Wordless Wednesday. Afternoon Tea for four .

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The sincerest form of poetry by Geoff Le Pard.

Today I am delighted to have Author and friend Geoff Le Pard over for afternoon tea and a chat about his latest book. Which is full of delightful poetry!

Geoff, how are you, do sit down I have got everything ready for us. While you get comfy I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed the book. I love the first half very much always a smile and a barb..The sonnets too very much to my liking, especially the two about the Vet, (I assume) Hand me down, and Loyalty, especially the last lines in both. Also the the guiding hand possibly about the textilist? Here have a cuppa just as you like it I think and tell me was I right? How’s that cake?

Geoff with Buster and Moo

 In fact, while hand me down is about Jenni, point of view of a shadow which came to me while doing a poetry prompt a couple of years ago.Originally it had me rhyming ‘shadow’ with ‘saddo’ which grated horribly so I’m pleased with the revision. I can spend hours getting nowhere, revising poetry, finding the right combination of… yes, another slice would be lovely… syllables, rhymes and stresses. Oddly, the thing I notice that most poets fail to appreciate is stress. They’ll nail a rhyme, ensure the right number of syllables but when you read it, the stress you place on the words makes it feel like a bad gear change. I wonder if they read the poem out loud or in their head. The imagination is too forgiving, I find.

On reflection Geoff I have to agree with you on that.

How much did your father’s poetry influence you? 

First, he spent so much time honing his work that I am constantly forcing myself to one more read through, to mimic him. Second, he loved finding humour in poetry and I think that can be my driving force. Third, we argued constantly, vigorously and with no holes barred. Thus if I write anything with a political or social angle it will almost certainly reflect my views and equally certainly be 180 degrees contrary to his. He didn’t hold back, he wasn’t shy of voicing his opinion and I often sanitise my attempts so as not to offend. That would have annoyed him mightily, so I try and fight the urge to hide. If you’ve a point to make, make it with conviction; if not, don’t make any point. That comes from him. Mostly though, he enjoyed the process, gained huge satisfaction from a job well done. I’ve learnt that, however hard it is – and it is hard – enjoy it. In a way dad only really expressed his true self, his deepest emotions, via poetry as seen in the love poems he wrote to mum and which he refused to let my brother and I see and which mum only shared after his death. I still think he would be mightily cheesed off and equally secretly pleased with her for doing that.

What made you decide to revamp some of best known poems from the BBC’s collection of British Poets?

Don’t worry about the crumbs, Ruby or Dog will pick them up , they are getting on well aren’t they.

Back to Dad, really. He loved Kipling’s poetry and many of his best efforts use the same rhyming scheme that Kipling favoured in some of his finest works. One day – I think I was walking with a couple of friends – I conjured up a couple  of lines of ‘If’ but rewritten to the discussion we were having. Again, memory suggests it was a new take on the couplet ‘if you fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run’. I got a laugh. Later I re-read the poem and some other changes, based on the current Zeitgeist occurred to me and off I went. Once I’d begun, it was a fairly natural progression to try it with others. The sharp eyed readers will see that with my re-imagining of ‘if’ I don’t keep the first line, whereas that became one of the criteria I tried to apply to my re-imaginings. Another cup? Thanks. I’ll have oat milk, as part of a new health kick.

Really, luckily have some oat milk in the fridge, I will just get it . Here you are, just a splash. Would you like another

Tell me why did you pick sonnets for the second half of your book? 

My whole love of writing began the summer after Dad died at a summer-school in Wiltshire. July 2006. A year later, at the self same summer-school I took a poetry appreciation course that looked at British poets from Chaucer G to Cope W. In amongst the many marvels were a variety of sonnets, from Shakespeare through Rossetti to Manley Hopkins. That week I wrote two, or at least the first drafts, of the sonnets that appear here  – the opening work on the frontispiece and what turned into ‘Only skin deep’ a re-imagined Shakespearean sonnet. After that, I spun out several, I entered a number into some on line magazines and had a few published or won or were placed in competitions. I adore the simplicity, the discipline and the history of the sonnet, hence it is my go to form of choice. Hmm, is that lemon drizzle? Oh al right, just a small slice. No, not that small….

Sorry is that better?

Tell me how different do you find the experience of writing poetry as compared to fiction or flash fiction? Do you find poetry a more difficult discipline to writing prose?

Oh my, chalk and cheese. Give me a word, a picture, a phrase, a theme, a genre and I’ll write you a piece of flash, a short story or a novel, often with the bizarrest, most unlikely take imaginable. But do the same with poetry and you may be lucky one in five times. I’ve tried committing to poetry prompts and sometimes that has led to something part way decent. But mostly it just grates. Poetry = emotion and that’s something I’ve taken from dad; without a core of emotion, of self it’s just clunky prose dressed up as something pretentious and clever sounding.

