Wednesday, 6 August 2014

"He Brews Coffee" - a poem written and performed by Damon Lord

Introducing a new feature on my website, here's a video of me performing a poem. I'll add new videos as and when the opportunity arises.

Today, we have "He Brews Coffee". Conflict and coffee are on the menu in a coffee shop, as a metaphor for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He Brews Coffee

A Poem written and performed by Damon Lord


I want to drink my coffee in peace.
I want to just sit here, quiet, happy.

I am weary.
I have endured.
I am in pain.

You sit smoking, at the next table.
You keep hitting me.
Again. Again. Again.
You loudly proclaim for all to hear:
You want to kill me.
Why won't anyone do anything?

I am weary.
I have endured.
I am in pain.

They ignore:
my bruises,
my wounds,
my cuts,
my broken parts,
Wilfully damaged by your senseless, vulgar, pernicious rage.


I do not want this.
I want peace.
But no one will do anything to help.
No one.

I offer you my coffee to share.
You smash the cup in my face.

I have to defend myself.
I do not want to cause hurt.
I tell you I will fight back.
I give you so many chances to avoid this,
But you only rage:
“Come at me, bro! Come at me!”

I rise, strike precisely.
It pains - me - to hurt - you -
My brother from the next table.
I break your little finger.
Angrier,
You slide back down
Raining death threats on me.

I am now safe.
For now.

I do not want coffee now.
It tastes too bitter.

Everyone looks at me.
They have ignored me until now.
You cry to them:
I am the aggressor.
They ignore:
my bleeding face
my shattered coffee mug
my bruises,
my wounds,
my cuts,
my broken parts,
Wilfully damaged by your senseless, vulgar, pernicious rage.
They see only your broken little finger.
They call me names, call for action against me.
I have endured. I endure. I will endure.
I only fought back in defence
When I could endure no more.
Yet they say: I'm in the wrong.

I will rise above this.
I always do.

I am tired,
I am thirsty,
I am weary.
I have endured.
I am in pain.
I am scorned.

But I am strong in spirit.
I am a survivor.

I want to drink my coffee in peace.
I want to just sit here, quiet, happy.
Maybe, one day, we could do this together.


Copyright 2014, Damon Lord
All Rights Reserved

Monday, 4 August 2014

"Few Will Remember You" - Remembering World War I

Tonight it's the 100-year anniversary of the beginning of World War I. Earlier this year, I wrote the following poem for the Worcestershire Poet Laureate competition on the theme of "Prelude to War".


Few will remember you
by Damon Lord


Get your kit together, lad, sign up with this pen.
Kiss goodbye to sweethearts, chum, say you'll meet again.
Get your act together, mate, have courage now and then.
Get your head together, boy, we'll make you all into men.

And it's off to war you go, lads, fresh battles to fight anew.
For when you're dead and gone, son, few will remember you.

You will be fighting hard, lads, but know that's just the start.
Work out your survival plan, and keep your uniform smart!
In the grand scheme of things, you'll play a tiny part.
The world will stop but for a moment, when a bullet strikes your heart.

And it's off to war you go, lads, fresh battles to fight anew.
For when you're dead and gone, son, few will remember you.

Here's the battle plan, lads, take a good look at this graph.
Drawn up by a general, and his clever office staff.
He's got his place in a history book, perhaps a page and a half.
And you? Your name may be engraved on the village cenotaph.

And it's off to war you go, lads, fresh battles to fight anew.
For when you're dead and gone, son, few will remember you.



Monday, 2 June 2014

Appearances June 2014

This month I'll be performing at a number of venues. On 12 June, 2014, I'll be at the Old Rectifying House, Worcester, at 7pm where Tim Cranmore, the Worcestershire Poet Laureate, will be launching his new book, "Barred". Polly Robinson will also be giving leading a reading of her booklet collection of poems on Chatterton, and I will be reading "The Father".

Worcestershire LitFest and Fringe begins on 20 June, 2014, and I'm participating in a number of exciting events throughout the festival. For more info on the festival, head on over to www.worcslitfest.co.uk - it promises to be better than ever this year, as we head into the fourth year, with a fresh, passionate, approachable, selfless, friendly and highly talented team at the helm this time.

On Friday 20 June, 2014, at 7pm head on down to the Worcester Guildhall, where Tim Cranmore's successor will be chosen, as I am one of the six finalists for the Worcester Poet Laureate 2014-15 competition. I wish the very best of luck to all participants, because whoever wins, we are assured of a wonderful night and a talented winner. Tickets are £4.

Later that Friday night, also on 20 June, 2014, head on over to the other side of the river, to the Old Hills, Callow End, where a midnight poetry walk is taking place, including readings by yours truly. It is with some excitement and fear that I approach this event, because I can't see in the dark, but it will also be an invigorating new venue, doing poetry in the open air! It is something I've not done before, so I hope it doesn't rain!

Next, head on over on 25 June, 2014, to 42 at Drummonds, New Street, Worcester, doors open at 7pm, where I'll be reading on one of the most outstanding nights in the genre calendar, as it's the 42 Festival Special.

On 26 June, 2014, head back to our familiar venue of the Old Rectifying House, Worcester, for a poem from my forthcoming poetry collection "Billy". I'll be performing this at SpeakEasy Worcester.

To finish off the week and the month, we're back in Drummonds on 29 June, 2014 from 5pm onwards to take part in the Worcestershire Poetry Slam 2014. It promises to be a great night, with numerous well-known and new poets from across the region competing for the title. It'll be the first Slam I've participated in, and I'm looking forward to it immensely!

And after that? I'm going to have a long rest... until next month.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Barcelona: showing how location can also be a character

I visited Barcelona last year, with my wife and son. It's a big urban city with high-rise buildings lining every street. Most every street is a wide, bright boulevard, and it has beautiful fountains and splendid greenery in most avenues and at major junctions. Those streets that are narrow are mysterious dark alleys leading to intriguing restaurants, caf├ęs, bars, shops, galleries and museums. It has a thriving Catalan culture and language, and is a hotbed of politics, Catalan and Spanish. It's also famed for hosting the 1992 Olympic Games.

Maybe this update isn't about writing or any of my works. Or maybe it is. What I want to say is that places are often just as important as people in writing. I often think when writing fiction that a place can be as important as a character, and in fact can be a character in themselves. Barcelona has a relaxed character, but a fiery nature bubbles just beneath the surface and could easily be unleashed, as the history of Barcelona shows.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Forthcoming appearances May 2014

It's going to be an exciting month, this month!

Book Launch of "Portraits in Prose" by Andrew Owens.

On Thursday 22 May 2014, I'll be at Drummond's at 7:30pm (it's a venue that's extremely friendly to us literary types!), Worcester.

Andrew Owens will be launching his debut book of short stories, "Portraits in Prose". I'll be doing a few short pieces in support of Andrew's big night. I strongly urge you to come along and pick up a copy, or purchase via Kindle here.

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42 May 2014

I'll also be putting in an appearance at 42 at the end of the month, on Wednesday 28 May 2014, at Drummonds, 7:30pm. I have an astounding new piece I'm performing for the night, one I've been working on for years, so pop along to hear it first!

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There will also be a very special appearance of me reading poems coming up next month, June 2014. I can't reveal details yet, but watch this space... it's going to be a very special night.