Morden Tower Poets

In this page we will be featuring a poem by poets who have read at the Tower.

Bill Griffiths 1948 - September 2007

Poet and Anglo-Saxon scholar and long time friend of MordenTower - will be deeply missed

In 1987, he obtained a Ph.D.in Old English from King's College London. He has since published a number of editions and translations of Old English texts. Bill was a prolific poet and had published widely in Britain and the United States. His most recent publication is Pitmatic: The Talk of the North East Coalfield.

cover of pitmatic

©After Basho’s Haiku

Hoo far is’t
Te waak te toon -
this clarty road an’ plashy weathor?

As if irises like
Bloom’d on mi feet
Me jonsy new sand-shoes wi’ whangs o’ blue

A happin’ o’ fog is aal noo thor is
Wheer warriors fo’t an’ dee’d, thor
Dreamin’ an’ ettlin’

Aa’ve te share me bed wi’ lops
An’ whiles
A big-bugger horse squoits near me pillow

Aa waaked strite inti th’ stife
O’ sharp-sunnin’ yaits
Wheer doon-bye lowp rare-fashed sea-watters

I’ th’ caller hint-end o’ th’ ’ear
Wese set wor hands ti riddin’ leeks an’ taties
’At mak simple scran.

Reed, reed’s th’ sun
’at recks nowt o’ th’ almanack.
On’y th’ wind knaas caad’s comin’

Mell’d inamang th’ weany shells
Aa seed clavver an’ vetch-corl
Rowllin’ amang th’ beach-waves

As tight-clamm’d mussels
Faal atwee eftor sommer,
It’s time ti flit.

Bill Griffiths

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John Hegley is widely known as one of Britian's top comic poets and has read at Morden Tower many times.

cover of Uncut Confetti

John's latest book Uncut Confetti has a strong autobiographical strand and a running thread of animal-related poems. There is the usual abundance of splendid drawings. Visit John's Website to find out more.

John has recently completed the following poem with a little bit of help from audiences he has met across the country. Morden Tower audience helped complete the remaining lines J-L in July 2007.

©ALPHABETICAL DISORDER

A poem is an axe and it's as choppy as an ocean
A poem is a box and it can have all sorts of stuff in
A poem is a clouded room, don't let the wet surprise you
A poem's a direction, let it take you where it's pointing *
A poem is an engine, it can really get you started
A poem is a fire, it can start up unexpected
A poem is a growbag and the world is its tomato
A poem is a haystack, go in and find the needle
A poem is an ironing board that you can use it for surfing
A poem is a jam jar with an angry wasp inside **
A poem is a kiwi fruit, its hairy on the outside **
A poem is a lettuce it has layers and a heart **
A poem is a a kind of map or possibly a chart
A poem is Napolean, its good at giving
orders***
A poem is a pillow, rest your head and start your dreaming
A poem is a quagmire, so get stuck in it for ages
A poem is a river, it will duck into an ocean
A poem is a sandwich, you can pick out all the filling
A poem is a telephone, you need a good receiver
A poem's unbelivable, but dreams of a believer
A poem is a vagabond, it's word, it's bond, just partly
A poem is a whittled stick, stop whittling for goodness sake
and throw the stick, the dog is sick of waitng
A poem is an xmas draw, so where did christmas go?
A poem is a yodel, it can call to missing mountains
A poem is a zip, its often part of something bigger-a pair of
trousers, a pajama case, a place of wordship perhaps

*From Johnthan in Grassing Stoke. ** Morden Tower Audience. *** Tony in Chelmsford the O was missing this was his suggesstion

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Tom Pickard, one of the Morden Tower's founders, and a poem taken from his latest book "The Dark Months of May" published by Flood Editions, Chicago 2004

Tom's new book Ballad of Jamie Allan is published by Flood Editions

cover of The Dark Months of May

© RAVEN BECK for K.S.

I ran across the fells to Raven Beck
heather, tufts of reed, rocks, shake holes
and jumped fences to get you a feather
and bring you back
from the driven sleep
where black birds fly in black air
and waters fall in black ravines
I brought you a feather
so you can speak with owls
bind root in rock with hawthorn
skim wind with peregrine
dance with the fox
and box with the hare