Wednesday, 1 April 2015

BBC World Service / Click Radio: 'Here's a poem about space'

Here’s a poem about space

Here’s a poem about space 
And the race to live on Mars
A poem about space travel
Sustaining life beyond the stars

Does this poem begin
In a galaxy, far, far away
Or does it start with one giant leap
for mankind, one hot summers day
July nineteen-sixty-nine
Or does it begin with the pyramids
The first architects and astronomers
Measuring space and time.

Do you remember when
Your spaceship was the top bunk bed
Wearing tin foil as your space cloak
And your mum’s colander on your head
Do you remember when the dog was Chewbacca
Your plaits were like Princess Leia
Your light-saber was the broom handle
And space was fiction, far, far away from here

Now humans will be Martians
Imagine that, man will live on Mars
Each night they’ll watch two moons rise
And Earth will be one of the distant stars

Here’s a poem about space
And the race to live on Mars
A poem about space travel
Sustaining life beyond the stars

I’m listening to Gustav Holst 'The Planets'
Picturing swirling clouds of red and iron ore
Violent dust storms on the rusty planet
And Mars the Roman God of War
The namesake of the month of March
Son of Jupiter, father of Rome.
How can they live in harmony on Mars
When we don’t live in harmony at home?
How will we supply and maintain
A new human colony in the sky,
When we drain and frack and suck
Planet Earths resources dry?

Science is the human mirror image of nature
And so then is music and books and art
Spending billions to launch a rocket of hope
While we wreck and rip this world apart

Here’s a poem about space
And the race to live on Mars
A poem about space travel
Sustaining life beyond the stars

And now David Bowie’s in my headphones
Mickey Mouse has grown up a cow
I still don't understand that lyric
But I bet the Martians will somehow

Man’s obsession to conquer outer space
Is as long and old as time and tide and rock and sea
From the first moon bathing caveman
To the earliest philosophy

But - 
What if the night sky is a black blanket
And pin-prick moth-holes are the stars
We’re living in a giants fruit bowl on a grape we call Earth
And that tangerine is Mars.

(c) Salena Godden 2015

New news just in...
 There is a vyclone video of the poem, click here

We've got so many brilliant parties and gigs and festivals 
coming up this springtime - See you there!
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Monday, 30 March 2015

Book Club Boutique: London Book Fair After Party

On April 16th 2015: The Book Club Boutique invite you to a vibrant showcase of phenomenal literary talent, the latest new books, new authors and new voices. All served with the finest cocktails in the lush surrounds of the elegant Vout O Reenees private members club in East London. If you are visiting the city for the London Book Fair  and if you're a book lover, please do come and join this party, for the best of the Book Club Boutique's Books, Booze and Boogie-Woogie

This April we're thrilled to be curating live readings from two fresh and exciting, eagerly anticipated new novels, both published this London Book fair week: Paul McVeigh's 'The Good Son' and Xavier Leret's 'The Romeo and Juliet Killers'

We'll also hear new poetry from prize winning poets Lewis Buxton and the reigning champion Young Poet Laureate of London Aisling Fahey. Plus new work from notorious Book Club Boutique hosts Salena Godden and Michelle Madsen

There will be a live music from Delirium Tremens, treating us to delicious songs from their latest folk noir release. Plus we'll be drinking and dancing through the night to top tunes from The Book Club Boutique DJ Kevin Richards, and all for just £5 on the door, 7pm 'til late. Click here to join our facebook page for more updates or find us on twitter @bookcboutique 

Other events also coming up this spring...

Monday, 23 March 2015

"Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear." Words Not Wars and other good news...

I am going to start this week by writing about how much I love your children. All of your teenagers. Every single one of your brilliant and beautiful kids. Today I even love the screaming toddlers that were tearing around my pub throughout the rugby and my Saturday afternoon pints. The kids are alright. Stop the press, hold the front page, there are some amazing things happening in the playground and for the first time in a long time I have hope.