Can I get you a you anything else, Oh Look Ruby and dog are asleep out in the sun. Let’s have a look at my two choices from your book.

A Dog At Leisure

(Leisure, William Henry Davies)
What is this life, if full of care?
Go fetch my lead, don’t comb your hair.
Don’t give in to untimely sloth
I know what fun awaits us both.
Let’s try the park; we know it’s free,
Full of places for me to pee.
Squirrels anxious to play chase,
Friends who’ll let me lick their face.
Secret corners where I can poo
Long lost balls for me to chew.
Picnic scraps and chicken bones,
Stale crusts and broken scones.
These treats and many, many more
Are just beyond the bloody door.
So find your shoes, tie those laces
And I’ll take you now to wondrous places
Full of fun, grass and the freshest air
And while I play, you’ll stand and stare.

And the beautiful sonnet.

Hand -Me-Down

Still wet from the womb, she flapped a fat hand,
A mindless hello that captured my soul.
Older, unsteady, like a day old foal,
She gripped me so tight, determined to stand.
She didn’t let go till the first day at school;
Then she wept as I forced her fingers apart.
From that betrayal she developed her art;
Round her finger I’d twist: her so willing fool.
One day, so glorious, and, yes, there were tears
I released her hand as I gave her away.
I smiled her free, and felt no dismay
At the thought of that other hand itwrapped round hers.
But it’s only a loan, for when I come to my last
She’ll be holding my hand, as I let go life’s grasp.

********

Now for your Authors Bio and all your book details.

Geoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry, short fiction and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls. He also cooks with passion if not precision.

Geoff’s books

My Father and Other Liars is a thriller set in the near future and takes its heroes, Maurice and Lori-Ann on a helter-skelter chase across continents.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle is a coming of age story. Set in 1976 the hero Harry Spittle is home from university for the holidays. He has three goals: to keep away from his family, earn money and hopefully have sex. Inevitably his summer turns out to be very different to that anticipated.

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

In this, the second book in the Harry Spittle Sagas, it’s 1981 and Harry is training to be a solicitor. His private life is a bit of a mess and he’s far from convinced the law is for him. Then an old acquaintance from his hotel days appears demanding Harry write his will. When he dies somewhat mysteriously a few days later and leaves Harry in charge of sorting out his affairs, Harry soon realises this will be no ordinary piece of work. After all, his now deceased client inherited a criminal empire and several people are very interested in what is to become of it.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The third instalment of the Harry Spittle Sagas moves on the 1987. Harry is now a senior lawyer with a well-regarded City of London firm, aspiring to a partnership. However, one evening Harry finds the head of the Private Client department dead over his desk, in a very compromising situation. The senior partner offers to sort things out, to avoid Harry embarrassment but soon matters take a sinister turn and Harry is fighting for his career, his freedom and eventually his life as he wrestles with dilemma on dilemma. Will Harry save the day? Will he save himself? 

   

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Grain of Sand is a 30 story anthology covering many genres: fantasy, romance, humour, thriller, espionage, conspiracy theories, MG and indeed something for everyone. All the stories were written during Nano 2015 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Salisbury Square is a dark thriller set in present day London where a homeless woman and a Polish man, escaping the police at home, form an unlikely alliance to save themselves. 

This is available here 

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Buster & Moo is about about two couples and the dog whose ownership passes from one to the other. When the couples meet, via the dog, the previously hidden cracks in their relationships surface and events begin to spiral out of control. If the relationships are to survive there is room for only one hero but who will that be?

Smashwords

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Flash is a set of super short fiction, flash and micro fiction that should keep you engaged and amused for ages 

Amazon.co.uk 

Amazon.com 

Smashwords

Apprenticed To My Mother describes the period after my father died when I thought I was to play the role of dutiful son, while Mum wanted a new, improved version of her husband – a sort of Desmond 2.0. We both had a lot to learn in those five years, with a lot of laughs and a few tears as we went.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Life in a Conversation is an anthology of short and super short fiction that explores connections through humour, speech and everything besides. If you enjoy the funny, the weird and the heart-rending then you’ll be sure to find something here.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

When Martin suggests to Pete and Chris that they spend a week walking, the Cotswolds Way, ostensibly it’s to help Chris overcome the loss of his wife, Diane. Each of them, though, has their own agenda and, as the week progresses, cracks in their friendship widen with unseen and horrifying consequences.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

The sincerest form of poetry.

