Monday, 23 February 2015


Trev Teasdel - A Short Autobiology!:

Trev was born in a rush of wind in 1951, down home Coventry, much to the surprise of the Countess Godiva and her horsemen. Here he etched his early song lyrics, wrote 'A Lotta Rain is Fallin' with Pete Waterman, ran Hobo, Coventry Music and Arts Magazine and the Hobo Workshop where the early Two Tone started in the basement below. In 1980, he came to Teesside to do a degree in the Humiliations and passed with honours - on through the Management Committee of Community Arts Middlesbrough, Teesside Writers' Workshop and the New Poetry Scene. He was performance poet turned co-editor of Voice of the North, co-founder of Outlet and the annual Write Around Festival and later the Writers' Cafe gigs at the ARC in Stockton and the Georgian Theatre. Along the way, he published The Escaped Poet, Poet Reprobate, Nightfall in Sorrento - anthologies of his poems and a Gnome Label album of his songs Songs From the Coventry Underground 2007. He won the Northern Voices Poetry Award in 2010.

DEBT CEILING                                                                   

I reached my debt ceiling long ago, 
dismissed my armies, 
closed down my parks 
and human zoo.

A world of phone calls,
false legal letters 
designed to frighten
from world banks and 
interplanetary leaders. 

Now my trains don't run, 
the buses are late, 
fuel prices levitate 
and politicians lie 
(what’s new!). 

I swing from the ceiling and 
owe a debt to no one. 
Money is a lie that we buy 
wrapped up in pie, cooked in the books
'til debts are skyscrapers high.

I'm packing up my subprime loans, 
lack of interest rates, 
credit agreements, promissory notes, 
commercial instruments (with the power of attorney) 
and moving to the debt free zone. 

Pass me my Stetson, saddle me a horse,
I plan to water the desert with poetic justice 
on nature’s globe 
where couplets rock in flower beds and 
bees are free and foxes flirt 
and badgers mate in congress.

Yes I reached my debt ceiling long ago 
in this blockbuster world 
full of shadow and sound, 
with conspiracies for plots 
and guns for compassion 
and storylines written 
by spin doctors on super yachts. 

My pockets are empty, my mind a goldmine. 
I am the treasury of earth without a dime to my name. 
I am the IMF of the idea bank, 
the FT index of a cooperative world 
where wars no longer radiate 
and poverty’s re-nourished. 

I return my all my debt notices to 
the bankrupt oligarchy, 
out of ideas 
out of cash, 
out of heart and 
out of mind. 
Yes, that's the situation - 
You’re loan funded world 
is in administration!

Nightfall in Sorrento

Sorrento -
The Communion of the urban puzzle
Where elegance is attitude
The fashion club of the urban groove
Eco-driven citizens

In slender tones of mobile silence
Nocturnal spiders in basement bars
Live the lust of the selfish gene

In Sorrento 

Spin doctored money blenders with hidden agendas
Crammed with fruit in the cave of clones
Lie low in Sorrento

In the wah wah cadence of Sorrento radiance,
Re-mortgaged estate agents with Vintage Bentleys
Sway in the breeze to nightfall’s synthful sassy jazz

Glow worm leprechauns in dust-down denim delights
Ageless and jazz-hot; hide behind enemy-lines

In Sorrento

Nightfall in sorrento
The civil disobedience of a New Era
The world in one city, refuelled and air-cooled.
Adidas Pre-Raphaelites on a Full English cutting edge
Predicting a riot in the chic chill-out of a power-pop city

The Revlon Accurist with pipe smoking planes
In his own back yard
Sails his skintight riverboat in the shimmering waters 
of Sorrento 

Escaping the chaos of a goose-pimpled Colditz
With his third wife escape plan
from the regional assembly of the Canterbury Tales
Lost in Sorrento 

Midsummer night dreamtime
Astro-bars in Sorrento
Robert Frost fashion brands

Follow the universe less travelled by

He was a trainee with a code name
Sleeping with the saints in Sorrento
Dark textured with age defining make-up
The full glamour and scandal on DVD

Eagerly awaited - 
The king of contenders
Hot toasted and out to sea on another public art project
Dizzy in the city with Calvin Klein moth repellent
Paying lip service to high drama
In the urban puzzle

She’s like art in unexpected places
Soft spoken
Sky diving
Sexy, suave
Stealing the show
On the soft silken routes of Sorrento

DANCE & R n B -

One-stop, hip hop, coming soon,
Club classics from the attic.
Acid jazz and retro blast,
Brass with balls, passion freaks,
Bad asses, bad in bed,
Live your passion, get your ration on the slate -
Tongue and groove.

