inbox. There are some truly heartfelt and altogether brilliant poems which go a long way in expressing our community spirit and why this town is a great place to live, work, grow up and make memories.

We have two winners, one from each category. Our under 16s winner is Ava Waring, 12, for her poem ‘What do you see?’. Our over 16s winner is Cathy Grindrod with her poem ‘The Beekeeper’. Well done to both winners, you’ve done Beeston proud.

JM

Buzzword: Beeston – poem by Jade Moore

Beeston (part one)

It’s lying in bed and knowing exactly which train just went by
(because I live in the Rylands and the train tracks are right behind)
it’s the 25 past going to Matlock so I stay in bed till half past.

It’s the too early too loud sound of a helicopter going over my house
and I’m thinking it’s gonna land on the roof
when really I know it’s going to that field between the tram and train tracks.

It’s multiple texts on my phone from my mum saying ‘are you coming up Beeston?’
And it’s arranging to meet on the benches by Tesco.

It’s being half-dressed (or half undressed) and wondering if I’m being looked at
like in that novel The Girl on the Train, a book that was strangely relatable.

It’s walking down my street passing houses I grew up with
most of them with the same people inside
and it’s seeing my ginger cat race by because instead of leaving, I should feed him.

It’s sticking my headphones in and listening to the same songs I
did when I was a teenager, walking up to Beeston a one person Black Parade.

It’s knowing, from home to the high street, where all the unlucky three grates are
and avoiding them automatically.

(yeah I’m one of those people, blame my sister she started it)

It’s waving to the driver of the Eighteen bus as I go over Plessy bridge,
and seeing the love of my brother’s life as she’s on her way to co-op for a shift.

It’s waiting at the Queen’s Road crossing knowing that when the cars behind me move,
the green man will come on soon and I can continue

and end up walking by that window decorated with seasonal displays: it’ll be Hallowe’en soon
and I can’t wait to see what they create.

It’s looking at my reflection in Amores and saying I’ll go there soon
but I never do, cause I guess I’m too romantic and I want it to be a date.

It’s getting to the traffic lights just before Tesco and feeling sorry for the cars who have to wait
because look there’s a tram coming, and which one’s it gonna be?

Is it D.H. Lawrence, Alan Sillitoe, Vicky McClure, or any of those other big local Nottingham names?
I feel a rush when it speeds up then I look to my left

and the 36 is on its way, I’m not catching that one today but I still appreciate all those journeys I made,
the books I read, the friends I bumped into and the conversations we had.

It’s walking by Tesco, and that empty bit of land,
and it’s seeing my mum sat waiting, just where I knew she’d be.

It’s calling those benches Bench Club, cause we’re there all the time,
and it’s saying hello then sitting down beside her for five minutes
before we both get up and walk down the high road…

Beeston (part two)

It’s hearing the price of strawberries over the noise of people buying them,

it’s walking into WHSmiths and looking at books even though they’re cheaper at Tesco,

and it’s going into New Look cause they’ve always got a sale on,
and coming out with two t-shirts: one that says ‘boys whatever, cats forever’ and the other:
‘I need space’.

It’s waiting in Boots for some tablets, or browsing make up I don’t wear,
then ending up in Poundland buying everything I didn’t go in for.

It’s looking in the windows of Rudyard’s in case I see someone I know,
then forcing myself past Thornton’s because I’ve got plenty of boxes at home.

It’s buying a new diary from Ryman’s, because that’s where I’ve always got them from,
and hoping they never get rid of that notebook, because I’ve made a home in those pages.

It’s telling myself I shouldn’t go in Oxfam Books, cause I’m there on Wednesday’s anyway
and I’ll only buy more books, but I go in and look at the poetry
and they still don’t have any e.e.cummings.

So in frustration I go across the street to what was the Beeston Bookshop,
and is now Book Land
and I pick up a tome for £1 that’ll sit on a pile at home for a while
but still isn’t e e cummings (and they don’t have him either.)

It’s ending up where I always end up, in The Bean.
And it’s getting loads of stamps on my card because I’m there every day.

And it’s writing, or reading, or meeting, or just drinking,
but here I’m surrounded by people who know Beeston.

So it’s being on my own in a cafe, and knowing I’m not alone,
because I get my shopping from Sainsbury’s,
and I buy too many books from Tesco,
and I have to divert to Lidl for the pastries,
and I’ve never known a high street without a beeman,
or a small town with so much going on.

So I stick my headphones back in
and pretend I’m a performer and that the whole of Beeston is singing along.

 

Jade Moore

Buzzword: A Poem For Beeston Winner (Under 16s)

What do you see? 

When you look at Beeston, what do you see?
I see a kind community,
A diverse group of people,
All being friendly.

I see a handy, handful of shops,
Sometimes selling things you
didn’t know you needed,
Or something you want but can’t find,
To buy some strawberries you will be pleaded.

I see an arty, army of artists,
Ready to take on Paint a Pot,
Always getting a glossy coat,
But watch out, the kiln can be hot.

I see a busy, bustle of builders,
Rushing to finish the trams,
Having a coffee and an egg cob at breaks,
The tram weighs a few thousand kilograms.

I see a meaningful, mob of musicians,
Ready to show off their confidence,
Blocking out any bad comments,
Just wanting to make a difference.

Now go back to the question,
When you look at Beeston, what do you see?
I hope this poem has changed your mind,
Because I hope you see the same as me.

Ava Waring (aged 12)

  • 1
  • 2

Contact Us
I agree to the Beestonian using my data to process this order as per their Privacy Policy. I also understand that the Beestonian will send one e-mail letting me know when new editions are published. I understand I can opt out at any time by using the 'unsubscribe' link.
reCAPTCHA

BEESTLY TWEETS: