My very first blog. I'm a virgin blogger. I wonder if anyone out there will even bother to read it. Well, I'm used to that, being a poet! So what is a blog? Is it a series of ramblings or a coherent article. is it a confessional or a grand statement of intent?

Initially, at least, I think I'll be blogging about what is happening with my writing and then give an example of it.

Last week I received an e-mail (new-fangled word for 'pigeon post') from Beaty Smith of Cor Cochion , the Red Choir. I'd met them while doing a reading at the launch of Arthur Scargill's party in Hay. Arthur was on good form, delivered a fine speech, touching on the environment and then drove off in his huge 4 by 4, without listening to anyone else. A few of Cor Cochion asked me then if I had any song lyrics and I did mention 'Chico Mendes' , given a great tune and performance by Riff Williams and his band Little Miracle decades ago.

Anyway, Beaty's e-mail reiterated their need for lyrics and I soon started 'on a roll', writing seven song lyrics in three days, some on the train from Radyr to Merthyr ( makes a change from sonnets!).

I have a long association with Cor Cochion, as do the Red Poets. One particular memory is of the time I almost made it as a songwriter. I was corresponding with Mike Peters of The Alarm when they were Wales's number one band. I sent him words about the Red Choir singing in Merthyr precinct and getting arrested for it ( a true story) , as part of boycotting S.African produce. Peters wanted to put my lyrics to music and also use Cor Cochion on his record ( a large, black object as circular as a CD). Unfortunately,Billy Bragg got there first and did a song with the Red Choir , so Peters lost interest and I never heard from him again! My dreams of a rock career had ended before they began!

Here is the first of the lyrics I wrote last week and maybe I should have stopped at this. If Cor Cochion aren't interested, I wonder if The Alarm are 'doing a Blur' and getting back together?

                          CLOSING    DOWN
They're closing down my town
the shops are put outside
the last factory's gone
like years ago,the last mine.

Where can I go for work?
nobody wants my skills-
never been one to shirk
I'd get a job on the tills.

Nothing but a hole on the hillside
where diggers churn every day -
it is deep and it is wide
and looks like a huge grave.

They're closing down my town
the pubs are shutting all the time -
while money-lenders grow strong
with a legal form of crime.

I'm scared for my children's future -
'What's the point of school?' they say
'when it's not success or failure
but who you know gets you pay.'

I'm scared my marriage will suffer
when we argue about money every day -
sometimes I think it's all over
trying to keep the bank at bay.

They're closing down my town
the weeds and rats are winning -
pride in our past of coal and iron
no longer means a thing.

Maybe, one day, opposite the entrance to Cardiff Indoor Market.........   


06/18/2009 11:42

Nice blog you got there, I will be following it closely. Regards, Steve.

Percy Gates
06/19/2009 07:37

As will I. Most humorus and interesting. That's two readers so far!

06/19/2009 08:54

Nice one Mike :)

Careful now
or you'll bebo
twittering your space
and booking
your face
and binging
and froogling
to keep pace...

11/26/2009 17:20


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