One of my poems, “Was That The Day“, was shortlisted in the Marriott Love Poems competition, which was run in March 2011. It wasn’t among the winners, alas, but encouraging all the same: a little tiny piece of recognition (for five minutes) :-).
It is interesting and challenging that “Was That The Day” is in the poetic form, Rondeau Redouble, in which the first stanza contains the refrain lines of the following four stanzas; the last verse doesn’t, but the whole set of six quatrains carries the rhyming pattern ABAB alternating with BABA all the way through. So to compose a poem in this form you need preferably twelve different words with the ‘A’ rhyme and another twelve with the ‘B’ rhyme! Strangely, this poetic form finishes with half of the first line, which, in this case, I made the same as the poem’s title.
Another poem I entered in this love poem fest was “Devotion” (aka “The Lamb”), a haiku triplet, which was the first to be published on the Marriott Love Poems weblog, under ‘Poems Galore‘. I really liked this one, probably because of its brevity, but hey-ho, who am I. That is not to say I didn’t like the one about my daughter’s wedding; it was probably because it was more directly a wedding poem.
(Read “The Lamb“, aka “Devotion”)
“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult”
As a young man, John was sporting and fit. It was then as much his recreational therapy as a cappella harmony singing, music, walking in the hills and writing is now. Playing Rugby Union for over twenty years, encouraged in the early days by a school that was run on the same lines and ethos as that famous Scottish public school, Gordonstoun, where our own headmaster had been as a senior master. This gave shape and discipline to a sometimes precarious early life.
His fitness was enhanced not only by playing rugby, but also by working part time jobs in farming, as a leather factory packer and security guard, but probably not helped, for a short time, selling ice cream!
His professional working life was spent as a Metallurgical Engineer, Marketing Manager, Export Sales Manager, Implementation Manager and Managing Director of his own company. Thirty five years spent, apparently in a creative desert, raising a family, pursuing a career and helping to pay the bills, probably enriched his experience, because his renaissance, on retirement, realised a hidden creative talent as a writer of prose and poetry. He also enjoys music, with a piano and a fifty-two year old Yamaha FG140 acoustic guitar. He sings bass in three a cappella harmony groups: as a founding member of a mixed voice chamber choir, Fox Valley Voices and barbershop quartets. He is also a member of one of the top barbershop choruses in the UK, Hallmark of Harmony (stage name of the Sheffield Barbershop Harmony Club), who, for the eighth time in 41 years, became UK Champions in 2019. He is also a would be (once upon a time or 'has been') photographer with drawers full of his own history, and an occasional, but lapsed 'film' maker. In his other life, he doubles as a Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle, Cousin, Friend and Family man.
What he writes is sometimes autobiographical, often political, sometimes dark and frequently pins his colours to the mast of climate change and how a few humans are trashing the Earth. In 2013, he published an anthology of the poetry (including his own) of an international group of poets, who met on Twitter in 2011. He produced, edited and steered the product of this work, "Petrichor Rising", to publication by Aquillrelle.
His sort of strap-line reads: “ iWrite iSing iDance iChi iVolunteer ”
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