Portsmouth Poet Laureate

The 2012-2013 Portsmouth Poet Laureate is Sam Cox.
Twitter: @portsmouthpoet

Other Dates

I am now confirmed  to read on Monday 25th June at the Daily Story Stage at Gunwharf Quays at noon, run in celebration of the Boat Project.

I am taking part in ‘Make a noise in Libraries’ Week by offering poetry and percussion on Monday 18th June between 5pm and 6pm in the Central Library.

Library Meetings

Joe McQuilken, Portsmouth Young Poet Laureate and I will be meeting at the following dates and times and welcome any other poets, writers or readers to join us to discuss future events and work –

Cosham Library Portsmouth: 15th June, 3pm - 4.30pm

Southsea Library Portsmouth: 6th July, 3pm - 4.30pm

Invitation

This grand hall

Swells to the sounds of our voices

A symphony of conversations

Stretch beyond historic ceilings and walls

To grace this proud city

 

I am woodwind

Soft clarinet

Trying to compliment

The strings on the next table

As cutlery connects with bone china

Offering tuning forks, percussion, time and rhythm

 

Solo speeches to

Arias of laughter

Notes of friendship beginning as

Coffee spoons dance

 

Sharing dinner

We listen as every voice writes our chorus

Invited as guests, but leaving…

An Orchestra

A-Z

A stone sends music across the ocean’s surface

Brave fingers intertwine to

Connect lovers walking across sands whilst

Dusk powders this pink skyline

 

Each fading second of light a photo opportunity of

Footprints erased as tides turn

Gracing us with washed pebbles

 

How this ocean - inspires

In every wave we are adventurers

Just waiting for experiences to find us

 

Keepsakes found in rounded stones

Lives and landscapes intertwined

Majestic buildings

Nestled to greet visitors

Oh how the energy of  

People painting their memories in  

Quintessential moments is

Remembered in these

Southsea dreams and cool summer evenings

That stretches to span generations

 

Universal beach days 

Vibrant breezes, sandwiches and laughter

Why travel when you can journey right here?

X-Ray emotions revealing pride and belonging

Yes, this is our city, our passion, our compass - from A, all the way to…

Z

And right back again, to start over…

Sunrise

6am

Albert Road

Watching the first few arcs of light

Stretching out to meet my beautiful insomnia

 

I left you before dawn

Unable to witness this night and day growing between us

The broken ballet of two lovers

Discovering the dance of where their opposites collide

Embracing the first disagreement

That moonlight could not soften…

And somewhere,

Half-way between Henley Road and the King’s Theatre

I began to smile

Realising both the poetry and the weight of our argument

So, as this new day was rising

I turned to face the lilac strains of morning

As they were reaching out to try to hold back

The last few waves of night

And I stood by the ocean

To witness where my solitude

Would happily fall in to this sense of belonging

 

And if our love

Were a seaside picture postcard

I could too WISH YOU WERE HERE

Watching this day begin with me

The sky melting in to her colours

Of pinks, purples and blues

Realising how we should just simply

Make more time to

STOP

To stand still

And to watch the day rising

Joe McQuilken (Portsmouth Young Poet Laureate) and I will be meeting at the following dates and times and would welcome any other poets, writers or readers to join us to discuss future events and work:

Carnegie Library, Portsmouth
27th April: 3pm–4.30pm
North End Library, Portsmouth
18th May: 3pm–4.30pm
Cosham Library, Portsmouth
15th June: 3pm–4.30pm
Southsea Library, Portsmouth
6th July: 3pm-4.30pm

Before You Leave

Poems do not begin on paper

But right here

Where oceans breathe in

As day and night grace each sunrise and sunset

Memories choreographed in etchings across wet sand

Summers spent as childhoods begin for the second time

Grown-ups flying kites as exhausted children sleep

Here, we are all archaeologists and explorers

Finding treasure in delicate shells

And the smoothest of pebbles

An aroma of sun lotions, ice-creams and sea breezes

As toddlers are gently lowered back in to car seats

This – the perfume of happiness

As crimson yawns and stretches across our skyline

Take one more look before you leave

As poems as discovered

Right here in these memories

Square Tower

Straight lines and right angles

Underlined by the years

Still standing strong

Watchful over turning tides and seasons

Summer days resonating with the

Echoes of chatter rising from craft fairs and wedding parties

Improvised music as busy crockery

Fills in the spaces between our conversations

With sweet jazz and percussion

All these memories

Stored in the energy of

Past, present and future colliding

In the beauty of moving veins and arteries of visitors

New histories

New life-stories

Generations come and gone and yet to come

But straight lines and right angles

Standing as if ageless

Always looking on…

House of Words

An evening celebrating Portsmouth, Home of Great Writing, from Dickens to Portsmouth Writers Hub

Thursday 29 March 2012

Menuhin Theatre, Central Library, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth PO1 
7pm sharp
Admission £3/£2 concessions

Stones

Shimmering sunlight

Dances across the water

As the ocean breathes in

To reveal her alchemy and percussion

Of washing and smoothing over pebbles

 

I stop to pick up jade, silver, amethyst, amber, shell, driftwood

Or maybe even a millennium stone

With eternal fingerprints left in clay by Henry; six

Stamped with the number 246,054

Thrown to the tides twelve years ago

 

Treasures

Resurfacing

Like poems waiting for their moments

 