The cadging coppers cap in hand,
Jing and Jang orangutans.
Make the difference, make your mark,
Make a notch with your crotch
Coming soon. Trance that tune!

You’re the single of the week
Party proof, hair that’s sleek
Retro-clothes, half antique
Pratt your hair and show a cheek.

Daft, defected, unsuspected,
Erections resurrected.
Home goal, hard soul,
Soil the action with dank distractions.
Fuck hard 'because you’re worth it',
Never dampen your down your style.

Kitsch bar dynamite, box office smash,
Born in a brewery on organic beer.
It’s game on-edgy. Passport Sunset,
Afterthought condom,
The Kings of Leoness
Seek the fallen goddess.
But Your grail’s in the ale
Where you leave your vapour trails.

It’s R&B stunning, sponsored by Loreal,
It’s Mingus Cunnilingus,
'Unforgettable', Nat King Cole'd,
Way good, way good,
Hip hop, one stop,
Acid Jazz.

Ah! The dancing gambler,
The warbling breeze,
Can’t stop to freeze or unzip his knees.
On a local scene with choice cut capers,
He’s in the papers with thieves and rapers.
It’s a downtown beat,
A dawn flotilla
Of academic-epidemics who think with their dicks,
A one-stop promo,
passport sunset -
In golf as in life.
Perfectly aligned
With online tickets
For Fat Boy slim,
Fat Boy Slim,
Fat Boy Slim.

It’s 'a must-see' drama,
Wholly Expresso
In a Mocha malaise.
You piss on your passion
As your soul goes flashin’.
You got sonnets in attic
And raps in the gutter.
Your life’s like a clutter
Of tranced R&B.

Ah! But you’re the single of the week,
Party-proof hair that’s sleek,
Retro-clothes, half unique,
A wig for hair and bare of cheek.

Fast food, fast fuck,
Urban Guerrilla.
Your mind works like Mozilla,
A Firefox hedonist
Of misinformation,
A Dreamweaver diva,
Microsoft in the head - 
You shatter the windows of the dead.

You dance like a geek, look sleek
But your girl comes clean, unzips your genes,
Feels for your rod, alters your DNA
But steals your Ipod.

Ah! You’re sick as a carrot,
You fuck like a parrot.
What ho!
What can anyone say?

Thursday, 19 February 2015


Photo by Peter Dixon

Life Through An Elastic Band

Elastic bands young and strong, thick and thin, short or long,
Woven tightly band by band, strand by strand,
Around unknown objects of random sizes,
Carefully laid out on wooden tables for all the world to see;
Precisely placed before changing seasons raging wrath
Compels each stretching band to wane then snap,
Yielding to the striking of an invisible clock,
Until one by one they reveal the hidden fabric at their heart.
Was I hated or mistrusted?,
Was I loved and did I love?,
Was I honourable or unjust?,
Was I faithful or did I lust?,
If I lived, did I let live?,
Did I believe or hide behind doubt?,
Is it all meaningless at the setting of the Sun?,
Will my Soul rise again?,
What is left when I have gone?
Universal wonder taken to an early grave,
Leaving a half written epitaph that does not tell it well for you.
Only the erosion of restraining bands 
can write those final truths that bound each elastic band
to life’s remorseless clock,
Silently ticking as an owl in flight, compelling remaining bands to wane then snap,
Bringing back, the long dead artist’s dream, Part Two,
To fulfilment and eternal life.

Robert Lonsdale

My Best Friend

Without much fuss,
death's cold hand knocked upon our door,
and took away my Mother.
I who remains am told to be strong, 
move on, shed no tears,
celebrate instead her good life.
Machismo advice, sensible but temporal,
helps cope with her passing,
fond memories too soon become sweet and everlasting,
held together via handshakes and hugs
Until earth becomes earth and ashes become ashes.
Cheerless rhymes accompany her into the icy cold ground
on beloved Christmas Eve
While her adult son plummets headlong into meltdown.
Night night and God bless,
I still miss that goodnight kiss.
I will never get used to this
wretched void
where once my best friend stood.

