Friday, 13 May 2016

Sheer Poetry, Happiness on a Thursday in Whitley Bay

This week's  Poetry with Friends session in Whitley Bay library was perfect: two new attendees, a wonderful range of poems, good conversation and lots of laughter too.
Linda introduced us to the poems of Robert Crawford, Stella shared work by Degna Stone, Mark Waldron as well as her own work. Both she and Gail read some Emily Dickinson and we also heard work by Roger McGough, Stephen Spender, Gabriel Setoun, Stephen Crane, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Gail Curry and Edna St Vincent Millay. Oh yes and newcomer June read one of her poems too. Thank you, June and we hope to see you and Tessa again next time.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Branching out at Greenwolds Plant Centre @ Royal Quays Shopping Outlet

Something for everyone at Greenwolds
As a keen gardener with a love of working with natural materials as an artist, I was delighted to be asked to sell some of my creations at Greenwolds Plant Centre, by owners Adam & Fiona. Yesterday I  installed a selection of handmade felted items, including fairies, mobiles, brooches, artwork and our unique toadstools, as well as a selection of hand printed art cards. I hope to offer some workshops in the plant centre in the near future too, so keep an eye on their Facebook page or ours for details, as well as information at the centre itself.

Today I am busy in my own garden planting a few things I picked up at the plant centre, a favourite of which is 'arisarum proboscideum' otherwise known as the mouse tail plant, which  can heartily recommend for interest in a damp corner.

Mouse tail plants have extremely unusual chocolate-colored flowers that are cylindrical and sit below the leaves with only little “tails” visible. When flowers bunch together, they give the appearance of a family of mice, hence the name. Leaves are arrow-shaped and a glossy green color.
Mice appear in very early spring and reach a mature height of just under 6 inches with an interesting mat-forming habit. By August, however, in most locations, this plant becomes dormant.
Used commonly as a ground cover, this plant will spread quickly and is an excellent option for hard-to-fill areas.

Growing Mouse Tail Plants
Mouse tail is easily propagated by dividing the tubers when the plant is dormant. It enjoys morning sun and afternoon shade and in a moist location it will spread rapidly once established. It can be invasive, so if you do not want it to take over, plant it in a container. Happy gardening!


Friday, 22 April 2016

Congratulations Rowland & John ..... our newly published poets.......and you could do it too!

Our return to Tuesday evening Poetry with Friends came with a fanfare this week, as Roland has had one of his Haiku poems published by the American Journal of Haiku in issue 43. This comes as no surprise to any of us at Happy Planet as Rowland, newly retired is so full of creative enthusiasm and keen to explore all sorts of possibilities.... a big well done from all at Happy Planet. Not to be outdone, John is having a volume of his poetry and short stories published. I haven't read his short stories, but I love his poems because they tell of his life and loves, written in a gentle articulate way. We will let you know when his book is available.
Both have work on our page 'Our Own Writings' where you can find work written by anyone who attends Happy Planet

Rowland Hill

Snow-white butterfly
Floats by on a summer breeze
Slowly melts away

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Poetry with Friends - The Summer Term Begins ...... on a Thursday

Poetry with Friends re-commenced after it's Easter break with a lively session at Whitley Bay Library last Thursday. I wasn't able to attend myself, but a little bird told me they spent a lot of time catching up with each other due to the holiday break. Consequently there was not a great list of poems shared, but does that really matter among friends?
If you would like to join us, please do, you can find the details of the dates we meet here

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Oops there goes our Brithday and now for year three

If Happy Planet ever had a mantra I think this would be a good one

The last month has flown by with group meetings and workshops full of all manner of creativity. I don't mind admitting that recording all that is achieved at Happy Planet Creative Arts can be a little tricky at times, how I wish I had more than two hands at times. However as we have now celebrated our second birthday and have two new Directors in Elaine Cusack and Elaine Maugham, who have been supportive of me as well as Happy Planet, perhaps I will learn to delegate some of this. We shall be holding our first joint meeting shortly and will try and get to grips with how we shape the future of Happy Planet, I know we all share a common vision, but it's good to talk about how we might achieve that via different routes.

Don't think if you're not a director of Happy Planet you have no voice, we are always happy to listen to ideas from anyone who uses us, so please don't be shy in speaking up and talking to any of us about a creative idea that could be of benefit to the community. We can't promise to do everything but we can listen.

And of course, it goes without saying, if you don't believe you have any creativity, we'd like to talk to you, because we believe you all have an inner artist.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Love and all that mushy stuff .............. with a few well chosen alternatives

We at poetry with friends are mostly of that age when our memories can be less than reliable. Earlier in the week Roland forgot about his workshop, I lost a cheque and bank paying book and well the rest of the group forgot the topic of this weeks meeting....... well anyone can have an off day. We should have been using love and romance as our focus, it being close to Valentines day, but as Linda so eloquently put it, 'oh all that mushy stuff'. However, the range of poems we did remember to bring was lovely, varied and heart felt, read rather finely by silver tongued James, Roland and our new friend, Alan. Elaine added spice to the meeting with her tale of being a drug cartel witness in Hawaii ....I kid you not, meanwhile Gail recounted her tale of being mistaken for an IRA terrorist suspect.....Poetry with friends, well it's never dull, you should join us

Our next meeting is Thursday 18th Feb, Whitley Bay library, 11am - 1pm.

The list of poems we shared were as follows:

U.A. Fanthorpe - Waiting room

Ogden Nash - So that's who I remind me of

E E Cummings - Just spring

Roger McGough - Wistful haiku

John Cooper Clark - Nations ode to the coast

Edna St Vincent Millay - Sonnet

Christina Rossetti - Echo

Ogden Nash - Did someone say babies?

John Masefield - Sea fever

Barry Horn - Saying grace

Tennyson - Come not when I am dead

Carol Ann Duffy - Night marriage

Thomas Hardy - She changed me

Roger McGough - Cane toads

Ogden Nash - The porcupine

Stevie Smith - Lady Roque Singleton

Seamus Heaney - Digging

Dylan Thomas - Love in the asylum

J C Grant - Ships

Barry Horn - Sunrise

Monday, 25 January 2016

2016 .......... let's all get more creative this year

After what seems like a very long Christmas Break it was lovely to see the poetic friends reunited at Whitley Bay day time meeting. We talked of peoples intentions for the year and the majority to feel they wanted to be more creative ........some want to write more, some want to express themselves in new ways....... so watch this space.

We talked about how some of the poems we choose overlap with the Tuesday evening  and yet others are so different. We decided to invite everyone to nominate their five favourite poems to make a list of our top 50, so if you would like to join in please do. The closing date is March 1st.

The list of poems we shared was as follows:

Next meeting is Thursday 4th Feb, 11am at Whitley Bay Library

Mary Oliver - Starlings in winter

Brian Patten - A few questions about Romeo

Tom Kelly - Dreamers in a cold climate

Robert Burns - John Anderson my Jo

Elizabeth Jennings - A sort of Chinese poem

Ted Hughes - Wind

Wilfred Owen - On my song

Noreen Reece - Blood money

Roger McGough - Mybustconductress

W.H. Davies - Leisure

Judith Nichols - Haiku of the four winds

Ryokan - Zen poetry

Paul Wesson - Bravado

Roger McGough - A joy to be old

Moniza Alvi - A rival

Elizabeth Dariush - Still life

Douglas Gibson - The witnesses

David Essex - Religion

R S Thomas - Kneeling

Jean Kennedy - Silence

Langston Hughes - The dream keeper

Charles Causley - I am the song

Brian Patton - Seascape