NATIONAL POETRY DAY
First thing in the morning
I delete 83 pieces of spam,
download the five genuine emails.
Have breakfast, watch the news
the postman comes late
with a credit-card bill
two pieces of junk mail
an avant-garde magazine from New York,
a haiku sequence in Irish Gaelic and Spanish Catalan
and a book of short stories from Japan.
I shower and dress,
make tea and toast.
The storms of last night have abated
but the weather forecast tells of rain and gales.
I wonder whether I'm going to bother
going down to the shopping precinct
where I'm told there will poetry from 11 till 3
with jugglers and puppeteers on hand too.
The cleaners come today
they show up early.
Once the kitchen floor has dried
I cook a frozen pizza in the microwave
have it with carrots and green beans.
The weather seems fine so I venture out
with my overcoat on and a hat in my bag.
A performance poet is amusing
a group of primary school children
encouraging them to come on stage and recite.
There is a table staffed by the local library;
one of the women is reading an Argos catalogue
while the other seems to be promoting
their "trace your family-tree" service.
A piece of paper on the desk reads
"Haiku is a poem of seventeen syllables".
The children are enjoying themselves
most of the surrounding audience
are probably their parents or grandparents.
Not enjoying himself is the man
whose stall has been moved
to make way for the poetry circus.
He is trying to flog his stock of games consoles
but the poetry is drowning out
the sound of space invaders and pacman.
I leave my poems and camera
securely hidden in my bag,
walk off to the supermarket
do the shopping
take a taxi home
in time for "Countdown" and the snooker.
another 60 pieces of spam
and half a dozen genuine emails.
Poems for Britain on BBC2
clashes with “Eastenders”
so I video it.
I tune into Ian Macmillan's radio 4 poetic tour
and record that too for later listening.
It hasn't rained at all
Tomorrow I may or may not
catch up with the recordings
© Gerald England
Composed: Gee Cross, 9th November 2003
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