Robert Lonsdale

Saving The Shannon

The innocent river Shannon ripples along,
minding its own business, blissfully unaware
of the impending threat it has to face
from the unscrupulous corporate fist
that intends to drain so much
of what it’s got.
A sucking siphon, inserted into the river's mass,
ensures a tidy profit when the level drops;
all done in the name of progress.
Another murderous blade stabs into ecology’s heart,
bringing the doomsday prophecy another toxic step closer.
The Shannon cannot defend itself alone
against this planned onslaught,
it needs some friends now, more than ever before.
And the old men along its busy banks say:
“If Che were here today, he would save the Shannon
in the good old revolutionary way.”
But Che has had his day
and the time is now!
Limerick people have to act fast
if the beloved Shannon is to remain intact.
A dreadful fate lies in wait,
No more time to waste,
hesitate or procrastinate:
unite, rise to this fight,
prevent another environmental disaster from taking place I
in this land of emerald green hope.

Robert Lonsdale
(from Anthology for a River, Limerick 2012)


Robert has had much of his poetry published and also broadcast on local B.B.C. Radio where he was involved with one of their weekly evening programmes for many years featuring local poets.
He set up and organised "The Write Room" on Teesside which provided an opportunity for poets/writers to read, share and perform their work to an audience.
He has also compiled and edited a book of his own poems and performed at many venues across the North East of England.
He has written, produced and directed two short films called, "For Those Who Sit And Wait" and "Ya Joking Aren't Ya?", both of which have been featured in many film festivals including Teesside University’s "Concept" film night.
He recently wrote a stage play which highlighted the closure of the Corus Steel Mill. This was successfully performed by an acting company both at the Arc Arts Centre in Stockton and on stage in Middlesbrough. His latest writing project is an hour long television drama which has been submitted to the B.B.C.
He has performed at the "On the Nail" poetry venue in Limerick, Ireland and a poem of his is featured in the recent River Shannon anthology the launch of which he attended in Limerick.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Revisiting No Return - New From Dave Alton

Revisiting No Return

This coin of the world
In a purse of lips
While the Great North Road
Runs bothered by an angel
As river wrung from coal seams
As coal seams wrought in candle wax
As candle wax written by brothers
As brothers riven through bridges
As bridges rolled along slipways
As slipways routed with sharp tongues
As sharp tongues wrestled to the Quayside
Drinking of beer
Stinking of beer
In the beaks of kittiwakes
On the feathered backs of promises
Peaked these long-long years passed
Glistering enough to be pecked over
By deluded magpies
Even before the final autumn
Fall from Newcastle

Dave Alton 

Saturday, 7 February 2015



sing of my home city
sing of a true geordie heart
sing of a river swell in me
sing of a sea of the canny
sing of the newcastle day

sing of a history of poetry
sing of the pudding chare rain 
sing of the puddles and clarts
sing of the bodies of sailors
sing of the golden sea

sing of our childrens’ laughter
sing of the boats in our eyes
sing of the bridges in sunshine
sing of the fish in the tyne
sing of the lost yards and the pits 

sing of the high level railway
sing of the love in my face
sing of the garths and the castle
sing of the screaming lasses
sing of the sad on the side

sing of the battles’ remains
sing of the walls round our dreams
sing of the scribblers and dribblers
sing of the scratchers of livings
sing of the quayside night

sing of the kicks and the kisses
sing of the strays and the chancers
sing of the swiggers of ale
sing of the hammer of memory
sing of the welders’ revenge

sing of a battered townscape
sing of a song underground
sing of a powerless wasteland
sing of a buried bard
sing of the bones of tom spence

sing of the cocky bastards
sing of a black and white tide
sing of the ferry boat leaving
sing of cathedral bells crying
sing of the tyneside skies

sing of my mother and father
sing of my sister’s kindness
sing of the hope in my stride
sing of a people’s passion
sing of the strength of the wind