Yes, and as the old saying "home is where the heart is" states, which I have modified slightly for the title, and the reason for this is because as four of the included photos show, I have been reading my poems, and talking to some lovely folks at various residential and care homes recently.
Many of these predominately older people have some great stories and life experiences to share, and as well as "thoroughly enjoying" (quote) my poems and talks, some of them told me of their lives and interests too. 
No names of course, but from one terrific lady now sadly blind, who wrote poetry, a "London Girl" who went to work as a "Land Girl" during the war, to various careers and experiences, everyone has a story, and some fascinating. All of the places I have been to have asked me back so I look forward to more wonderful sessions, with the added bonus that I get some money for Help for Heroes, the charity I support and fund raise for!
All of the last four places I visited to do my Gigs went very well and I have been invited back at all of them. To that end I will combine two threads here, as on request I have been describing recently some of the reasons that I write poems and what encourages and inspires me.
One of my most popular poems at readings is "Bear in the Window", so I will put it up first before explaining why and how I decided to write it… 

Bear in the Window

The teddy bear was hanging

By it’s neck inside the shop,

So I walked right in to tell them

That I had to make it stop.

A woman came to serve me

So I pointed out their fault,

That a Teddy bear was suffering

And by the neck was caught.

I really did not like to see it

And little kids would be dismayed,

To see that such a cuddly toy

Was so callously displayed.

I again told them the problem

And in a shop for charity,

A bear suspended by the neck

Was not very nice to see!

Trying to use some humour

And to get right to the nub,

I told them I was chairman

Of the "Bears protection club"

The woman looked quite shaky

And could tell that I was right,

That in a shop front such as this

Should not be a grisly sight.

A manager was called to see me

From a room right out the back,

Who very soon agreed with me

That she could get the sack,

For not seeing the situation

Or the teddy bear’s upset,

And very quickly released him

Saying she was in my debt!

Then starting from tomorrow

She would change the shop around,

Ensuring that all teddy bears

Would then be safe and sound.

If there’s a moral to this story

It’s that we must learn to care,

For each and every one of us

Starting with our teddy bear!

On the face of it, a simple enough story, but it is actually a true one, and goes back to when I was living in Kent and saw a bear hanging up by its neck in a charity shop. I did go into the shop to say I didn’t think it was very nice, when i got the distinct impression the lady thought I was a bit weird and was taking the Micky out of me. Not wise, and it was then that I came up with the "Bears Protection Club Presidency"!
 I remembered the story and wrote it in time for my first book publication in April 2014.
Another popular poem at my readings is "Nellie and I" which is again a true story and written as it occurred really, well with my usual style little twist!
The first part follows and is from my 3rd book….

Nellie and I

Nellie and I met out in Thailand

That I can never quite forget,

Along with other memories

On an island called Phuket.

We had gone to a safari centre

All proceeds to help animals there,

And I was really happy to note

An impressive level of care.

Especially the elephants at risk

All treated nicely and well fed.

With lots of activities to do,

Or be hunted outside instead.

Well that has conveniently tied those two threads, so onward again. 

A very quick mention to two recent "sign ups" with us so welcome to the lovely ladies Sarah W (weh eey gel), and "Nessy T", Hi there.


It has been very nice and thanks to all , to get continued congratulations on my book 5 getting "Runner Up" in Sussex Newspaper Book of the Year, so much gratitude again.

On mentioning The Sussex Newspaper Online, please check it out for my recently published monthly column offering called "Blues". Without being  too big headed I think it is a pretty good article. Let me know please!


I will put up the first part of another popular poem that has sold books (fourth) on that one alone. Cradle to the Grave..


Cradle to the Grave

A lilting voice from the past

That will affect you like no other.

Bringing love and goose bumps too,

For it can only be your mother.

The one who always from your birth

Stood by you with no quaking,

Though inside she cried bitter tears

If bad decisions you were making,

Or was given cause to be upset

At your failure to return the love,

Which will always be too late

After she is taken to live above.

That poem was written surprisingly quickly for Mothering Sunday nearly 3 years ago, and I think one of my better poems. Again please check it out in Book Four, "Life Scene in Verse" and let me know your opinion?


The February Open Mic night at Royal oak and Castle Inn Pevensey was very busy, a good night with an unusual (highlight? lol) slot of me singing as well as reading out some of my poems. A couple of "powerful" themes included bringing kind feedback.


The next poem "Kiss" has been well received both at Open Mic gigs and my regular read outs…

Kiss

A quiet, simmering, burning fuse

Maybe oh so easy to miss,

As with a soft awakening

To someone you’d love to kiss.

So the signs of any recognition

Or consent given from your muse,

Are sought for their confirmation

You are the one they choose.

Thus with heartbeats all a flutter

You slowly pucker up to brush,

That alluring sirens ready mouth

As you prepare to make them blush,

With that soft sweet sensation

Now blowing bubbles on your lips.

So you lean closer in together

Lest this precious moment slips.

Eyes tight shut to keep out the world

From your very own embrace,

Your bodies pulse fast and close

So you are now lost in space.

With bright stars and planets forming

Brilliant lights across the sky,

To transform your understanding

That you’ve just learnt to fly.


That poem was of course read out live last year by the excellent Lynn Parsons of "Mellow Magic" on from 8 pm to midnight Monday to Friday on Magic F M. Thanks gain Lynn!


Couple of jokes then, ready Tony F?


Good friend of mine who is deaf and dumb was recently upset when his wife left him for another man! He said he just didn’t see the signs…


An old "quickie" but little favorite of mine, with me running across a beach and accidentally treading on the back of a bloke making love to a woman on the sand! I wouldn’t even have known had she not shouted out "thank you"!!!

The bears are shouting out that they’ve not been mentioned much, but ARE in the photos included alongside one of all my six books, and the one of "Joy" which all my gigs and poetry world are bringing me, and seemingly others too. Nice…

Bears Empty Promise

Who’s been eating our porridge?

Ted n Beth would like to know,

When they come in for breakfast

After smelling food on the go.

But the porridge has all gone

The saucepan is scraped clean,

For though teddy noses smell it

There is nothing to be seen.

Only an empty dish and spoon

Still placed upon the table,

By another empty cookery jar

With “Porridge” spelt on the label.

This does not please our famous bears

Not one little bit at all,

For they’re just beginning to rue

Not getting up on their first call,

When they decided to lay back

And have another little sleep.

With no thought of repercussions

That now makes them weep.

For the breakfast cook has done

And won’t be making any more,

Of that delicious porridge

That most teddies will beg for.

And although the penny’s dropped

They should have jumped out of bed,

Their dad has scoffed the porridge

So they will go without instead.

But Ted n Beth have both learned

A precious lesson so sublime,

And will make sure they’re ready

For their breakfast the next time!


There IS a little twist and story to that particular poem, but for another time…


I think that is nearly the end EXCEPT for the news for "locals", that on Friday 1st March from 10.00 am onward through the day I will be having a stall at Tesco’s Langney Shopping Centre to collect for Help for Heroes and sell my books etc. Thanks to Irene and Seb, and all in advance at Langney Tesco.

PLEASE come and say "Hi"


With wonderful vibes then I remain "Often Imitated but NEVER Duplicated" as The Psychy Poet, whilst The Journey Continues with JOY!!! 


Cheers, and Love,


Laurie and The Bears xxx

 






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