Famous poets reimagined, sonnets of all kinds, this poerty selection has something for all tastes, from the funny, to the poignant to the thought-provoking and always written with love and passion.

 

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Geoff Le Pard’s Amazon Author Page

********

I can honestly say I have read all these books and enjoyed them greatly.

Thank for joining me today Geoff it was

To have you and Dog visit.

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: GUEST POST ,THE POWER.

Hi everyone  I am publishing   if  we  were having coffee  early  this  week  because  I need  to take  a break!  I will not have internet  access from 23rd December  until  the 30thDec.  Now  don’t  panic  Paul’s  wonderful blog  will be  over at Mark Bialczak  blog on Sunday  28th! Please  don’t  forget  to visit  there  for coffee! After  that I hope  to be less  weird  and  we will have our  normal Sunday  slot  back!

The Power

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again inside Willow’s home where it is nice and toasty, tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. We’ve moved inside to beat the winter cold in the garden. Willow has fluffed the cushions and stared a blaze in the fireplace to make a cozy place to sit. I’d be pleased to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax with a cuppa and calorie free electronic sweets while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

In case you will be travelling to London over Christmas, you can indulge yourself in Afternoon Champagne Tea at Claridges – as pictured above. You can find a picture of a few of the sweets available at the bottom of this post. Oh, just a heads up: the pictures come with some fine print at the bottom: “discretionary service charge will be added to your bill”, so behave yourself.

My week’s been not bad. A few little bumps in the road that caused me to miss my dialysis treatment on Monday – they rescheduled me to another hospital and were unable to change my normal transport so as a result I had a scheduled treatment at one hospital and transport to another. I gotta tell you, having done logistics most of my life, I have to bite my tongue and roll my eyes when I see them dabbling in logistics – the medical care is second to none; getting the patients, doctors and equipment all in one place at one time often seems beyond them. It is funny in retrospect and if I had deemed it to be life threatening, they would have moved mountains and made it right, no matter the cost. Either way it was going to likely result in my finishing dialysis at about 2 am and then having to wait until 7 am for a ride home. My health was better served by sleeping in my own bed (sleep can sometimes be an issue for dialysis patients and missing too much will cause problems in itself). But by Wednesday, everything was back to normal and they apologize profusely and promised to never do it again.

So, how was your week? Anything interesting going on? Perhaps plans for visitors next week, perhaps travel plans? Have another cuppa and a sweet, settle in and do tell.

1981 Chevette – Vroom, Vroom!

I thought perhaps we’d take a short break this week from discussing Christmas and do something else instead. I enjoy our weekly Sunday teas and Willow has encouraged me to discuss any topic that I please. She is very creative, often writing poetry and verse to express her feelings, a talent that I admire and am sadly lacking. However, upon occasion, for reasons I am unable to ferret out, when I am stressed, I will write verse.

Twenty three years ago on Dec 31, 1991, I packed up my little 10 year old Chevette (for our non- North American readers, that was a compact car sold here for many years and it was tiny) and set out from the Maritimes to drive to my girl friend’s in Ottawa – about 700 miles away- where she and I were planning to live. I had no job lined up, an old car, just enough money for gas to get there and even a portable radio taped to the dash for music.

The Power

Being a pensive sort, I used the driving time to think and when I arrived on January 1, 1992, I wrote the following verse:

The Power

Dear God please grant me The Power.

The Power to believe in You and in myself –

To the point where I could easily work for someone else

If it was required or equally to have

People work for me and treat them

Fairly as human beings.

The Power to discard what I believed

Was wrong and not long for it back.

The Power to pursue Truth and Love

Without getting caught up in personal gain and sex.

The Power to live without fearing death and,

The Power to die without clinging to life.

The Power of having without needing to possess.

The Power to give without expecting to receive.

The Power to believe in Good without seeing it and

The Power to understand Evil without becoming it.

The Power to Live and make a difference in this physical world Without being dragged down to its level.

Stress Brings Out The Poet

Have another cuppa and a sweet – we have Beaver tails available now too and stiffer drink for anyone who pleases. Well, I wrote The Power and left it in passing on my bedside table, not sure what to do with it. I didn’t keep a diary or any form of written logs, and I didn’t have anything to join the verse in a file. It was just one of a kind, sitting there on a piece of paper and eyed occasionally somewhat leerily by me. My girlfriend found it homeless and so enjoyed it that, unbeknownst to me, she had it printed on fancy paper, mounted in a frame and gave it to me as a gift. It has accompanied me wherever I have moved for the last 23 years. Looking back I can see that it well expressed my emotions at the time: jobless, new home in a new city, broke, new relationship (that came with 2 kids – also new), and every other stressor available to mankind. Ha! Still had my radio taped to the dash – that was some comfort. Do you have any stories about big life changes over the years and how they affected you?

