Poetry Slam – Y Theatre, Leicester

I entered my first ever poetry slam, yesterday. Indeed, it was the first time I have ever done performance poetry, so it was a bit nerve-racking.

This was following a brilliant workshop in the local library – USE YOUR LIBRARIES EVERYONE – with Rob Gee, which led to my first poem. Unfortunately, it only got mediocre marks, and I didn’t make it past the first round, but the whole thing was a learning curve and a great experience, with some fantastic local poets. Very high standard throughout – the standouts for me were a fantastic poem about the MPs expenses scandal and some amazing verbal gymnastics by the hugely talented Nathan Lunt. There was also a devastating little couplet by Rob Miller, whom I thought was very funny, but strangely his wit fell a little flat with the audience:

Sylvia Plath
Spent too long in the bath.

I then found out that this wasn’t actually how she died, but

Sylvia Plath
Spent too long in the oven

doesn’t rhyme.

Thanks to all the other poets who took part, to Rob Gee and Lydia Towsley for inspiration and to Emma Chung for some much-needed support from the audience.

As it was the Comedy Festival and close to Valentine’s day, I thought I would do some funny poems and finish with some lurve poetry. Here are my efforts:

It’s not easy, being a millipede.

It’s not easy, being a millipede.
I’m always glued to the telly
Waiting for the weather forecast
Consulting my barometer
Talking of isobars and fronts.
Impatiently waiting for the wind to pick up.

Then I put on my shoes.
Have you seen a millipede put on its shoes?
It takes a long time.
I step outside, feel the breeze on my back
I jig, cavort, do the foxtrot.
Strictly millipede come dancing.

But most of the time, when the air is still
I just crawl around on leaves.
And practice my steps.
It takes a lot of concentration.
It’s not easy, being a millipede.

What a load of rubbish!
I paid six good quid to come to the Y
And hear a lunatic prance about on stage
With some daft poem about millipedes.

Come back, I tell you. Its all true!
Don’t just take my word for it.

I wandered lonely as a clown,
My comedy shoes the way impedes
When in the beer garden of the Crown
I saw a host of golden millipedes
Swaying and dancing in the breeze.

What do you mean you’ve never seen a millipede dance in the breeze?
You try counting to 250, and still keep the beat
Or performing the cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha cha.
It’s not easy, being a millipede.


Then an alliterative and childish poem I wrote quite a few years ago.

Adam’s Amazing Apple-Eating Adventure

Adam’s amazing apple-eating adventure
Began brilliantly by a babbling brook.
Claudia the caterpillar contentedly curled,
Deeply dozed, deliciously daydreaming.
Eating extra-large eucalyptus
Flowers, found by the foraging,
Galloping, gallivanting, gargantuan
Harold the heavy hippopotamus.
Ivor the intrepid, insect-eating iguana,
Jumped jubilantly in the jungle.
Kevin the king cobra, coiled.
Lazily, lugubriously he lolled.
Millie the magnificent millipede
Noticed Nellie the not-so-friendly,
Obviously ostentatious owl,
Preening, as proud as a peacock.
Quentin the quagga quivered querulously,
Running Reggie the rhinoceros ragged.
Sylvie the serpentine snake, slithered. She
Turned to Terry the tiger in the topmost tree.
“Unicorns?” she uttered.
“Vultures? Vengeful vixens?
Why worry? We won’t wake up
Axel the excitable axolotl
Yet”. Yvonne the yak yawned.
Zacharia the Zebra zipped past
Yevgeny the yellow
Xiphias and Xerxes, an extraordinarily
Wide, wonderful, wiggly whale.
Venus the vilified vulture was very
Unimpressed. She ululated
To Terry, who, tired of her tittering,
Snoozed silently in the sunset.
Reggie reared up. “Refreshing rest and relaxation are
Quickly quaffed,” he quarrelled.
Polly the parrot pecked out pretty patterns
On the outmost outcrop of the orange tree,
Not noticing Nellie’s nervous nattering.
Meanwhile, Millie munched on a mangrove,
Leaf. Larry the lion leapt on a lizard,
Kind Kieran the kestrel caught a kite, and
Jennifer the jaguar did a joyful jig.
“Interesting,” she intoned.
Harold harumphed hideously.
“Good grief!”, gasped Geraldine the giraffe,
Frightening Freddie the frog.
Evelyn the enormous elephant ate excitedly.
Deeply dozing,
Claudia curled up contentedly.
Brilliantly, by a babbling brook,
Adam’s apple-eating adventure began.


And finally two love poems:

The Aeolian Harp (apologies to S T Coleridge)

I sing a song of love.
I call on the Muses, Bacchus and Orpheus
To woo, to seduce, to entrance.

I sing of the Aeolian harp
Caressed by wind. Joyful in
Its random song of nature, of beauty.

Struck by the landscape
Wind-plucked, self-composed
Music, in tune with the elements.

She turns to me,
With sky-blue eyes and windswept hair.
A wry smile flashes across her face.

“You make a lot of noise as well
Not to mention the smell, when you get windy”.


Bread and Roses

O woe is me. Cruel poverty.
I cannot shower you with roses,
Drench you in champagne or dress you in gold.
I can’t afford a lovely bonnet
But I can write a sonnet.
Feel the beat of those iambic feet.
Perhaps you would be mine to hold?

My face wears a frown,
I blame Cameron, Clegg and Brown
For I haven’t got the dosh
To buy expensive nosh.
Instead, I dip my pen
In poesy’s sacred well.
Delve deep into my heart.

This Valentine’s day
Don’t say it with flowers,
Say it with words.
The inconstant rose will wilt and die.
But words don’t need watering,
They are guaranteed to go straight to the heart.

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One Response to “Poetry Slam – Y Theatre, Leicester”

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