The Festival

In a field somewhere, full of stars,
enchantment you could almost hug,
cupped in hands, with sparkle and dust,
you can carry it off in your pocket.
It’s magic, so catch some you must.

Catch a glimpse of follies too
enormous knitted daisies,
bluebells from yon Brobdingnag
bring you down to earth, coax a smile,
a tear in a song’s moving tag.

Nearby a winch wheel’s silhouette
casts shadows rumbling dark as night.
Here food to spare and racing sheep
yield a home grown breakfast, fresh
as the air that feeds its fare.

Amid the throng, unmannered crowds,
by day an unrelenting sun
glints from beads of sweat
that pour from a steward’s brow,
to sounds of string on fret.

A veil of purple haze on moors
a crown on green and rolling hills
dragonflies and butterflies greet
pink spotted sheep not far away
warmed by the simmering heat.

In a field somewhere, the sound of music,
here the family and other folk sing.
Cambridge beware of your conceit
size matters not to connoisseurs
here is where you’ll find their feet.

Under witch’s hats, the stage is set,
powered by love of music’s brew,
but here, no trouble; nothing jars,
here, the sun shines all day long
and Underneath the Stars.

© 2014 John Anstie
All rights reserved

(This was written five years ago, in response to a particularly special experience at the very first Underneath The Stars festival, in 2014. Originally a festival of folk and roots music it is now much more than that. It features two stages, one of them as big as any you’ll find, anywhere on the festival circuit; the second for standing or sitting on the grass, smaller and intimate, both under cover. The performances on both alternate between them. Still small, clean, intimate and very family friendly and special, this festival has so much culture to offer, including street theatre, workshops, the very best food and beer! And as a measure of all that it has to offer, they sold out of tickets over two months ago!

In less than two weeks, we will be attending for the sixth consecutive year, as volunteer stewards. Also a measure of how it draws us in every time and how great a job the Rusby family have done to make this little festival such a success.

Their website is here: Underneath The Stars festival)

About PoetJanstie

“Life is short and art long, the crisis fleeting, experience penniless and decision difficult” ~ Hippocrates. 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 ”
This entry was posted in Culture, Folk, Free Verse, Music, Pleasure, poem, poetry, recreation, Roots and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Festival

  1. MOMENTS says:

    I like the explanations that you always include under your poems.


  2. “What he writes is often autobiographical and frequently pins his colours to the mast.” I like that line! You are living the poets life!


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