So, that’s the story of The Power, and it has never been published or even seen by anyone other than my Ex until today. I hope you enjoyed it. So it’s time to settle in front of the fireplace with another cuppa. Sweets anyone? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week.

We look forward to seeing you here for tea (or the beverage of your choice) again next  week.

A Sampling of Sweets at Claridges Christmas Champagne Tea

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: I would ask you if you would  like another  cuppa, or  another cake . !   If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/ 

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE: GUEST POST : SCOTLAND AND MEMORIES

If We Were Having Coffee – Sept.14/2014

Scotland and Memories

 

Paul your Barista

Paul your Barista

Welcome to Willow’s weekly coffee and tea garden. My name is Paul and I’m happy to be here once again in the garden tending to your needs for a cuppa, and sweets. I must say, it’s great to see you all here in this relaxing atmosphere surrounded by flowers and butterflies. Have a seat where you choose, at a table in the sun or shade, and I’ll be happy to bring a pot of whatever beverage you prefer – we have a wide range of teas and coffees to satisfy our world-wide readership. We can relax while we discuss the affairs of the week both personal and/or worldwide. How has your week been?

It’s been getting chillier here – down close to freezing over night. Parts of Canada have already had snow this season – very early as that doesn’t usually happen until October. We can consider moving our winter tea to one of the wonderful tea gardens – like the one pictured above. It’s very beautiful, isn’t it? Makes me want to just sit right down and dig in with gossip and sweets. We don’t have such beautiful tea gardens in Canada – it makes me envious and yet happy that I get to be your barista here in Willow’s garden.

Scotland

~~~~~~~~~

I followed with interest the continuing story of Scotland voting to separate. We have had what I think is a similar situation here in Canada with our province Quebec. The issue here seems to ebb and flow depending on the economy and political landscape. Like the Scottish and the English, our French and English have had a very turbulent history, Quebecers have voted a number of times to determine separation and the vote has always been close. The situation seems to be relatively calm right now, but still it boils beneath the surface. I know very little of Scottish politics and am wondering if any of our British friends could give me a thumbnail of what is going on. From over here I have always thought of Scotland and its people to be a distinct culture within Britain – but still within the British “envelope” so to speak. Here there is often an “arm’s length” relationship with Quebec that sometimes results in anger and even occasionally hatred. Does that happen between the Scottish and the English too? What is England’s official take on this? Do you personally think it is good or bad? Is there a possibility of healing the rift?

Would you like a refill? Perhaps a sweet or a scone? It’s all calorie free here in the garden you know.

Exterior of Peterbilt 379

Interior Custom Cab of Peterbilt 379

Interior of Peterbilt 80 inch sleeper berth

Here in Ottawa housing rental owners are not required to turn on heat to the units until October. So, it was cool in my room last night, around 6 Celsius (42 F). I love sleeping in a cool room, so I bundled up under the blankets and comforters and slept like a baby. It brought back memories of my trucking days. I always slept with the engine off if it was possible – it would burn about $10 of fuel per hour when idling. Some drivers would burrow into Arctic sleeping bags with the engine off at temperatures well below freezing but I drew the line there. Still I loved the cool air and the warm nest and always slept soundly in the truck in the fall. The memories came flooding back last night. These days highway trucks have auxiliary generators that provide temperature control for pennies per hour when parked. They are expensive but pay for themselves over the life of the truck. I would miss sleeping during the cool fall nights. Do you sometimes recall memories that you know the new generation will never have? Do memories sometimes cause you to pause and feel the emotions of the past?

~~~~~~~~

Would you like another cuppa? Willow and I are honored that you dropped by the garden today to visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and the conversation and please feel free to look around at Willow’s other posts while you’re here. Have a great week. We look forward to seeing you here in the garden again next week.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

IF WE WERE HAVING COFFEE:  I would  tell you how very welcome  you are  and how much I look forward to our weekly get together, and that I do hope  they continue for a while  to come.  I am so  sorry  that I have to dash  off now  but  please  stay  and relax  and eat  and drink whatever  you wish , here  in the virtual garden  everything is  guilt  and calorie free.   So  for now  be well and be happy.  😀

If we were having coffee I’d ask  you : would you like another  cuppa, or  a biscuit . I’d  tell you I have really  come to enjoy  these chats  and I’d  love  to hear  what you would  tell me , If we were having Coffee  Original idea  from  http://parttimemonster.wordpress.com/

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