Diary; 4th Dec 2018

And the party season rumbles on. Met up with Chris S yesterday for coffee. He’s into supporting the poetry theme through tech in a big way. Its easier for me to have people around who can do this stuff. But, it reminds me to do more video, get into podcasting and stuff.

The night was spent in an Indian restaurant in High Barnet with pals. There were handshakes and hugs a plenty. Came away with a new email address and an idea to form a Karamel Club invites list – even the artist needs filthy lucre.

Booked our first festival tickets for next year.
Got my first two paid gigs for next year

Refused a payment from an organisation

Got interesting twitter responses to the idea of using poetry to raise the profile of disabled people’s rights – use social media to raise my own profile to get a message out


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Diary; 3rd Dec 2019

Early festive greetings for today the International Day Of Disabled People. Its party season. Must find reasons to celebrate.
Yesterday, sitting in the library idly flicking through electronic communications an email inviting a possible return to the Strawberry Fair. The theme this year is Love. I loved the fair last year. I offered to put together a new show. I would love it if they accepted my idea and I would love to go back. The show will be called Still Love Movements. I imagine taking the big tent this time.
So, i felt chill enough to accept an invite to a house warming. Good friends. Good food. Good party.
Today with  my curatorial hat soaked through with rain I paid witness to two great poets at the celebration for our International Day in Islington. I learned a new technique to employ when stuck sometime as I was with yesterdays strange Grapefruit instruction from Yoko. Got to talk to one of the poets. He does something I have dreamed of doing. Donate my poems, delivered to street actions. Anyone up for a session at Speakers Corner.


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Declaration 15 – What is nationality?

DSC_0057Article 15.
  1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.

  2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

My black country roots
Have been exceeded by the bark
Of my Crouch End Life
Though the accent
The team remain
This is my life
My time
My village
A place belonging happened
Friendship, known faces
A time to be included

Unlike other labels cast aside
English, British,
So what does nationality bestow
The right to speak for the village
The right to oppose unwanted change
The right not to be silenced by power
Not to be outvoted by right wing facists
Racists voting on anti immigration tickets
The need to be welcoming
As I was when I moved
When I myself became
Welcome in Crouch End

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Diary; 27th Nov 2018

Check out the exhibition at the Photographers Gallery. The Roman Vishniac one on the Jewish diaspora. Photos from the 30’s, pre war, disappeared communities, the development of the ghettos, internment camps, displaced communities, war wreak-age, refugee immigration (as then so today), learn how Jews came together, as a community in support of their own community, find out about their organisations, the journeys taken, the families parted, the people who survived and those who didn’t. A compelling story.

If you have the time after that, take a hike up oxford street, turn down new bond street and stop off at the halycon gallery to learn more about bob dylan and his achievements in art. The man did this, did that, did the other, setting lessons and benchmarks along the way. Consider his true name. Zimmerman. Reflect on that from the exhibition you saw before.

I am thinking podcasts may be next for me. I have the information PT sent me earlier in these few weeks. But today I need to do my first self directed video for my application to the Clore Leadership fellowship.


Anyone know how to download from messenger so i can keep this

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Diary; 26th Nov 2018

Started sliding into a low mood recently.

Thank god therefore for the Highgate Society Poetry Group which I seem to lead.

Some lovely things
1) John Black designed us a leaflet. It looks well classy. Couple of things I wouldn’t want on it if it went forward but some lovely wording that I would never have thought of.
2) Gwyneth Wilson did a response poem to a painting she had done. She had the painting made into a card and gave it to me though on the back it says; christmas and new year greetings to Richard and his poets. Below this a line reads ‘Good fortune to walk this way to share this moment’.

My leadership was reasonably well tested today. I responded by taking control of a situation in such a way that no one knew I was doing it by using short poems that fitted the problem and short poems that I remember. What I enjoyed about this was not in using deflection but calling in on something i had been thinking about using poetic devices as introductions to the next act. This time it worked for me.

I also confirmed something else I’ve been noticing. Quickness of thought. I rarely edit my work. Except when performing. The edit is a change of word to get past a stammering block. I learned this a long long time ago but i’ve never been particularly positive about it. Again it works for me.

I responded to a Highgate Society Poetry Group Poetry Challenge, decided to take the challenges forward on my DAO blog, and read Martin and Signs; Eugenically Euthanistically Murder. I think I read well.

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Diary; 22nd Nov 2019

Goodness. I’m tired. Spent a working day at a Care Quality Commission Co-Production meeting. I’m not used to this level of concentration anymore. Have to decide whether to give up real work for ever or to get a job. Build my energies up again.

But what a great day for me. Meetings, greetings, lets go round the table say who we are and what we do. A National Partner Organisation, CQC Staff, Care Providers, Experts By Experience and me, smiling and pronouncing slowly, ‘I’m an emerging Socially Engaged Activist Poet. Hoots. What fun. Surprise, excitement. You wouldn’t necessarily get one of those at one of these meetings – not unless you’re Dolly Sen. Anyway it gives me permission to gob off as well.

I’d like to gob off some more but will, from time to time, keep my powder dry. There’s always something more important.

It’s lunch time and the National Partner Organisation is talking to me, taking a real interest in my history and what i do. I’m telling her about last night, why i prefer to be doing this, how its about realising dreams. I’m talking performing at her events, conferences, facilitating workshops, getting people to express something else in another way.

I promise to give her my contact details. I write them out giving my titles (biog) too and pass them across the table. Disappointment. They thought I was writing a poem. As it happens I have one in my bag…. unpublished. Its coming up as a part of my 100 Meters theme. They like it. They want to know if i’m published. I tell them i’ve got a zine going through publication. They want my website. I tell them about my author page on Disability Arts Online.

Something may come of this. I am turning into a sales person for myself. I am exploring opportunities. Life of no work working fine.

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Diary; 21st Nov 2019

Woke up
The boss is sick in bed. Made her tea.
Applied for two jobs. Both only offer one day’s work. Its enough for me. Promises income whilst i continue to pursue my emergence as a socially engaged activist poet.
Looked up the theme for my next poem. Its a Declaration based on  an article from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its for the Hornsey Town Hall Facebook Group where I am a poet in residence. Poetry for conservationists. Poetry for conservation. Brexit is in the news again. There will be no poems for conservatives.
Caught up with my social media duties.
Had a meeting with Collage Arts and another Poet. We poets are going to be curating events at the Karamel Club next year. Paul Lyalls will be running the successful Poetry and Poppadoms. I’m running a new inclusive event called REaD Rhymes Live using poet contacts involved in disability arts. I asked for more money for transport. Collage Arts gave it to me. I asked for further help. A steady mic. Overhead projection for people who want to use it. Got it. This works for me.
Picked up some shopping on the way home. The boss is still poorly. Did more shopping. Went home again chose 3 poems for a new for me open mic – ‘You’re Hysterical‘. There is no time for rehearsal. I’ll read up on the tube.
Great event. Warm Reception for Acorn; Three Wishes, Here I Am, and Signs; Defined. Wendy Young and Andrew Rea were as strong as usual. They are booked for REaD Rhymes Live.
Got home in time to enthuse to the boss. Sat with my emails. Wrote to my editor regards my first zine and application to the Clore Leadership Programme. Colin Hambrook is the best. Started this diary.

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