‘Da Pacem Domine’, this morning in ‘Stride’ magazine

Photograph: @Maria Stadnicka MMXV

http://stridemagazine.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/in-same-town.html?view=flipcard

The poet says he would
sleep anywhere just to be
in the same town with you.

He does not have
his own place in the world yet.

© Maria Stadnicka

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‘Plastic’ politics. In ‘International Times’

http://internationaltimes.it/plastic-2/

Illustration by Nick Victor copyright Published in International Times

The local MP came to visit today.
He played with his tie, in the half-empty boiling hot classroom.
Nobody offered him water.
He looked outside at the summery fog and
chewed his nails for an hour or so.
I tried to think of a question.
But all of them were already answered.
He paused and smiled at the camera.
I had a name badge around my neck.
He had nothing.
I sat on a tree-legged small plastic chair.
He sat on a piece of cake.

 

Hunger

Photo: @John Stadnicki

 

A great writer said in 1920s that ‘a man did not have to be insane to be sensitive‘, I believe. But there are people who could be wounded by a simple dot and whom a single word could kill. And this, at times, is true about the world itself.

Numbers for One Life

London. Friday afternoon. 2017.

It is summer. And a beautiful bitter one.

A few numbers for a statistical analysis which does not matter.

There are 775 rooms in Buckingham Palace.

There are almost 20,000 homes sitting empty in London. They are called ‘ghost’ homes.

The Crown Jewels have a total value of 44.5 billion pounds.

Stuart Gulliver, CEO at HSBC, will receive 9.7 million pounds as reward for cutting costs. Basically, for making money for others.

Philip May works as a senior executive at investment fund Capital Group that controls $1.4 trillion in assets.

Over 31 million pounds will be given this year in prizes at Wimbledon.

Theresa May promises 5 million pounds. To be shared between hundreds of people without food, clothes and a roof over their heads. Victims of Grenfell Tower fire.

Theresa May gets free food and accommodation wherever she goes. At all times.

An average wedding in the UK costs 20,000 pounds.

One cremation is 1,600 pounds, if it is planned. Otherwise, it is free.

Fire resistant cladding is 24 pounds per square metre.

One life has no price. Nor numbers.

 

 

Questionings, rememberings and imaginings by Rupert Loydell

Imperfect, Maria Stadnicka (52pp, Yew Tree Press)

http://www.yewtreepress.co.uk/Yew_Tree_Press/books.html

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Imperfect-Maria-Stadnicka/dp/095620385X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497303213&sr=8-1&keywords=maria+stadnicka

The simple grey and black cover of this book –texture perhaps taken from a tree or wall, with a white crack or line separating author’s name and book title – is in many ways apt for what the reader find inside: a collection of beguiling, uneasy poems that probe ideas of love, politics and human experience.

The work reminds me of Charles Simic’s and Yannis Ritsos’ poetry (I don’t mean it is derivative), and also the gentler end of Vaska Popa’s work. There is the same clarity of images and voice with little metaphor or allusion. Instead a kind of surrealism is at work in the direction the narratives take, in the thought processes being evidenced with their jumps and asides, their sometimes awkward and surprising conclusions. In ‘Settlement’ the narrator has ‘no further questions’ for God, so instead offers him a ham sandwich; in ‘Bad Luck’ the poem moves from a fall through Googled medical self-assessment to burns and then self-immolation, but even as the house burns a neighbour pops in to talk about the weather and running out of tea bags. In ‘Good Bye Then’ Clara’s ‘giggle melted in a slice of bread’.

As Jay Ramsay points out in his back cover blurb, in many ways this poetry is ‘other’. This may be because of Stadnicka’s experiences growing up in Romania, the effect on her of the Cold War, a slight awkwardness in the details of English (e.g. ‘Good Bye Then’ or ‘it stopped me / understand the real life’) or simply her poetics. Whatever, Stadnicka has now found a home in Stroud, in language, and clings on to a hope that underpins the poems, even if this is belied by poems like ‘The Calais Sea’, where

After weeks and weeks of travels,

for the last time, I put my bags down.

I am done with hope.

The lingering tragedy

of what I could be if

we had the right words for tomorrow.

Elsewhere, in a world of inevitable death, madness, broken families, soldiers, barbaric politics and dehumanization, even when there are ‘no other survivors’, ‘even without a language’, Stadnicka defiantly demands that she ‘go on / being allowed to hope’. And does.

This an exciting and urgent first book of poems, that gives me hope for contemporary poetry. I look forward to the next instalment of Maria Stadnicka’s questionings, rememberings and imaginings.

Copyright: Rupert Loydell 2017

http://stridemagazine.blogspot.co.uk/#!/2017/06/questionings-rememberings-and-imaginings.html

Just Met…A Summer Exhibition with David Hayward, Janet James and Mark Mawer

An event to look forward to in July. ‘Just Met…’ A Summer Exhibition at Rendcomb Manor with David Hayward, Janet James and Mark Mawer.

David Hayward: ‘The images in this exhibition reflect an interest in the delineations of shorelines – of air, water and land and of weather, geology and the detritus of tidelines.‘ http://www.david-hayward.com/

Janet James: ‘Sunlight on lakes and fjords, reflections, the icy lochs and the countryside that surrounds me are my inspiration.‘ http://www.janetjames.co.uk/

Mark Mawer: ‘No doubt it is hard to believe, but we have to believe many things we never saw.‘ Allusive inspiration from Twenty Years A-Growing by Maurice O’Sullivan. (markveremawer@hotmail.com)

The exhibition will be open 7th July – 9th July 2017.

Friday 7th July 2017 – Opening Evening 6pm-9.30pm
Saturday 8th July 2017 – 10am – 8pm
Sunday 9th July 2017 – 10am – 4pm

Rendcomb Manor, Cheltenham Road, North Cerney, Cirencester, GL7 7ER

Inquiries to Joan Davies at joan.sargent@virgin.net or 01452 812399

A donation from this exhibition will go to The Camphill Village Trust.

 

Toxic Petals

photo: @John Stadnicki

 

A poem for ‘Europa‘ by Andrew Heath https://www.amazon.co.uk/Europa-Andrew-Heath/dp/B01LYHL716 

For further information on Andrew Heath’s music, please click here: https://andrewheath.bandcamp.com/