Can’t help but wonder if Henry - now 18 would remember

The day he threw

A stone, an idea, a memory in to the sea

Not knowing that it would wash up

All these years later

Find its’ way to my footprints, my fingertips and my imagination

 

One in a million reasons

To leave time-capsules

And for us to skim stones - now precious gems

Giving them back to the ocean for safe-keeping

Just in-case Henry might one day return searching for memories of his childhood

Torch

All our lives

We have been waiting

For this moment

To honour our dreams

To stand with pride

Taller than we have ever been

 

A country draws its’ breath

Thumbs and fingers methodically arch

Poised on start lines

To span beyond the boundaries

Of race tracks, televisions sets and inner-city skylines

 

Muscles stretch to bridge nations

Every beautiful heartbeat

Pounding in eloquent physical grace

Athletes rise to take the stage

Gathering swollen beads of sweat

Glistening in their expectant glory

 

Here, beyond medals

Smiling bravely from the inside

There is something universal -

An Olympic flame that we all carry 

Just waiting for its’ moment in time

Great South Run

The drummers try their best to keep up with

The pounding of racing heartbeats

All lives in motion 

Swollen streets now veins and arteries

Of people chasing every breath

Every beautiful exhausted victory

Rising

From the arms of an otherwise sleepy Sunday

 

Come and witness the endurance and resilience

The courage, the charity, the fall

And the RISE of the athlete

Racing on regardless of injury

 

Hear the echoes of cheers on this Southsea breeze

Waves breaking in restless percussion

As this city runs to

Keep alive the memories of so many no longer with us

 

In me, there is a yearning

And a realisation that I have

Lost too many years

Running only on the inside

 

Because suddenly -

I am a city,

I am an ocean

I am a philosophy of movement

Inspired by this community of energy and passion

AND –

I too want to run

With everything that I have

Taking all these smiles and regrets

All this love and loss

Racing for every sacred breath

Taking all my poems on to these crowded streets

Running through the pain barriers and beyond limitations

To release this celebration of worn-out aching metaphors and muscles

Across the finish line

YES -

One whole race older

But so much MORE

 

ALIVE

Timeless

Even as we speak

Time is a proud heartbeat

Navigating towards destinies born to find us

 

It is in these ever-changing moments

We remember commuter trains

That wormed their way home

Whilst we stood on empty platforms

Traffic lights we made impatient eye contact with

As lifetimes passed by in

Red, crimson, vermillion, ruby, scarlet seconds

Never blinking to reveal that emerald eye

The closed signs arriving everywhere before us

Or walking in to meetings late

As a sea of faces turned to watch

 

It is never in the sum of all the missed moments

But, rather in the

Gifted

Brave seconds that our lives change course forever

 

Tonight

All the beating clocks will hold their breaths

As we rescue daylight from her dark winter

Whilst she reminds us

That the hours are always on our side

Dreams rise and fall and rise again

As life force pulses through our veins

A new rhythm dances

We time travel as three dimensional poems

One hour ahead of schedule

Knowing that it is never too late

To take words backwards or forwards

 

Standing with

A swollen sunrise of emotions

Alive with the freedom and beauty of letting go of

What has to be done

What has to be un-done

What time it is

But instead to simply be

Strong enough to let go of this hour

In the hope of finding something

Timeless

In between our silence

Introducing Sam Cox, Portsmouth’s second Poet Laureate. Sam is a poet who has performed regularly in Portsmouth and at national events for many years.
Born in 1974 in East London, she studied at the University of Greenwich achieving a B.A (Hons) in Humanities and then at Kings College London for a post graduate qualification. Now a Deputy Head Teacher, she has lived in Portsmouth for several years.
Sam’s poetry has been described as ‘exploring the rhythm of spoken word, at times combined with music, instruments and percussion to discover themes of community, belonging and identity. Inspired by landscapes both urban and coastal, Sam presents the reader with the beauty and insights borne of holding our experiences up to the light.’
Sam said, ‘This is a really exciting position and I’m looking forward to  working with not only other poets, but musicians and other performers.
‘There  are plenty of open mic sessions in the city, Aspex Gallery usually hold  one. I would encourage people to hear poetry performed live as it’s a  great introduction.’
Sam, who cites Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night as one of her favourite poems, added: ‘My year as poet laureate will  hopefully be full of remarkable moments, I can’t wait to get started.’

Introducing Sam Cox, Portsmouth’s second Poet Laureate. Sam is a poet who has performed regularly in Portsmouth and at national events for many years.

Born in 1974 in East London, she studied at the University of Greenwich achieving a B.A (Hons) in Humanities and then at Kings College London for a post graduate qualification. Now a Deputy Head Teacher, she has lived in Portsmouth for several years.

Sam’s poetry has been described as ‘exploring the rhythm of spoken word, at times combined with music, instruments and percussion to discover themes of community, belonging and identity. Inspired by landscapes both urban and coastal, Sam presents the reader with the beauty and insights borne of holding our experiences up to the light.’

Sam said, ‘This is a really exciting position and I’m looking forward to working with not only other poets, but musicians and other performers.

‘There are plenty of open mic sessions in the city, Aspex Gallery usually hold one. I would encourage people to hear poetry performed live as it’s a great introduction.’

Sam, who cites Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night as one of her favourite poems, added: ‘My year as poet laureate will hopefully be full of remarkable moments, I can’t wait to get started.’