On Thin Ice

On Thin Ice

Poetry by Paul Cosgrove
Published by Living History Library
£7 from News from Nowhere

Reviewed by Kevin Lea

Roll up, roll up, family, friends, musicians and authors, welcome to the continuing journey of the Cosgrove challenge, a launch of the creative mind with words to stir the soul and visions to stimulate the mind, this is “On Thin Ice”, the maiden voyage of Paul Cosgrove’s literary ship.

The location for the night’s event was the Atrium Cafe on Victoria Street, and despite the wintery chill and the three flights of stairs to the cold room that held Paul’s book launch; the people that attended were soon embraced with warmth through the friendly and creative atmosphere.

The room eventually filled with eager voices anticipating the night’s event and by the time Tommy Calderbank, the host and winner of ‘Hat of the Year’ award, introduced guest readers of Paul’s poems, such as David Subacchi, Colin Watts, Tracey Ryan, John Lipson, and Paul Tarpey, the ‘This is your Life’, vibe was already in full flow. The varied styles of the poems were perfectly chosen for each reader and with Martin Bates and Andy Purvis supplying the music, the creative mood was set.

After a twenty minute recess, the evening resumed with the impressively named Roger St John, who performed his yoga experience poem with energy and subtlety, before Tommy and his light bulb hat introduced the main attraction of the evening, Paul Cosgrove. Paul spoke passionately about his writing, but with humility in his approach. By using props such as a stapler for the ‘Telegram’ poem and introducing good friend Geraldine Thomas to ring a bell for his ‘Pre throwaway society’ poem, he gave life to this presentation.

There were plenty of other poems to compliment, and Paul performed them in his distinctive style. But the real winner on the night was the power of the spoken word. The co-operation of all the people involved was evident; from experienced speakers to first time readers. Judging by the comments Paul received both verbally and in ink, he has plenty of strong allies to count on.

The evening finished with warm applause for Paul and the many speakers. The creative collaboration was in full effect and this is commonplace in your home town. So, buy “On Thin Ice”, but more importantly, buy into the creative vibe, there is a whole new community to discover.

Kevin Lea is a member of the Nerve Writers Group, see: https://nervewriters.wordpress.com/

Market Forces

No longer do they merchandise weapons in plain wooden boxes.
No longer are the contents indicated by rough stencil letters.
No longer are the arms stored and concealed deep underground.
Now,
Armoury of every kind is displayed and marketed at glittering trade shows.
Every despotic power on earth comes to browse and buy,
To kill,
To maim,
To torture
To make money,
To buy weapons,
To kill.
There are glossy brochures shiny and smooth.
There are movie presentations showing the vicious effects.
There are expert professional death-smiths
To sell,
To advise,
To make money,
To make a killing.
I report my objections, and complain to the trading standards.
They act, and tell the organisers that they must not mislead.
At the following year’s ‘Trade show,’ the organisers complied.
All packages had labels with pictures of dead people
Lying with faces blown apart,
Bowels, bellies and brains split on urban floors;
Charred bodies bent and twisted by heat,
Blood, urine and bile moistened the pouting lips of death.
Then, I noticed
In small white print at the bottom of the label,

“These are only serving suggestions.”

‘Market Forces’ by Paul Cosgrove, was first published by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT)

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