Last week I worked alongside brilliant author Adam Marek mentoring the First Story competition winners at Arvon, Totleigh Barton. There we were, under cream tea skies, in the middle of the Devonshire countryside, work-shopping poems and stories, with hazy sunshine and the birds singing for the first days of spring. It was a fantastic landscape, the vernal equinox, and to top it all there was a lunar eclipse too. But these teenagers were no ordinary teenagers, these were First Story students, these were a hybrid super group of super talented young people producing the most outstanding poetry and prose all week. They were so inventive and imaginative, funny and kind, this was a truly remarkable week, filled with a lot of laughing and inspirational moments. 

His piece was chosen by a panel of esteemed judges out of over 3,000 entries received from across the country, and was published in The Sunday Times, please click here to read it.  

Eerie misty eclipse at Totleigh Barton

Today I feel as though I have peeked into a world of creative and colourful butterflies, a future that is bright and fresh and diverse, and about to spill out and all over the old black and white television world view. You’d better get ready. There is no black and white vision in the future, there is a huge blue sky, a million shapes and colours, without  boxes and limitations. 

The guest speaker for this Arvon week was award-winning author Tim Bowler who was utterly inspirational. Tim read beautifully and he spoke about the journey of writing, I recall him telling us that nothing is wasted, that without the failure and the mistakes we wouldn’t get to the good stuff. His try, try, try again approach rang so true. He also talked about the students being at a most exciting time of their lives, their creativity and productivity and I couldn’t agree more.

I wonder why we aren’t listening to teenagers more. Perhaps we should consider lowering the age of voting. Why not? We already pressure teens to think about their futures, to decide what to study and do for the rest of their lives at that age, why not give them a vote to decide who rules this country too, give them the power to vote against the powers who are cutting all their benefits and nicking their funding. After all it is the kids that we will leave behind to clean up all this mess. Unless we all go green, stop fracking, stop playing war, stop blatantly killing and polluting everything, we simply won’t have any planet left to vote on. There aren’t many politicians I believe in much anymore, do you? I have always used my vote but I’m currently find it hard to tell the difference between real life politics, mud slinging and media hype, and an episode of House of Cards. 
We should just admit it, we are rubbish at this, lets just bring in the young people. And as I write that I picture The Houses Of Parliament inhabited and ruled by a diverse group of teenagers nurturing a future that really is actually better for everyone. Imagine that. A future without boxes, without labels, without being ruled by corruption and old beefs from the 20th century, the end of the old school old boys club, a government selected without privilege and peerage. A fair system based on saving the environment, sowing the seeds of peace and making a better and safer world for future generations. Ah! There I go again, being all idealistic and getting carried away again, that’s what happens when you spend an idyllic week writing poems and watching young imaginations growing. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.

When I returned to London I went to Camden’s Barfly to do a gig to support the brilliant WORDS NOT WARS event - This campaign has been started by 13 year old Bluebelle Wednesday Carroll. WORDS NOT WARS has been created because as Bluebelle said yesterday - WORDS CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE  - the charity is all about setting up pen pal pairings with school children here in the UK writing letters with children in refugee camps. I think this is the best thing on the internet.

It was a great matinee of music and poetry performed by teachers and fantastic school students. The wonderful Ed Harcourt played live. The poet and journalist Jamie Kelsey Frye spoke eloquently about the cause and the need for hope, that with hope we have everything. I read an excerpt from SpringfieldRoad, choosing a chapter which was evocative of memories of the first days of spring in childhood. And then the whole event ended with the WORDS NOT WARS song, an anthem written and played by Bluebelle, her brother Cassidy and the WORDS NOT WARS choir pictured below. Not a dry eye in the house.   Please help the WORD NOT WARS campaign and support the crowd fund here.

Thank you to everyone at Arvon and First Story and Bluebelle and the WORDS NOT WARS crew that made this past week so magical and so full of light and hope. I am so excited to have met you all. Since Friday I have been inside this story: What if that wasn't an eclipse, but just a giant changing the lens on the camera they use to observe us and our minuscule bacteria life. What if that eclipse was just a slow motion image of a giant’s thumb obscuring the sun as he changed the lens of the camera they use to watch us as we multiply to extinction on this doomed Petri dish bacteria planet. What if the sun is a camera? OK. Ok Ok. Well if that’s true then with these extraordinary young people on this bacteria planet, the one thing we all have to share is a germ of hope, spread the germs, spread the good news, hope springs eternal. 

latest radio links:

Resonance FM: radio interview /  Little Atoms podcast here